Once you’re on a hit series, finding new roles can be strange. For one MAS*H actor, the process was difficult because he didn’t want to tarnish the legacy of the show. The B.J Hunnicutt actor Mike Farrell is selective about his roles. When he’s not acting, he’s working on his activism. He’s been a passionate political activist for decades.
But he definitely still acts. In the past couple of decades, the MASH actor has appeared in shows such as Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, Without a Trace, Supernatural, and American Crime Story. And while that may seem like a lot of parts, the actor is careful. Apparently, he gets offered some pretty ridiculous roles. For him, it wouldn’t just reflect poorly on him, but the show he’s truly known for, MASH.
“Most of the stuff I get offered is so stupid I would never consider it. I don’t want to tarnish the legacy of the best TV show that’s ever been on the air, and I think most of us feel the same way,” Farrell told The Oregonian. MAS*H truly does have a massive legacy. Its season finale is the most-watched scripted TV event in history.
Farrell was A Huge ‘M*A*S*H’ Fan Before Getting the Part
Farrell joined the M*A*S*H cast as Hunnicutt in season four. He definitely didn’t have any reservations about saying yes to the part. He was actually a huge fan of the show.
“My agent calls and tells me there’s a possibility that Wayne Rogers is leaving. They want to know if I’d be willing to come over and have a meeting. I was as nervous as a kitten going to this interview because I thought this show was so incredibly wonderful,” Farrell told The Hollywood Reporter.
As with most big auditions, the competition for the MAS*H role was stiff. He had to go up against future Boardwalk Empire star James Cromwell amongst others. Of course, he landed the part, and it sounds like he couldn’t be more thrilled. A few days after his audition, he was visiting with his mother when he got the call that he landed the role. He was so excited that he got up, hung his mother, and drove straight to his agent’s office.
“I raced in and grabbed him, screaming, into a hug,” he said.
As he mentioned, Farrell joined the show after the departure of Wayne Rogers. The Captain “Trapper” actor never quite stated a reason for leaving, but many, including Farrell, have speculated that he didn’t want to be second to Hawkeye actor Alan Alda who also wrote and directed for the series.
Farrell continued on the show up until its finale. And it looks like he’s still just as much of a fan.