‘9-1-1’: Why Michael Grant Actor Rockmond Dunbar Didn’t Do Research for Character’s Job

Sometimes things work out perfectly for actors without them having to put in a whole lot of work. That was the case for 9-1-1 actor Rockmond Dunbar.

If you don’t already know, Rockmond Dunbar has been around the block a time or two when it comes to acting. He is perhaps best known for his role as Baines on the NBC series Earth 2. But he’s also starred in shows like Soul Food, Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy, The Mentalist, The Path, and more.

But nowadays, Dunbar plays the character of Michael Grant on FOX’s 9-1-1. The show follows the lives of Los Angeles first responders including but not limited to police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It first premiered back on January 3, 2018.

He made his debut on the show during the very first episode of the first season. In the show, Michael Grant plays an architect who is the Homeowners Association President in Los Angeles.

But where most actors have to do some extensive research to prepare for a new part, Dunbar explained to Assignment X in a 2018 sit down that he already had inside knowledge on how to play an architect. He explained how he grew up around architects when he was asked if he had to do any research to prepare himself for the part.

“No, because I have a couple of architects in my family. So, I’ve kind of grown up around architects,” Dunbar explained. “So I didn’t necessarily use it within the confines of this show within the first [several] episodes.”

‘9-1-1’ Star Did Have to Research Other Things for His Role as Michael Grant

If you are a loyal 9-1-1 fan, then you probably already know that Rockmond Dunbar’s character, Michael Grant, was married to Athena Grant for 14 years. Together, the couple had two children, Harry and May. But their relationship falls apart after Michael reveals to Athena that he is gay. Despite efforts from both sides, Michael and Athena were not able to work out their differences. They ended up getting a divorce. However, they do still remain close friends throughout the show.

It is this side of Rockmond Dunbar’s character that he said he had to look into a little bit more. It’s the one thing he talked about when asked if he had to research anything else for his part other than being an architect.

“Yeah, coming out at a late age,” he said. “I talked to a few friends. My friend Chris gave me the law of the land in how everything really goes and what to expect, and how it happened within his situation. And I tapped into that a little bit and regurgitated it.”