In his role as Florida Detective Jim Longworth on A&E’s Sunday drama “The Glades,” star Matt Passmore has to occasionally slap the cuffs on a suspect. Luckily, a real police officers are around to give him some pointers.
“I’m about to restrain a guy,” he tells Zap2it, talking in his trailer between scenes in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “take him out of the room and cuff him at the car. I ask, ‘What do you think?’ He’s like, ‘Do that walk I taught you, put him on the hood, take one arm over …'”
But Passmore has developed a handcuffing technique that’s very particular to his character.
“I like the sneaky cuff,” he says, “which is very Longworth. It’s like, you’re being cuffed before you know it. He’s got a little bit of that ‘Columbo’ thing. He’s not that cop that stands right over you, ‘Where were you the night of the murder?’
“He’ll be talking about how your dog died, and the next thing you know, you’re headed toward the interrogation room.”
Asked if he actually cuffs the other actor or just fakes it, Passmore says, “As always, with everything, it depends on the show. Cuffing is always the most dangerous part of an arrest, so it can never be done in a flippant way. Any cop will tell you. That’s when you’re hands-on, physical, with a suspect. Anything can happen.
“So, straightaway, I started cuffing, and they went, ‘No, no, no, stop trying to do it so fast. You’ve got one arm cuffed, ask them for their other arm …,’ all this sort of thing. Then, of course, you take all this fantastic knowledge, you get into the scene, and the director’s like, ‘No, we’ve got to get it done in a second.'”
Sometimes the other actor gets a bit too much into his role.
“There have been a few wrigglers,” says Passmore. “But the good thing is, the cops not only teach you cuffing, but they teach you some nice armbars.
“I’ve stepped on a few necks, a few knees, a few backs. When I started [learning] that, I said [to the real police officer], ‘I could reach around and hit you.’ He said, ‘Let me show you how I really do it.’ Hitting or reaching around was the last thing on my mind. All I saw was blinding pain.
“I said, ‘Now, I get it. That’s why it’s called restraining.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, the more you wriggle, the more I’m gong to twist your wrist.’ ‘Oh, that makes sense.'”