‘The Rookie’s Eric Winter: Bradford Will Explore Dating In Season 2 — He ‘Wants To Get Back Out There’

Bradford is a tough guy to crack on 'The Rookie,' but season 2 will pull back the layers on the strict TO. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Eric Winter about what's next for Bradford, his dynamic with Chen, and more.

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The beginning of The Rookie season 2 was quite the roller coaster for Bradford. The end of last season left fans with a major cliffhanger about Bradford’s fate, but he came in with the epic save right when his team needed him the most. When we first met Bradford in season 1, fans learned there was so much more underneath that tough-as-nails exterior. Bradford’s wife Isabel was a drug addict and he tried to help her in any way that he could. She eventually entered rehab and their marriage came to an end. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Eric Winter about Bradford’s arc in season 2.

“I think we’re seeing in this second season a lot more of Bradford trying to learn how to move on and pick up the pieces,” Eric told HollywoodLife. “He’s still a hard ass. He still pushes Chen in every angle he can. But we’re going to see that side of Bradford come out where he’s putting his life back together. He wants to get back out there, and we’re going to explore dating with him, which is going to be fun with love interests and all that. I think he starting to in this season really gain more and more respect for Chen. He’s starting to really see that she’s coming along. She’s making the right decisions. He’s still going to keep testing her, but she has a great moment and a great win a few episodes that are going to surprise a lot of people. It’s going to be very funny when that happens.”

Bradford and Chen’s dynamic remains one of the best parts about The Rookie. There’s that intense and fun push-pull between them that never gets old. As season 2 moves forward, that dynamic will continue and evolve. “There’s still so much of that great push and pull that we had in season 1 and I would say it even ups a notch in season 2 with some really great, fun banter and a lot of humor. In a way, she’s learning how to cope with my style and the way I still treat her. In the first season, I think it came off so hard and tough. In the second season, with the more strength and confidence she has in dealing with Bradford, you’re seeing so much more humor in it now. That trust and that respect that she’s earned from him really start to unfold as we get into him trying to get back out there and love interests and some of the cases that come up and the way he’s handling things in his personal life. Chen is there for him. I think that Bradford-Chen dynamic and relationship is something that everyone wants to see explored further. What is it? I know a lot of people are like, ‘There’s so much chemistry between Bradford and Chen. What is it? Is it platonic? Is it friendship? What is it?’ I think that’s what is going to be interesting, how they layer that in and how to continue to explain it throughout season 2.”

Eric has loved exploring all of the facts of Bradford and looks forward to continuing that in the episodes to come. “It’s been a great opportunity as an actor,” Eric continued. “The writers really shaped him well. He was very defined in season one. He’s definitely a hardass. He’s definitely got a tough outer shell. He has walls. As you’d see in those moments with Isabel last season, he has a lot of heart and he really cares about the people that are close to him. He cares about his job and he cares about his fellow officers, which is why he’s such a hardass. We start to explore more of that this year, just talking about a little bit of his relationship with his father and why he’s a certain way that way. I think the weight of Isabel allows him to free up a little more, having all that pressure off of him. As he starts to come back out into the world of trying to find maybe a special someone again, you’re getting more of that glimpse of who he was. As an actor, to have all those layers and levels to toy with, it’s great. I’m nothing like Bradford in real life, so for me, it’s always fun being something totally different.”

The actor recently worked with his wife, actress Roselyn Sanchez, on the Hallmark movie A Taste of Summer. Eric revealed that he would love to see Roselyn show up on The Rookie at some point. “We’ve talked about it a bunch, and even our creator Alexi [Hawley] and I have talked about it,” Eric said. “I would love for them to find the right thing and for it to either be a fun guest star that’s a big integral part of the story for that episode, or if it’s an arc, it plays out over a few episodes. Something like that would be fun. We’re totally on board. I think Alexi and I really would love to have her. It’d be cool to make it happen.” The Rookie airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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