MURRAY — The year 2020 was supposed to have been a big year for Calloway County resident Rick Bucy when it came to his acting career.
Three projects of particular interest were on his docket, but, like so many things, they were put on the back burner due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that still did not mean that Bucy was exactly devoid of projects, one of which had him returning to a familiar group.
“I have been doing auditions since about August in New Orleans. I’ve had a couple of them,” Bucy said of his ventures to The Big Easy to participate in filmed tryouts for the popular CBS crime drama “NCIS New Orleans,” on which he has appeared before. However, it was a much different experience than past times with this group.
“So you show up on Monday and they’re not going to film until Thursday or Friday because they want you to do a COVID test (and wait for results). So you sit there in the hotel room a few days and wait until it’s time. Then you show up on the set and they check your temperature and do all of the other checks they have to do (including checking for any symptoms), then you film and then you’re done and you drive back and you’ve been gone a whole week (where as, before the pandemic, his stay in New Orleans was not as long).”
Bucy said on “NCIS New Orleans” he gets along well with star Scott Bakula (who plays the lead character, Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Pride), as well as one of the other main characters, actor Lucas Black (Special Agent Christopher LaSalle).
“If you look on my Facebook page, I still have the picture that was taken of me with them as my profile pic,” Bucy said of the “NCIS: New Orleans” tandem. He played an agent with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in previous appearances on the show and that was the role for which he was auditioning in 2020.
“Scott and Luke? Yeah, they know me, and it is fun when we’re doing work on the set. You just never know.”
Bucy said he believes that, eventually, the audition films he has made in New Orleans will find their way into episodes.
Bucy was a longtime police officer in his native Florida before he returned to the Murray area, where he was born and raised. He said that background helps with making him an attractive choice to play parts that involve that subject.
However, as the years have progressed, Bucy has become more and more proficient with the work that is exhibited behind the scenes.
“It’s interesting. When I go on set and someone says, ‘OK, reset the one,’ I know what that means, and I think that does make a difference,” he said. “They like having easy people to work with on the set, and now that I’ve been doing some of that stuff myself, it seems to help me with getting these roles.
“You just never know with this. My agent is also trying to plug me for the folks that do ‘Blue Bloods (another CBS crime drama that stars Tom Selleck as the commissioner or the New York City Police Department).’
The recent holiday season saw Bucy’s production, “The Christmas Reunion,” receive airplay on selected cable television channels.
“And that is good. I was one of the co-producers on that one, so I’m getting some money back,” he said.
It was also in August that Bucy went to nearby Nashville, Tennessee and filmed a commercial for the Virgin Resorts enterprise of British billionaire Richard Branson. He also recently returned to the Nashville area for a project he said is about as easy and enjoyable an activity that he participates in, voiceovers.
“Anytime I have a chance to do a voiceover, it’s something I look forward to,” he said, discussing his latest project, a presentation of the Great Depression years for Tennessee State University. “I love those. They’re easy, quick and you make good money. Two years ago, I did one for the City of Nashville (for a political advertisement) and that was on both TV and radio.
“I also recently got a voiceover gig for a project called ‘A Night at the White House,’ and that was a comedy musical spoof of the political atmosphere.I think it was kind of modeled after the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers, so I’ve got a few things that have kept me grinding.”
There is one other project on which Bucy is keeping a particularly close watch. This is a 10-episode series that he is executive producing called “Necessary Evil” that returns to his strength — law enforcement. It is being prepared for streaming service giant Netflix and it is much closer to being ready for showing than the other two projects, both with another streaming service standout, Amazon Prime.
“It’s already filmed and is in post-production and editing,” Bucy said of ‘Necessary Evil.’ “I play a detective who is actually trying to root out evil from his department. It turns out that the mayor comes in, fires the police chief and makes me interim chief and I’ve got a bunch of bad cops to deal with. It’s pretty intense.
“But it’s in post-production and has got some color correcting still needing to do and they’ve already got the soundtrack for it.”
Bucy said, at this point, it appears “Necessary Evil” could begin airing in 2022, but the pandemic’s progress, as is the case with the other projects that were supposed to have arrived in 2020, will determine its path.
“Who knows what’s going to happen?” he said.