Guest Author - Cheril Vernon
As the wife of an extreme interventionist and recovering heroin addict, life isn’t always picture-perfect.
In the new A&E series The Cleaner, debuting July 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Amy Price-Francis(Californication) stars as Melissa Banks, wife of extreme interventionist Williams “The Cleaner’ Banks (Benjamin Bratt).
“Melissa Banks is a mom of two kids who works as well. She’s trying to keep it all together while dealing with a husband who is a recovering addict,” Price-Francis said during a telephone interview.
But her husband’s unconventional job is 24/7 and often takes precious time away from his family.
“While it’s a heroic endeavor, he still has a wife and kids who feel left behind,” Price-Francis said. “It’s as if he has replaced one fix for another.”
Being the television wife of Bratt has its perks though.
“It’s a dream — an absolute dream. I was at the dog park the other day talking to some ladies and we started talking about what we do. When I said that I worked on the show and told them that Benjamin was my co-star, they wanted to know if I got to kiss him. Yes, I get to kiss Benjamin Bratt. What a terrific job,” Price-Francis said. “ But really, he’s a very skilled, talented actor. He’s a genuine, lovely person and a lovely soul.”
More than anything, Price-Francis hopes the series will be meaningful to its audience.
“If it opens up any kind of dialogue about addiction, I think that is good, or at least an open awareness,” she said. “Addiction doesn’t care what color your skin is, how old you are or where you live. William deals with all kinds of people and their families and the loved ones are affected. Even if it only helps someone in a small way, it would be worth it.”
Based on the true story of an interventionist, Price-Francis said she is amazed when she thinks about it.
“This was this man’s life,” she said.
The Banks’ children on the show are Ben, almost 16 (Brett DelBuono, Balls of Fury) and Lula, 13, (Liliana Mumy, Cheaper by the Dozen).
“Both are just terrific actors — they are a delight to work with,” Price-Francis said.
Price-Francis mostly recently starred as Meredith on Showtime’s Californication with David Duchovny, though she’s played numerous roles on other television series including Big Shots, K-Ville and Shark.
“I want people to watch The Cleaner. I think they will be able relate to it, because it’s not just about addiction, but also about marriage and family,” Price-Francis said.