'911': Peter Krause on Exploring Bobby's Heartbreaking Backstory

The actor tells The Hollywood Reporter of exploring his character's past, "It was the first time since 'Six Feet Under' I've had to carry that much emotional weight."

After spending years with his characters on Six Feet Under and Parenthood, Peter Krause made a careful choice when deciding to join Ryan Murphy's procedural 911.

For the actor, the decision stemmed from a conversation he had with the show's co-creator to push the needle beyond the current crop of procedurals on the small screen.

"He wanted 911 to drive, to move and be different from other procedural shows, and have humor and romance, and that's what you see," Krause tells The Hollywood Reporter during the latest episode of In Studio, adding, "I love the end result on the show. It's really hard work on 911, but what we end up with, it's a superior product."

Krause says bringing the stories of first responders to light has always been a priority during each performance. "The hours that they have to keep, the number of hours they have to be awake and do what they have to do, it's a difficult job. Any time we're experiencing difficulty on set, all of us always remind each other that this isn't the real deal. Even though this is a difficult acting job, this doesn't even come close," says Krause. 

As for feedback he's heard first-hand, the actor says, "They understand that it's television, but they enjoy all the elements of the show, the fact that their lives — not just their heroic moments, but their lives — are explored, the difficulty that they have with certain things."

It was a conversation he had at the beginning of the series that was front-of-mind for the actor as the show approach Bobby's heartbreaking backstory this season. Says Krause, "The first season there was a fire captain down in Long Beach that I became friendly with who talked to me about the story about my character and his inner life, and he had just lost a friend of his in the past couple of years to suicide. I was surprised to find out how many first responders end up taking their lives. It's startling."

And with Bobby's arc revealing the devastating loss of his family, Krause says it's the first time he's had to carry "that much emotional weight" since his days on Six Feet Under

Admits Krause, "Certainly, I had to do some on Parenthood, but when we go back with Bobby and we see him lose his children and lose his wife, those were difficult scenes to shoot."

And it recalls the initial conversation he had with Murphy when deciding to sign on to the series. Says Krause, "Ryan laid it out for me when I met him. That was part of it, was that he had this loss in his past, this hole that will never be filled no matter what."

As for whether or not he thinks Bassett's Athena will be able to fill that hole in Bobby's life, Krause reveals, "Over time we're going to see that Bobby can heal and that helps give the audience hope for people who've gone through really difficult things and have difficult losses in their lives. That's what that character is for, is that life does go on and you can go on. It may take time, but you really do in life heal through positive relationships." 

With so much more to come on the series, watch Krause's full interview above where he talks in depth about the current season and teases what's to come.