Dalton Ross
December 27, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

It was a busy season for Denis Leary on Rescue Me. He incited an on-ice brawl, had sex with his dead cousin’s widow, paid his godson to terrorize a man dating his estranged wife, and drank himself daffy while arguing with a ghost. ”I’m not a romantic comedy kind of guy,” he deadpans. ”As a filmgoer, it doesn’t interest me; as a writer, I can’t write that stuff. But I can write f—ed-up guys. I don’t know what that says about me.” Well, it says here that Leary possesses enough intensity and combustibility to inhabit his role as an agitated antihero on the first-year FX firefighting drama. In Tommy Gavin, Leary, 47, has created a character that hits hard and close to home (he lost a firefighter cousin to a 1999 blaze and several friends on 9/11). ”I’m not gonna say it’s easy…. It’s connected so deeply to things in my life, but also with friends that I based it on.” Doesn’t Leary worry about upsetting his blaze-battling buddies who don’t want the less flattering elements of their firehouses exposed? ”No, because I don’t give a f—.” And to think he says he’s not a romantic comedy kind of guy.

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