Grew up… tough. Hailing from an Irish Catholic household in the heart of NYC, Tommy’s father Michael Gavin was a quintessential hard-drinking firefighter. It’s a career path that Tommy has followed without question.
Living… across the street from his estranged wife in Queens. The separation is recent, and Tommy has no intention of letting it stick.
Profession… firefighter. Tommy has been running into burning buildings for 18 years, and is the “Senior Man” on Ladder 62 of the FDNY. There’s never been a doubt in Tommy’s mind that he was born to be a firefighter, and even his family’s persistent pleas to find a safer line of work do nothing to deter him from risking his life. As Tommy puts it, “This ain’t a job, it ain’t an occupation, it’s a calling.”
Interests… booze, sex, talking to ghosts, fires, and fatherhood. Tommy is torn between self-destructive tendencies birthed by the trauma of being a first responder at 9/11, and his desire to be a good husband and father to his wife and four kids. A debatably “high-functioning” alcoholic, Tommy spends most of his time drinking or cleaning up the trouble he made the last time he crawled into the bottle.
Relationship status… married, kind of. Tommy recently separated from his wife and high school sweetheart, Janet Gavin. No one has signed any divorce papers and nothing is official yet, but the split is serious enough that Tommy has moved into his own house across the street. To make things even more complicated Tommy finds himself drawn to Shelia Keefe – the widow of his deceased firefighter cousin and best friend Jimmy Keefe, and the only person who seems to understand Tommy’s intense grief at Jimmy’s death on 9/11.
Challenge… dealing with life, basically. You name a problem, Tommy’s probably got it. Grief, addiction, walls of flame, and a disintegrating family are just the most obvious issues in the life of Tommy Gavin. His problems are constant, unpredictable, and often self-inflicted. He wants to reconcile with his wife, Janet, and put his life together the way it was before 9/11, but before he can do that he has to defeat a veritable army of personal demons. If Tommy can put the past behind him and kick his addiction he might just have a chance – but until then he can expect to face just about every dilemma under the sun.
Personality… crude, tough, and cynical. On the exterior Tommy is a classic tough guy. He’s respected by his fellow fire fighters as a fearless and selfless leader, and he never hesitates to risk his life for strangers. However, his unflappable exterior hides a deeply haunted man. Tommy is wracked with survivor’s guilt by the death of his cousin during 9/11, and tries to drown this grief in a torrent of cheap whiskey and vodka. This has pushed away his family, driving him deeper into depression and isolation. In his broken state, Tommy struggles to be a decent father and is fiercely protective of his children, wife, and friends – although it’s questionable if he knows what’s best for them.
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