Hollywood star Titus Welliver talks about his role in Bosch!

2016-04-15 06:56

Cape Town - Titus Welliver plays the role of the charismatic homicide detective, Harry Bosch on the highly addictive Amazon detective series, Bosch.

With the premiere of season 2 of the show on Universal, Channel24 got the unique opportunity to chat to Titus about his role on the popular TV show.

Here's our quick chat with Titus:

There are a lot of detective shows available to viewers but why is this one so damn addictive? What’s the secret?

I think the show is addictive in the same way as Michael Connelly’s books are very addictive. There are a lot of twists in Bosch.

For me, I’m a person that likes to read and will read at night before I go to sleep.  I realised very quickly after attempting to read one of the Bosch books at night, I was up until 03:30 in the morning because I kept moving to the next chapter wanting to know what was going to happen.  So I have to either read those books on the seclusion of a beach where I have no responsibilities or on a plane where I have an uninterrupted period of time to read.

The structure of the show is very much like Michael’s books and when I look at our show I don’t really see it as being 10 episodes.

It feels more like 10 chapters of a book. So I think it lends itself very naturally to the notion of binge watching. Just like the experience in a book you can read as many chapters as you want at a time or as few as you like. Some people really saver books, others plough through them.  So obviously if I’m reading a 560-page book about Winston Churchill I’m going to read a bit more academically, whereas when I’m reading the Bosch books or fiction, I read it for a degree of pleasure and will read it a bit faster.

If you met your character Harry Bosch in real life do you think you’d become friends or foes?

No, we would be good friends. We have similarities, neither one of us suffer fools. We are both good people and we are men that love their children without measure. I like Harry, he’s a good guy. We would definitely be mates.

Do you have a process for getting into character before filming starts?

Well typically you have a bit more time and I didn’t have that luxury when I was cast in Bosch. It was very much on the fast track. I was finishing Transformers and getting back to the States from Hong Kong and I literally had a day to get over the jetlag.

Then two days later we jumped into shooting. So what I did was to read the books and obviously read the script to know who the character was. I typically do my research as much as possible or as much as necessary and then I kind of just jump in and that was kind of the process with Harry.

I didn’t do the ride-along with police officers, I’ve played a fair amount of cops before so I have pre-existing relationships with detectives in the LAPD and NYPD, and sort of all over with guys in the military. Fortunately, that information was in my brain already from previous experiences so it was really about reading the books and getting an understanding of who Harry really was.

It was sort of trial by fire and I had Michael Connelly there, which was obviously valuable, so I could always spit ball ideas off of him or check in with him. He created a shorthand in the process of shooting the pilot where I would sort of peer over at the playback monitor and look for a nod or a head shake, and I knew I was in the right direction.

How do you memorise all those lines and police jargon?

Because of the schedule, I get 30 minutes to an hour break in the daytime for lunch, and so I sit down with a plate of food and sequester myself in my trailer and I just sit down and learn my material for the next day.

I learn it by rote because the days are very long and you work between 14 to 16 hour days, and I know myself well enough that if I work all day and then go home and try to learn the material when I’m exhausted, I’m not going to retain it.

And so I’ve had a process that I have done for years and it’s worked for me where it’s just a process of repetition and once I’ve learned the lines then I’m fine. The thing is, I’ve played this character now for 20 episodes. I know who he is so it really comes down to absorbing the material and dialogue so that I can just jump in the next day and do it. You know it’s daunting; people ask me that question but the truth is I’ve got a system that seems to work so I don’t question it.

Are you more Miami Vice or Starsky & Hutch?

In all honesty, neither one. I watched a little bit of Miami Vice but Starsky & Hutch was one that I never really got into. I liked the blue night police story things that were a little bit more grounded in reality and less flashy, although I understand completely how iconic those shows were in pop culture.

I mean, Miami Vice implemented passion and music with a whole different sort of style, a visual style, and I appreciate that a great deal. There were a lot of really great actors on that show so I have respect and appreciation for it. I don’t actually think I owned a television set in the 1980’s to my recollection, so whatever television I saw I was typically watching at someone else’s house.

Apart from Harry which other character in the series is one of your favourites?

I really like Deputy Chief Irving, Lance Reddick’s character. He’s another multi-faceted character. It hard to say I have a favourite because they are all in service to the telling of the story, and for personal reasons, because I love the cast that I work with, you know Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino and Jeri Ryan.

Jeri Ryan and I have known each other for years and have worked together. Brent Sexton and I have worked together on That’s Life and then on Deadwood. So it’s a very great group of actors that I get to go on and work with. So it’s kind of like saying who’s your favourite character from Star Wars, although actually that’s a little easier for me because I always go right to, to both effects, the character that has the least amount of screen time. I think like everybody else, because they are the most mysterious and illusive, we’re drawn to them.

We’ve heard a rumour that season 2 is going to be even more gripping than the first! Please say this is true? What can we expect from the second season?

In season two we find Harry after a six-month suspension for throwing his captain through a window at the station, and he is called back to work on a case in which they find a pornographer/money launderer for the Armenian Russian mafia.

As Harry returns to work, I think with the idea that he is going to try and keep in his elbows a little bit, he comes up against bureaucracy and people that don’t do their jobs well, and good old Harry sort of emerges. He is less mellow that he was before.

He catches that case, which puts him squarely at odds with the mafia, obviously a bit more of formidable foe than dealing with a one-on-one criminal situation.

Bosch airs every Wednesday on Universal Channel (DStv 117) at 20:50. 

(Photo: Supplied)

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