Interview: Titus Welliver opens up about Bosch

Titus Welliver opens up about Bosch

DIY spoke to Welliver about just why he’d be happy to play Harry for years to come.

Michael Connelly’s hugely successful series of novels about LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch come to life in Amazon Prime Video show, Bosch.

Season Two is exclusively available now to Amazon Prime Video customers and sees Titus Welliver star as Harry Bosch, back on the job after a leave of absence. Jamie Hector (Jerry Edgar), Amy Aquino (Lt. Grace Billets), Sarah Clarke (Eleanor Wish), Madison Lintz (Maddie Bosch) and Lance Reddick (Deputy Chief Irvin Irving) return for the second season with Jeri Ryan joining the cast.

DIY spoke to Welliver about Season Two of Bosch and just why he’d be happy to play Harry for years to come.

Where do we find Harry Bosch at the start of Season Two?
When we open in the second season Harry is called back to work after a six month suspension. He’s literally been off the job for six months and so it’s somewhat left to the imagination of the audience as to what he’s been doing in that time. I think the question is what has happened with Harry in that time. On a personal level I think the idea that the Waits character was able to get that female hostage between the two of them when Harry comes to arrest Waits. That would kind of keep him up at night, he was sort of obsessed. So my thought is that Harry would probably go to the range and practise with his pistol more and more and he stopped smoking so we find him jogging. Not even really jogging but doing something that a person who would run wouldn’t do, we find him running up the Hollywood hills which is on some level kind of punishing.

When we come back Harry is still the same guy but I think he’s had an opportunity to be somewhat reflective and realise that maybe he wants to pull his elbows in a bit. So he makes his best effort to do that. But we don’t find a more subdued Harry because ultimately as things unfold in front of him he is a creature of habit. He comes back and goes to work and is immediately assigned a homicide case in which the body of a pornographer is found in the trunk of his car. What we find out is that this man is laundering money for the Armenian/Russian mob and so Harry goes up against the mob. So obviously rather than when he’s rubbing up against the sort of standard fare criminal you’re dealing with a highly organised group of people that don’t respect the code of law and order. It’s very high stakes, much higher stakes than the previous season.

We’ll be seeing Harry back in Vegas again consulting with his ex-wife Eleanor (Sarah Clarke). Can you tell us a little more of that relationship?
His work takes him there and he’s still kind of reacquainting himself with his daughter, he’s still navigating the awkwardness of trying to be a dad. He and Eleanor have a good relationship but they’re divorced so I have to sort of say: “Well if it was that good they would have stayed married!” But they’re both trying to kind of navigate each other and be considerate of each other and fall into the sort of old traps of their relationship. But some things occur that kind of places them in a position where the stakes are incredibly high. It’s hard enough when you’re co-parenting a child, that’s the most important thing in your life and then when you throw obstacles in that mix it becomes difficult and trying and sort of frightening. I think their relationship by the end of the season is stronger.

Jeri Ryan has joined the cast for Season Two…
She’s amazing. Jeri and I worked together years ago when I did a season finale and opener of Voyager. She brings a gravitas and I think it’s a different character than anyone’s seen Jeri do before. So on that personal level I’m excited for her because she hits it out of the park. She’s really great and it’s a very complex character and very integral to the season. She’s a pretty formidable character, she dances well with Bosch. And Brent Sexton is on this season, he’s an old mate of mine. We did Deadwood together many years ago and we did a kind of silly show called That’s Life before that. That’s where Brent and I met and became friends. He’s one of these great actors, he’s phenomenal and is incapable of telling a lie and is marvellous to watch and great to work with.

Obviously when you’re working with people that you have a relationship with the work is going to be better than normal. There are so many characters that have come in, a lot of really wonderful actors who grace us with their presence and their skills. I’m excited for the show to come out. That’s the hardest part about doing anything because you want to be able to talk about it but you don’t want to spoil anything. What I can assure you is if people enjoyed the first season then they will really be more than fulfilled by what we’ve accomplished in the second season. I think it’s really strong. Powerful acting, great writing. They chose 3 really good books this season; Trunk Music; The Drop and The Last Coyote.

Bosch came through Amazon’s pilot scheme where the viewers vote for the pilot that they want to see made into a full season. Did this add some pressure or did you feel the opposite, that fans had already given their seal of approval and you could relax more knowing that they were already on board with the show?
Anytime you adapt material that’s already had an enormous fanbase is a daunting task because you’re never gonna please everyone. You just can’t. I think that this group of people nobody’s going to rest on their laurels just based on the enormous success of the books I think it’s a fait accompli that we’re gonna get picked up. I think we’re optimistic that we will continue and do this for many years. Michael [Connelly] continues to write the books. There’s a latest book, The Crossing, and Harry’s just retired and it’s a team up with his half brother, the Mickey Haller character. So we have tonnes of material. It’s not really nerve wracking because I think anytime you’re gonna subject that which you put out there to the scrutiny of an audience that’s kind of the contract right? If you’re too anxious or overwhelmed by those that will not embrace you then why do it at all? It’s a good lead knowing you’ve got strong material and you can execute it well because you have an incredibly string group of writer’s, Michael included, adapting this material from the books. They’ve very masterfully done it. To weave those three books together into one, ten episode season is really quite a task and they’ve done it really well.

Harry is a multi-dimensional character, he isn’t one note. So presumably you would be happy to play him for a few years?
Yeah, without question. I say Harry’s like an aquarium, there’s always something going on. There are certain things that remain consistent within his personality. When you have a character who really believes that closure is a myth and that there is really, because of the business that he’s in, there’s no closure, he is the advocate for the victim. All that he ultimately does is there’s resolution of a case but the emotional aspect of that loss is that there really is no closure. People just have to navigate the loss and learn to live with it and Harry seeks justice. He’s a guy who I would say evolves to a certain degree but he’s also kind of a dinosaur. Harry is a guy who’s very set in his ways, he’s an old school cop, the technology of computers and the whole notion of CSI and that stuff…he’s still a guy who believes in: “Get off your ass and knock on doors,” it’s about investigation. It’s not that he’s resistant to it, he is somewhat adaptable to that but I think at the end of the day he is of the mind set the way you do these things is by being relentless and that’s what he is. This is a guy who takes nothing for granted, he’s a grinder.

As I said, Harry at this point in the series of books Harry has retired after many years on the force and Michael still continues because that character just has so much life in him and so much to do even though he’s retired there’s stuff that’s always pulling him back because it’s an integral part of who he is.

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