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Wingman Wednesday

Juliet Landau

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Photographer: Deverill Weekes/Makeup & Hair: Shanna Cistulli/Stylist: Rebecca Penton

Growing up, film and television became an outlet for Juliet Landau. By immersing herself in the lives of those characters that she followed on screen, the former “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” star felt less alone in the world. It’s why she became an actress, and now, a filmmaker.

Her directorial debut, “A Place Among the Dead,” has been receiving rave reviews at private screenings around the world, but before it reaches the masses, she will be joining the cast of “Bosch” in Season 5, which is available now on Amazon Prime.

We recently sat down with Landau to discuss joining the well-oiled “Bosch” machine, how a single line can become the core mantra of a character, and why her directorial debut “A Place Among the Dead” has proven to be so personal to both herself and audiences.

TrunkSpace: We previously sat down with a number of your “Bosch” costars including Lance Reddick and Amy Aquino. Are there nerves involved when joining a series that already has an established on-set tone? Does it take some time to discover where your place is among that existing groove?
Landau: It’s wonderful to come onto a set that runs like a well-oiled machine. It’s a family of extremely talented people, who engender being creative and collaborative. This is how it is on the “Bosch” set. Everyone in the cast and crew loves what they do and is excited by the show they are making. I loved the working experience and I made genuine, lifelong friends. Also, I was so fascinated and invested in Rita Tedesco, the character I play, that I didn’t think about anything else, including being nervous. I was deeply engaged in the idea of bringing her story to life.

TrunkSpace: Is there something kind of exciting about joining an established series that has a loyal fan base behind it, knowing that there will be eyeballs on it when it airs?
Landau: Yes! Sometimes, you play a character in an Indie you believe in, but it’s a roll of the dice. You don’t know how many people will see it. It is similar to when you play a part in a black box theater because touching even a small audience is profound. It’s nice when there’s a passionate fan base. I’ve experienced this from the Buffyverse and from Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” and even from a black box theater experience, which stimulated massive repeat viewership! Now I’ve been engaging with fans of the “Bosch” series and books, which has been fabulous! It’s easy to get bewitched by “Bosch.” Harry is a character we all wish really existed. He has an unwavering moral compass. As it turns out, my eyeballs will be seeing Season 5 at the same time as everyone else’s! What I do know from the scripts and the shoot, is that Season 5, like 1 through 4, rocks!

TrunkSpace: In the series you’re playing a court reporter who will have a secret teased out over the course of the season. Without giving too much away, what were you most excited about in terms of tackling Rita?
Landau: Rita had a hold on me from the first line I read on the page. I immediately became intrigued by the dichotomy of her life, by the risks she’s willing to take and the price she is paying. I delved into a ton of research about the secret part of her life, which I can’t divulge yet, but I can say it is one of the most interesting paths I’ve explored as an actress. Sometimes, a certain line becomes almost the core mantra of the character. With Rita, there were a few because she has the persona she shares with the world and a very different private persona. I learned a lot, even from the practical, court reporter aspect.

TrunkSpace: “Bosch” found a home with Amazon and built up a loyal fan base through the streaming platform. Netflix. Hulu. CBS All Access. The list goes on and on. As an actress, how has the popularity of streaming platforms changed the industry for you? Are there more opportunities now because there is more of a need for content?
Landau: The landscape has certainly changed and continues to do so at lightening speed. There are more opportunities. It is especially nice for actors and creators, when streaming services use their platforms for character-driven material.

Landau with Johnny Depp in “Ed Wood.”

TrunkSpace: Aside from your on-screen work, you’re also a writer, director and producer. Does this “content is king” world that we currently live in impact the Juliet who wears those hats?
Landau: It does and in a positive way. I love having an idea and taking it from inception to completion. Generating content is a two-way street. It’s about opening a dialogue with your audience. I became an actress and now a filmmaker, as a way to connect and communicate. Growing up, movies and TV made me feel less alone. They helped me process things I was grappling with and gave an outlet for my feelings. Like the adage, “If you build it, they will come,” if you craft a powerful story, whether it be drama or comedy, content is king and there will be viewership for it.

TrunkSpace: Your film “A Place Among the Dead” is extremely personal for you. Does that closeness to the material make it harder to relinquish control and release it into the world, or is it easier to see it off because you’re eager to share it?
Landau: I’m eager to share it. My husband, Deverill and I, have put a lot of passion and work into the process. It’s been an incredible journey. “A Place Among the Dead” is about the repercussions of growing up under the sway of narcissism and evil. It questions, if you come from evil, will you continue to go towards the dark side in life, or can you make a change and go towards the light?

I chose to make my directorial feature debut penetratingly personal, to invite the viewer to do the same. As they say, the more personal, the more universal. As I touched on earlier, all great work provokes conversation and can even provide healing. This is the stuff I am after with this movie.

It’s scripted as a meld of fact, fiction and the fantastical. I play an alter-ego version of myself, as do the following actors who have what I like to call, “cameos on steroids”: Gary Oldman, Ron Perlman, Robert Patrick, Lance Henriksen, Joss Whedon (my old boss from Buffy) and Anne Rice, appearing for the first time ever in a film.

TrunkSpace: What was the most enjoyable aspects of your “A Place Among the Dead” journey thus far? What made all of the blood, sweat and tears worth it?
Landau: We recently held in-house screenings and this has been the most exciting part! The response has been so powerful and beautiful. It’s everything we’d hoped our special movie would illicit. We did one for a theater full of young people from the Midwest. They were inspired and galvanized by the film. The Q & A was electric. They kept asking if their teacher had told us the inner thoughts they’d confided in him and if that’s why he brought them to see the picture. He didn’t even know what the movie was about and of course, hadn’t shared their private affairs!

We held three other sneak-peek screenings in LA, London, and NY, which included industry notables such as Rian Johnson (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), David Greenwalt (“Grimm”), Jim Kouf (“National Treasure”), Jodie Foster (“Money Monster”), David Grossman (“12 Monkeys” TV series), April Webster (“Star Trek Beyond”), Eryn Krueger Mekash (“Ratched,” “American Crime Story”) and many more!

The entire audience, many who came out crying, stayed to talk about the film unprovoked for an hour and a half afterwards. Every time discussing the nature of evil, their experiences with it, their own childhoods, their parenting, their unhealthy relationships, the voices in their heads which drive them, and the times they’ve ignored red flags. I truly have never experienced anything like the cascade of intensely personal stories shared at a movie before.

TrunkSpace: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a phenomenon and would be extremely difficult to replicate in any time period, but certainly today because audiences are more segmented than ever. When you first stepped foot onto that set, could you have ever envisioned you’d still be approached by fans eager to discuss the series 20 years later?
Landau: I did know that we were making something special. I knew Joss Whedon’s voice was exceptional and that Drusilla was a unique and complex role. The day I was cast, Sarah (Michelle Gellar) was on the cover of TV Guide for Buffy for the first time, so I felt that there was a bit of a ground swell starting to stir, but I had no idea about the impact and longevity. Also, when you are shooting, you kind of are in this little bubble of creativity. You are having your experience and what happens after it airs, is everyone else’s.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Landau: I am very excited about everything happening now, both as an actress and as a director. Deverill and I are in the midst of working on another project called “The Undead Series.” Envision Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” This is “Vampires In Coffins Getting Blood!” All of the people who worked with us on “A Place Among the Dead” came back to work with us again. We have 26 additional interviews including Willem Dafoe, Tim Burton, Nathan Fillion, and oh, I have to mention some of the comic book talents we have since you may want to know! They include Steve Niles (“30 Days of Night”), Marv Wolfman (“Tomb of Dracula,” “Blade”), Georges Jeanty (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Superman”) Also for “A Place Along the Dead” we use Mark McHaley’s artwork (“X-Files”) and our composer Monica Richards is married to Steve Niles. He actually plays some guitar in the score!

We’re in prelim talks with a few of the biggie distributors on these two projects. The interest and momentum is exciting, but what’s most important is meeting everyone to decide the right home for our babies!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Landau: It ‘s funny cause we ask a similar question in a way to each of our interviewees in “The Undead Series.” We ask if they would choose eternal life if they could. The answers are compelling. Hmm… A time machine… N
o, I just want to be in the present, experiencing the journey as it unfolds. There’s enough to relish that way!

Season 5 of “Bosch” is available now on Amazon Prime!

For more information on the future release of “A Place Among the Dead” and “The Undead Series,” follow Landau at Twitter and/or Instagram.

Featured Image By
Photographer: Deverill Weekes/Makeup & Hair: Shanna Cistulli/Stylist: Rebecca Penton

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Wingman Wednesday

Lance Reddick

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Reddick in “Bosch”

Somewhere between enigmatic badass and low key scene stealer. That’s the vibe Lance Reddick gives off every time he appears on screen. A favorite of ours since his days as John Basil in the HBO prison drama “Oz,” he has built a career on making smart choices in smart projects, including series like “Fringe,” “Bosch” and the “The Wire,” a show that altered the television landscape and continues to build on its audience a decade after its finale. On the film side, he has given life to one of the most interesting characters in the “John Wick” franchise, Charon, the concierge at the hitman-geared hotel, and although he’s coy when asked, it is our hope that the character will return in the episodic continuation of the world when “The Continental” arrives on Starz in the near future.

Most recently the Maryland native can be seen as the over-the-top CEO Christian DeVille on Comedy Central’s “Corporate,” which rounds out its first season tonight. (A second season has already been ordered.) We recently sat down with Reddick to discuss career expectations, the draw of comedy, and how he has continued to benefit from the popularity of “The Wire.”

TrunkSpace: Regardless of the project or the size of the role itself, even when the character is by his very nature subdued (such as the case with Charon in the “John Wick” franchise), you always stand out – your work always memorable. As you look over your career as a whole, has it gone the way that you had hoped? Has it met or exceeded any expectations you may have had for yourself when you set out to pursue a career as an actor?
Reddick: Well, actually no. I always had grand plans for what I thought my career would be. I thought, “Well I should be this famous by this age and have that amount of money by that age and win these awards by this other age,” etc… but I am reminded of watching television when I was in high school and seeing Joseph Maxwell Cleland, who was the Administrator of Veterans Affairs for President Carter at the time. He is a disabled Vietnam veteran. And he told the story of “The Blessings Of Unanswered Prayers,” attributed to an unknown confederate soldier. And the ending says, “I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.” That is where I feel my career has lead me to at this point, both professionally and artistically.

TrunkSpace: The first season of “Corporate” is just about to wrap up, with a second season already picked up by Comedy Central. You’re also on “Bosch” at Amazon, which is not only about to kick off Season 4, but has also been renewed for a fifth season. Is it a bit of an emotional gift for an actor to have these kinds of early renewals and commitments on projects that you’re involved in?
Reddick: I haven’t thought about it as an emotional gift before, mainly because “Bosch” consistently tends to get early renewals and so I have been spoiled. But in looking back on my career, especially given how long HBO took to renew for seasons four and five of “The Wire,” yes, it is definitely a gift. It takes the pressure off of, “Do I have a job to come back to next year?”

TrunkSpace: Most viewers probably associate you and your work with projects of a more serious tone. Was part of the appeal of working on a project like “Corporate” the chance to get to show a less recognizable/serious side? Was the comedy element of “Corporate” part of the personal draw for you?
Reddick: Well, the fact that the role of Christian is such a scene chewing, over-the-top character in such a smart dark comedy was definitely a draw. But actually, I have been doing cool off-kilter comedic stuff for the past few years now. I’m sure part of the reason I was cast in “Corporate” is because of the “Toys R Me” skit I did for Funny Or Die several years ago. And then you never know where people are going to recognize you from. I recently met Tim Blake Nelson, and he greeted me by saying, “I wish I were LeVar Burton,” from a crazy skit I did on “The Eric Andre Show” a few years back. And I was on the elliptical machine in the gym a couple of years ago and a woman came up to me and asked me if I was the guy from the gay wedding advice “Key & Peele” skit.

TrunkSpace: Your character Christian DeVille is obviously fictional, but are there aspects of his personality that you plucked from personal experiences? Has there been a boss like Christian in your own life at some point in time?
Reddick: I wouldn’t say I’m anything like Christian as a personality. In preparing for the role I read the autobiography of billionaire Reginald F. Lewis, and read up on the personalities of psychopaths. Apparently in current thought on the subject of psychopaths, there is actually a scale on which everybody can be measured, and most corporate CEOs tend to score pretty high on that scale. I had a boss once who was an ex-combat soldier and clearly an intellectual genius. He was uber alpha, incredibly charismatic, extraordinarily competent, and a real dick. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t personal. It’s just the way he was.

TrunkSpace: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of this particular project strictly from a character standpoint? What is it about playing Christian that has you excited to delve back in for Season 2?
Reddick: The most fun for me about this character is how extreme he is and how well he is written. From script to script, I never know what outrageous things he will say or do in order to get what he wants.

TrunkSpace: As we mentioned, you’re also starring in “Bosch,” which is a show that is extremely popular, and yet, no one really knows how popular because it’s not like network television where viewership is revealed. Is there something nice about that, being involved in a project where the focus is on the art and not necessarily on the size of the audience tuning in?
Reddick: Yes, definitely. Working on HBO for so long (“The Corner,” “Oz,” “The Wire”) where ratings rarely seemed to be the focus of the discussion of how to write the stories or play the characters, I was spoiled into thinking that was just the way TV was. “Fringe” was my first experience of numbers affecting artistic decisions. And although it was a great show, that was a bit of a culture shock. So with “Bosch,” it’s great to only have to worry about doing great work.

Reddick with the cast of “Corporate”

TrunkSpace: Does it change the experience for you as a performer when a series like “Bosch” rolls out its new seasons all at once? Does the binging that comes along with present day content consumption make the season-to-season payoff shorter lived?
Reddick: Well, it is interesting that it’s almost like a movie premiere, the way dropping a series all at once affects viewing. But because my first experience as a series regular was “The Wire,” and because the unique way it found its truly world class audience was binging the DVDs, after the fact, I’ve kind of gotten used to that. And as a viewer, that’s how I watch everything now.

TrunkSpace: There’s so much talk about the quality of the content these days, particularly in television, but is the quantity just as exciting? Are there more interesting jobs out there now than ever before?
Reddick: Well, I think that the nature of the beast of much higher content forces higher levels of quality artistically to be greater to stay competitive, so a byproduct of that is going to be a lot more interesting jobs.

TrunkSpace: Is there a character, even someone you inhabited briefly in a guesting capacity, that you wish you had more time to spend with, and if so, why?
Reddick: Charon, in the “John Wick” series. Definitely want to explore that character more. But that’s an example of “we shall see.” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: “The Wire” remains one of the most revered series of all time and constantly makes the tops of any and all “Best Television Ever” lists. Is there something special about being involved in a series that not only left its mark when it first aired, but continues to do so?
Reddick: What can I say to that? How can I not feel honored to have played an iconic character, in a series that literally changed television history? And because the show has the unique trajectory of continuing to become more famous and revered the farther away we get from it, the benefits to my career continue to grow as well.

TrunkSpace: We mentioned “John Wick” at the start of our conversation. It’s been announced that a series is in the works. Will Charon be on duty for the series or will he be calling out sick?
Reddick: I have no idea. That’s another, “we shall see”… (Laughter)

The season finale of “Corporate” airs tonight on Comedy Central.

Season 4 of “Bosch” kicks off April 13 on Amazon Prime.

Featured image: Reddick in “Corporate”/Photo courtesy of Comedy Central

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Wingman Wednesday

Mark Rolston

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie “Glass Jaw,” chatting with the creative minds responsible for bringing the gritty drama to life. Arriving in select theaters and digital HD on Friday, the film is a story of redemption set in the world of boxing and stars Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Mark Rolston, Jaime Camil, Malcolm David Kelley, Vernon Wells and Steven Williams.

First up we’re chatting with Mark Rolston to discuss working in independent film, “Rocky” overtones, and what role he’d literally eat a shoe to return to.

TrunkSpace: “Glass Jaw” is not the first independent project you’ve worked on. As an actor, is there a bit of a leap of faith involved with signing on to work on an indie, not knowing when (or even if) a particular film will see the light of day?
Rolston: Well, in addition to “faith,” there is a lot of serendipity. I had been preparing for another film when the call came, so in addition to reading it first, I have to gauge what the character will require and ascertain whether I can pull it off. Of course, you never know what film will actually make it, but “Glass Jaw” had an atmosphere on set, and with Lee Kholafai and Korrina Rico being willing to fight for it; look where we are. Theatrical release is the icing.

TrunkSpace: What was it about “Glass Jaw” and the team behind it that gave you the confidence to jump into the work and take on the character Frank?
Rolston: Frank spoke to me the first time I read the script. I knew I could create a character. I didn’t hardly know anyone on the crew, but when I saw real professionals on set like Scott Eddo (Makeup and Hair) and Charlie Picerni (Stunt Coordinator), I knew the production was real.

TrunkSpace: When you first read the script for “Glass Jaw,” what was the initial draw for you in terms of wanting to be a part of the project? Was it the overall narrative? Was it the character? A combination of both?
Rolston: The script had a lot going for it. The dramatic tension was palpable. Of course, the narrative has “Rocky” overtones. But the story was unique with enough drama to sell it, to me anyway.

TrunkSpace: When it comes to independent films, is there more freedom for character discovery and trying out different ways of delivering lines or emotion within a scene, or does a limited budget mean a limited schedule and a breakneck pace that doesn’t allow for real time experimentation?
Rolston: Independents by nature allow for a lot of creativity, because you have to create on the spot and respect that you don’t have all day to shoot three pages; YOU HAVE TO SHOOT EIGHT TO TEN! The indie atmosphere is one where you have to just bring and throw down. Like a boxing match.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the work you did in “Glass Jaw?”
Rolston: I am most proud of my character. I found the perspective of the character. I found the space to just let Frank talk.

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the finished work – the end product – is usually the most memorable aspect of a film. For actors, we assume it is the experience of making it. What is a memorable moment during the production of “Glass Jaw” that will stick with you?
Rolston: It was the set up of the pivotal scene between Frank and Travis. Our DP – legend Jeffrey L. Kimball – created a magnificent tracking shot that lands on a very intimate scene between the two men; and Lee/Austin and myself/Frank just talked like real people. Did I say it was Friday night and we were shooting until midnight after a full day? Glamorous, huh?

TrunkSpace: You’ve been acting professionally for decades. Do you still love it as much today as you did when you first stepped onto a set to start your career?
Rolston: Absolutely! I want to follow in the footsteps of the great French Dramatist and Actor, Moliere, and die on stage or on a set for that matter. (Laughter)

Rolston in “Saw VI.”

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest surprise of your career, the thing that younger Mark who was starting out his career would be extra psyched to hear about in advance?
Rolston: Without question; being called at my home, to be told by writer/director Frank Darabont that I had landed the role of Bogs Diamond in “The Shawshank Redemption.” I thought I had lost it. Frank was my angel, and fought for me to get the role. Indebted Forever, Frank!

TrunkSpace: You’ve given life to so many great characters over the course of your career. Are there any that you wish you had more time to spend with and explore even further?
Rolston: All of them really. Shooting a film is fleeting. You shoot and it’s over. So the rehearsal and preparation – “the work” – has to be done beforehand.

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers for “Supernatural” here. When you first signed on to play the demon Alastair – a character who plays an integral part of the overall series lore – could you have ever imagined that the show would still be chugging along a decade later and that you’d be asked about it?
Rolston: That was one of the most enjoyable characters I ever created. I will never understand why I was replaced. I would literally eat a shoe to play Alistair, “Demon of All Demons,” once more. May the show chug on forever and I will get the chance!

Glass Jaw” arrives in select theaters and on digital HD this Friday.

You can also hear Rolston as Norman Osborn in the new Spider-Man game for the PS4!

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Wingman Wednesday

Amy Aquino

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Photo By: JSquared Photography

Amy Aquino has been lending her talents to memorable projects for decades, and in turn, leaving a lasting impression on our pop culture processors. From “Working Girl” in the ‘80s to “Picket Fences” in the ‘90s and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in the new century, the New Jersey native continues to take on projects that not only entertain audiences but spark shifts in both the method and delivery of content within the industry itself.

For the last four years Aquino has portrayed Grace Billets on the series “Bosch,” which is set to kick off Season 4 April 13 on Amazon Prime. Based on the novels by Michael Connelly and starring Titus Welliver, the episodic crime drama was already greenlit for a fifth season before the fourth ever reached an audience, a rarity in the business of television.

We recently sat down with Aquino to discuss gorilla filmmaking for Larry David, dealing with the fictional bureaucracy of being a captain, and why she feels so lucky to be doing what she loves.

TrunkSpace: We were recently re-binging our way through “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for at least the third time. Is there something extra special about being involved in a series that people don’t only watch, but will watch again and again?
Aquino: That one was so much fun because it is actually improvised. What they do is – you’re probably aware of it – they write a prose description of what happens in the scene, but without any lines, and you don’t actually say any lines. They even do the camera blocking with you just kind of saying, “Well, alright, I’ll walk over to the table here and greet Larry, and then I will go and find my table over there and ask the waitress for something.” You never actually say lines until the camera’s rolling. They get absolutely everything fresh and it was so much fun to do.

TrunkSpace: Sounds a bit theatrical in a way.
Aquino: It’s a little like theater, it’s a little like improv. A lot much more fun than theater because you get to write your own lines. And it’s a little like the real life theater in a way because they shoot on location and they don’t have all the big fancy set-ups. It’s like, “Where should I change?” “Well, I think there’s a bathroom over there.” “Okay. I’ll go in the bathroom and I’ll change.”

TrunkSpace: Gorilla filmmaking. (Laughter)
Aquino: Yeah, with Larry David and HBO. So, the biggest budget of anybody, of any professional company on earth. (Laughter) But it was really fun.

TrunkSpace: “Bosch” returns on April 13. What has the experience been like for you getting to return to the character for four seasons now?
Aquino: It’s pretty lovely being able to kind of live with her and find out more about her over a long period of time. It really is. I haven’t had that experience. I’ve recurred on a lot of shows, and I was able to do it on some levels with “ER” over the course of 15 seasons, but not as intensely as this. It’s lovely to have regular work, God knows, as an actor… and as an actress of a certain age. That’s just great. And certainly, the relationships get enriched, and watching Maddie (Madison Lintz) grow up, literally, from a little girl to a young woman, has been extraordinary. I feel very grateful.

TrunkSpace: Where have you seen Grace grow the most from when you first discovered her to where she is now in Season 4?
Aquino: Well, the big growth has been professionally, but in the sense of understanding where she’s headed and what she really likes to do, and what her limitations are. Obviously, the affair that she had was a terrifically bad idea, which she didn’t really understand at the time. But the fact that that prevents her from being a captain made her sit back and appreciate what it is she is doing, and that there’s value in what she does, and that she wouldn’t necessarily flourish, or want to be dealing with the bureaucracy of being a captain. There’s something very satisfying about being far more directly involved with the solving of crimes. So, she’s kind of coming to terms with that, although this season is interesting because she gets a real taste of what life might have been like.

TrunkSpace: That must help to keep things fresh for you as well because she’s physically being put in different circumstances, which would force anyone to change their p.o.v. over time?
Aquino: Oh, completely. Absolutely. And the other piece where she’s having to really kind of stretch and dig deep is having to do with her relationship with Bosch, because as he has been more and more internalizing his pain, and there has been more and more pain to internalize, she’s finding it more and more challenging to reach him. You know, I look back at some of the first season and second season, when we’d have a difference of opinion about how he should behave, we would have a flat out conversation about it, and now he’s, as you’ll see in this season, contending with solving his mother’s murder, and he’s contending with other major personal tragedy, and he hasn’t had a lot of therapy. Where he goes, and where he’s learnt to go, is to just shut down, and it’s made him much more of a challenge to deal with, and to balance the friendship and the professional relationship. That’s been kind of an interesting, and frustrating, ride to be on recently with him.

TrunkSpace: Season to season, “Bosch” episodes are rolled out all at once. Does that that change the experience for you?
Aquino: I guess so. It doesn’t make an enormous difference to me, except for, on some levels, to talk about it once it’s released. Once it’s released, we don’t have to worry about spoilers. You’re on your own. Although, I don’t know that everybody sits down and watches it right away, binges all the episodes, but I suspect that the vast majority do. It’s only 10 episodes and people, our fans, are so crazy about the show and they have been waiting for nine months or for a year, most of them, for it to happen, that I don’t think they’re gonna waste a whole lot of time. But, as I said, I don’t know that it changes my experience of it that much. I still wait for each script to see where it’s gonna go. I have a general sense of what her story’s gonna be, but even I can get surprised by some of the things that happen, just as you would with a show that goes for a longer period of time.

TrunkSpace: It must be nice to know you have a fifth season already greenlit before the fourth even comes out.
Aquino: How lucky am I? Yeah. And we’ve known, actually, for a while and we just couldn’t talk about it. Look, Amazon really respects Michael. They have a great relationship, and while they won’t talk about the show, or they don’t talk about numbers, we can certainly assume that based on that, that it’s tremendously popular and therefore it’s a valuable commodity to Amazon. And that’s nice to know.

TrunkSpace: Well, and that’s just it, it must be refreshing to not have it be about the numbers, but instead, about the quality of the show itself.
Aquino: Yeah. I mean, look, we all know that Amazon has got algorithms for everything. There’s no question that they have figured out that there’s tremendous value to their company to have this show up there for whatever reason. I mean, maybe people who watch “Bosch” buy a lot of stuff, so it’s just a completely different outlet on some levels and they keep it to themselves and that’s fine. But also, because of Michael and his worldwide popularity, I think it is tremendously valuable for them to be associated with him, and to have Amazon, as a media outlet, associated with him. That has to mean a lot. The way I gauge how popular the show is by how much I get recognized, and it is startling to me. Because there are no numbers I don’t really know, but I know that wherever I go, and in the oddest places, people will stop me and say, “Oh my god, I love ‘Bosch’.” “Oh my gosh, oh my God, that’s you! Wow, it’s Grace Billets. Wow, I love the show.” It’s extraordinary.

Aquino in “Bosch”

TrunkSpace: Most other streaming platforms seem to be in the content business, and by that we mean, they’re churning out new shows on a regular basis, but Amazon seems focused on the ones that are working for them.
Aquino: Yeah. They are going for quality and not quantity, that’s for sure. There’s no filler. They don’t need to be doing content because they have so many other avenues by which they make their money, so they only do content that they really believe in, and that’s kinda special. You don’t have 24 hours of the day to fill up.

TrunkSpace: Do you still enjoy the process of acting as much as you did the first time you stepped on a set? Is it still as exciting for you as it was then?
Aquino: I think I would be lying to say that it was. I still feel incredibly grateful to be able to do this thing, and I love being challenged, and I love trying the process of figuring out what is actually going on here, you know, looking at these words on a page and digging behind them because I’ve got a very analytical mind and that’s where I love to go. At this age, after 30 years in the business, it’s not gonna be the same. I remember when I shot “Working Girl,” and I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I don’t think it is that. That is precisely the same. Because, I guess knowing how the sausage is made too, and especially in film and television, it’s certainly different from theater. I probably still get the same thrills in theater, getting on the stage when I’m doing plays, which I continue to do, because that is just that immediate moment.

TrunkSpace: And it must change night to night depending on the audience as well?
Aquino: Absolutely, every night is completely different because you do have a relationship with the audience, and you have a relationship with the people on stage with you, but the audience is your costar in a big way and not everybody understands that, how wildly different your evening is depending upon who’s out there taking the ride with you. It’s more comfortable, certainly more contained, in a film and television set, but I still love it and wonder how fortunate am I to be able to do something that does challenge me like this, and to be compensated for it. I’ll never forget how lucky I am.

Season 4 of “Bosch” premieres April 14 on Amazon Prime.

Featured image by: JSquared Photography

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Wingman Wednesday

Spencer Garrett

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If you were to print Spencer Garrett’s filmography, you would need an entire ream of paper. With dozens upon dozens of interesting and brilliantly-performed roles under his belt, he consistently elevates every project he is a part of. Whereas many character actors help to round out the world in which they inhabit, Garrett becomes the world, blending into the cracks and crevices of the storytelling like performance putty.

Currently starring in the latest season of HBO’s “Insecure” while also prepping for the role of famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward in the upcoming film “The Front Runner,” the Los Angeles native, who has been acting professionally for nearly 30 years, feels like he is just now getting into his groove.

We recently sat down with the Garrett to discuss an abundance of political roles, the part that changed everything, and why he had to walk around on set with half of a Christmas tree sticking out of his stomach.

TrunkSpace: You’ve taken on so many roles in so many projects, which has us wondering, have you ever sat down and figured out just how many characters you’ve played over the course of your career?
Garrett: You know, I never have. I should probably sit down one day and do an algorithm. Jake Tapper, the wonderful CNN news anchor, is an old pal and I was with him not too long ago and he said, “How many people have you played in political films over the years?” And I did a count and I think it was something like 25, which is kind of a lot.

TrunkSpace: Wow. Yeah, that is impressive.
Garrett: I’m doing Jason Reitman’s new movie playing Bob Woodward, so we’re up to 26. (Laughter) I think I’m gonna bail out of political films at 30.

TrunkSpace: And like you said, that is only the political roles. Seeing all of them together is even more impressive.
Garrett: I haven’t really counted, but it’s been a helluva lot of fun, I can tell you that. And I feel like I’m kind of just getting my groove.

TrunkSpace: What is so fascinating is that you’re able in inhabit multiple characters within multiple projects across a relatively short period of time. Is that a sign of the times with there being so much content now… that there’s just more available to actors to be able to spread their talents across multiple projects?
Garrett: I don’t know… I still chase the same gigs that my colleagues do. I went in and read for something last week and saw 12 pals in the room that I’ve known for 25 years. We’re all kind of going after the same part sometimes and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes somebody else gets the long straw. I’ve just been fortunate. Sometimes there’s a little bit of overlap and I get two, three, four gigs that happen to go all at the same times. I haven’t run into the problem yet of being on so many things at once that I say the lines from one show in another show. Although…

One time I did. I was doing a movie called “Casino Jack” with the great Kevin Spacey that I was shooting in Toronto and then a little, kind of passion project thing that I produced called “Below the Beltway,” another political film. They were both political films, oddly enough, and I was shooting them at the same time, jumping back and forth from Toronto to DC. In one I was playing a Congressman, the other playing a Senator, both kind of morally questionable guys in expensive suits. And I did say the lines of Congressman Tom DeLay once in the other movie that I was in. And the director said, “Hang on, hang on. What are you doing?” And I said, “Oh sorry, that’s from the other movie.” That’s what you call champagne problems, I guess. (Laughter) But that’s the only time it’s ever happened.

TrunkSpace: You’ve done all of these fictional political roles, but these days, political truths really are stranger than fiction!
Garrett: Sadly, that’s true. It has become a little bit of a political theater, as it used to be called, and is now truly political theater. I feel like sometimes we’re living in a reality show that I don’t want to be a part of.

TIMELESS — “The Red Scare” Episode 115 — Pictured: Spencer Garrett as Senator Joseph McCarthy — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

TrunkSpace: And your friend Jake can probably attest to this, but the anchors and news people are becoming pop culture icons now.
Garrett: They’re becoming pop culture icons and still maintaining their journalistic integrity and doing their job as best they can while getting epithets hurled at you and being called “fake news” and all that. They have to keep their hands on the rudder and do a good job. It’s tough, it’s a tough time to be a journalist and a really challenging time. So my hat’s off to all of those guys that are doing the work that they were trained to do.

TrunkSpace: There is so much amazing content being produced these days and almost all of it is so character-driven. Have you noticed a difference in the types of roles you’ve been taking in recent years as opposed to when you started your career?
Garrett: Definitely. I’ve gotten to play roles and characters that really wouldn’t have been thought of 10 years ago. People are seeing me in a different light as I’m getting older in my career and more established, I guess. People are allowing me to take more chances and push the envelope a little bit, which is thrilling for an actor. So when I get a chance to work on a show like “Insecure” on HBO, which is not something that I would have thought I would have been a part of, it’s an actor’s dream. You get to play in a different sandbox every week and work with really, really talented people.

AQUARIUS — “A Change is Gonna Come” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Gethin Anthony as Charles Manson — (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)

TrunkSpace: And they’re so diverse. From “Insecure” to “Aquarius” to “Bosch,” the projects truly are different sandboxes.
Garrett: Absolutely. “Bosch” was a real treat. I’ve been a fan of Michael Connelly’s books for a long, long time. And Titus Welliver, who is a buddy of mine for 30 years, I love him as a guy and a pal, but as an actor I’ve always held him in very high esteem. And he’s a character guy. He’s a journeyman character guy who’s gone from one project to the next for years and years. And so as a journeyman character guy myself, it’s always such a buzz when you see somebody get to be the number one on the call sheet slot and get to be THE guy. And he fills that role so beautifully and is so great.

So getting to be a part of “Bosch” last year, I was so jazzed to be a part of that thing because I was a huge fan of season 1 and season 2. Every time I’d see Titus, we’d go out for a beer or whatever, and I’d kind of give him a little elbow like, “Hey man, I’m kind of free. I’ll be available.” (Laughter) It came right off of the heels of a really extraordinary experience with “Aquarius,” which is a great show that didn’t really catch fire the way we thought it would but I had such a great role on that. I thought, “I’ll never get a chance to have a role as juicy as that” and then a couple months later “Bosch” came along. So it was quite a gift.

TrunkSpace: Are there any characters that you wished you had more time to spend with?
Garrett: I wish I hadn’t gotten shot on page 42 of “Public Enemies.” (Laughter) That was a bummer. It was an extraordinary film to be a part of and it kind of changed my life in a lot of regards, but yeah, I would have liked to have seen a little more Tommy Carroll throughout the two hours of that movie. It was an experience playing that particular guy. I hope I’m talking to the seven people that saw the movie. (Laughter)

When I auditioned for that role for Michael Mann, it was my first experience with Michael and there have been now several, but going to read for that role, I said to the casting director, “I’m never going to get cast as this kind of gangster, thuggy guy. Can I come in and read for the FBI guy or the lawyer or guys that were more in my comfort zone?” And the casting director, to her great credit and vision, she said, “Spencer, I’ve followed your career for 20 years. I know what you can do and I’ve seen you play 8,000 lawyers. I want to see you do something different.” So she had me come back the next day and read for this other role and I got it and it kind of changed everything, which was really extraordinary.

I was playing a lot of pricks in suits, kind of one right after the other and getting pigeonholed and working consistently, but not feeling challenged. And I kind of got put in this box. And I said, “All right, maybe I’m not gonna take as many of these kinds of roles and try to find other things to do. Try to find other avenues, other characters.” And then after a while, because you’re in this for the long haul, I thought, “What am I complaining about? If this is how they see me, I’m gonna take every role I can get.” To a certain extent it’s difficult being pigeonholed and feeling like you’re put in a box, but at the end of the day, we want to work and we want to keep going. And right around that time, that’s when I got “Public Enemies” and it gave a sort of a Vitamin B-12 shot to the film opportunities that I was being given and it sort of changed everything.

Garrett and Merrilyn Gann in “Supernatural”

TrunkSpace: One of our favorite things that you ever done was the sort of 1950s-inspired sitcom dad from the “Supernatural” episode, “A Very Supernatural Christmas.”
Garrett: Yes! I love that guy! That was a blast. Not so much walking around for half of the day with half of a Christmas tree stuck out of my stomach. (Laughter) They had this kind of tree branch that was sort of nailed to a board and then the board was strapped to the top half of my body and I was walking around with that all day. And that’s when I thought, “Man, they don’t teach you this at Juilliard. They don’t teach you this at the Neighborhood Playhouse.” Laughter)

I went to my first “Star Trek” convention a couple weeks ago… the 30th anniversary of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I always wanted to go and meet the fans. I brought some pictures from the “Supernatural” episode and it was staggering to see how many people were coming up and saying that was their favorite “Supernatural” episode. When I did the episode, I had no idea what a massive show that is. And those two guys, they’re in season 13 or something now, and they go all over the world to these conventions and the fans just adore them and they’re great to the fans. It’s a cool thing to be a part of when somebody comes up to me at an airport and says, “Hey you’re the crazy guy with the pipe who was killing babies in the basement with your wife.”

“That’s me!”

Follow Spencer Garrett on Twitter (@1spencergarrett) and on Instagram (@spencergarrett1)!

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Wingman Wednesday

DaJuan Johnson

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Photo Credit: JSquared Photography

Fans of the series “Bosch” were recently served a third course of binging when season 3 of the gritty police procedural premiered on Amazon Prime. Series star DaJuan Johnson has seen his character Rondell Pierce go from officer to detective in the span of those three seasons and it’s a promotion that “Bosch” diehards have been eating up. To further satiate the appetites of its hungry subscribers, Amazon recently announced that the series has been renewed for a fourth season.

We sat down with Johnson to discuss how the series has changed his life, how choosing his own adventure as a child has prepared him for an adulthood of crime solving, and how going super would be pretty super.

TrunkSpace: How has “Bosch” altered your life and career the most?
Johnson: You know, I think it opened up a lot of fun doors for me. I played cops or detectives before, but I think once “Bosch” came out and I had a big role in it for season 1, I think more people took me a little bit more seriously. And I think I looked really good in the uniform back then. (Laughter) It just gave me some more… I’m such a nerd. I was going to say beat cred instead of street cred. (Laughter) That was a bad joke. I’m sorry.

TrunkSpace: (Laughter) It was a dad joke.
Johnson: That was a dad joke. (Laughter)

But, yeah, I think in that sense, it definitely has opened more audition doors for me because people know “Bosch” and it’s a well-known name. And being one of the more known characters there has opened more doors for me.

TrunkSpace: It’s funny because you mentioned you have played cops in the past and we actually noticed that you have played quite a lot of authoritative characters.
Johnson: (Laughter) I’m laughing because I think of myself with my kids and I try to be that authoritative dad with them and they don’t listen. They’re just kind of like, “Dad!” (Laughter) It’s nice to be able to play one on-screen.

I think that one of the cool things about all of the cops and detectives that have come into my life is just that when I was younger… I’ve always loved this… but when I was younger there were the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, “The Hardy Boys” or, maybe I dabbled in the “Nancy Drew” stuff, but I loved to solve the mystery or solve the cases, so it’s kind of cool to really do that in real life.

TrunkSpace: Those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books is where it was at, but it was easy to cheat and disregard your chosen adventure if you didn’t like the results. (Laughter)
Johnson: (Laughter) Yeah. And then just go backwards. I loved those. I don’t know why they’re not around.

TrunkSpace: Well, with the way that technology is advancing, we’re getting to a point where “Choose Your Own Adventure” could wind up in television or film and the audience could quite possibly decide how a story progresses and ends.
Johnson: Ohhhh… man. Mind blown! Imagine that? (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: You’re three seasons in and your character has been promoted to detective. As you look back over your time on the series thus far, where were you the most challenged strictly from an acting standpoint?
Johnson: You know, I would say it’s this season… the season as a whole. Being promoted up to detective and really just like, okay, where has Pierce been before this? He was an officer. He’s a by-the-book guy. My partner got shot last season.

No spoiler. That was season 2, so if you haven’t seen it… (Laughter)

Let me back up. Actually, some of the things that I feel very responsible about doing… if I hadn’t done a couple of things in our relationship with my partner… telling him I didn’t want to work with him and all of this stuff, maybe he would still be alive. So this season itself and really just jumping into detective while still holding my values of a by-the-book guy and I think just stepping up to the plate with all of the big boys this season. That’s the challenge. Working with Titus. Working with Paul. Working with Amy. Hands on. I’ve worked with them before, but really, all eyes are on you now. I think this season has been the challenge. A good challenge.

TrunkSpace: Is this the longest you have ever spent with one character?
Johnson: Umm… yeah. I guess when I think about it, yeah. I did nine episodes this season. I’ve done a nice stint on “General Hospital” and some other things, but I think this is the biggest one. Yeah.

Way to bring it home! Way to make me think about it! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: (Laughter) From a character arc standpoint, that must be so interesting to play someone who you know, but at the same time, not necessarily knowing where he is going?
Johnson: It is really fun to discover where you go, but it’s also cool because I have a base. You have a base of like, “I know my values as this character.” I know my North Star, if you will. Then we get to branch out. We talked a little bit about a wife. We talked about if Pierce will ever go to a not-so-great place. Just different things like that and I think are really kind of cool that I get to keep exploring and keep peeling back the onion layers, if you will, of this guy.

TrunkSpace: With shows like “Bosch” being released all at once, does it change the experience for you as an actor as it gets rolled out? Does it feel more like a movie than a television show upon release?
Johnson: That’s so funny you said that because, yes, and I got asked this question a couple of times on Twitter. The shooting experience is exactly the same… the set of time that we’re actually shooting it. But when it comes out, it’s like this… “YAY!” And then a week, two weeks, or maybe a month the fanfare kind of dies down. And it’s a little bit for me… I don’t know about anybody else… it’s like, “Gosh, we just spent six months shooting this and people have devoured it in 24 hours.” (Laughter) And it’s over. It’s very interesting. Again, I’ve never had that experience before, so it’s very interesting to witness it.

TrunkSpace: The way you just described it in terms of spending six months shooting it and then people devouring it so quickly, that really puts the term “binging” into a new perspective. You essentially spend all of this time preparing a meal and setting the table and then it’s gone so quickly.
Johnson: You are. I’m very interactive with my social media fans on Twitter and stuff like that and I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got some major “Bosch” fans out there and that’s really awesome. I was blown away when it came out on Friday and literally by Friday night or Saturday morning, people were like, “I’m done.” I was like, “What?!?!” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: The series was recently renewed for a fourth season. When a show is already guaranteed to return, does that change the mindset of an actor? Does it take pressure off and allow you to be more selective in the other things you’re choosing to do, knowing that you’ll be returning?
Johnson: Well, you never know if you’re returning to your show or a season until that season starts. (Laughter) For me, as an actor, I just love to live in that moment. I love to live in that moment, live in that season, and live in what’s going on because you could be working on the first five episodes, and you don’t know it yet, but you could die in episode 10. So I take it moment to moment and I really just dive in. “Where are we going with this and what would I like to do here? How can I just be present and fully engaged in this character?”

But, I think I’m coming back for season 4. Unless you’ve heard something? (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: No. No. Although, nowadays a big thing is the shocking first episode of a new season character death.
Johnson: I think this interview should be over. (Laughter)

Why are you putting doubts in my mind?

TrunkSpace: Sorry. No doubts. Let’s think of it like this. ANOTHER character could die in the season opener and Pierce could be elevated even further!
Johnson: You know, one of the things I did was start a hashtag called Team Pierce. I would have that hashtag going. “Stay strong, #teampierce fans!” (Laughter)

Photo Credit: JSquared Photography

TrunkSpace: What was your journey like from your home in Florida to your move to Los Angeles where you set out to pursue acting as a career?
Johnson: You know, that’s a great question. To be real honest, it was an easy/hard one because all of my family is either in Chicago or in Miami. My mom is in Miami. So leaving all of that to come out to this unknown… luckily I have what I call my village that supports me and my village is basically the people I went to theater school with from the University of Florida. There’s about 10 of us out here that really support each other in our acting. One of my very best friends is on “Orange is the New Black” so we’ve been supporting each other as this has unfolded.

But, just from a physical standpoint, as that young actor, I didn’t feel like I got it or that really things clicked for me until six years of being out here. And I hate to put a number on that because I get worried about people reading that and saying, “Well, that’s six years and if it takes that long then…”

It takes the time that it takes for everybody. It’s just your own time. It took me that long to know the way… the right streets to take to auditions and things. Six years into it. Things started to click after that time for me. Getting the right agents, the right managers, the right roles to take and to audition for. And I think after I booked my first network television TV show, which was “Close to Home” a long time ago, I got it. I think I started to get, “Okay… this is how we operate here. I’m mentally in the game. I’m physically in the game. And emotionally.”

I miss home, man. I won’t lie to you and say that I don’t miss home where my mom is, but, this is home for me now. I’m an LA boy now.

TrunkSpace: We spoke about the many authoritative characters you have portrayed, but as you look back over your body of work, what do you feel is missing? What type of character or project do you want to sink your teeth into?
Johnson: Easiest question you’ve asked today. I’m a big sci-fi/superhero/fantasy guy and I’m gunning for that world because that is what I loved. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. What kid didn’t want to be a superhero? And so, now that we really get to be superheroes, I have been dying to step into that world. I had a close call with it this last fall, but I was on “Bosch” so I couldn’t take this other role. I love what I do on “Bosch.” Literally, it’s so fun to do and to be there, but a little part of me was like, “The superhero dream!” (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: And you got a little taste of that already having been on “Agent Carter,” which is in the superhero universe.
Johnson: Yeah! And get this… I played a cop. I remember walking on set that first day and I was just giddy. I was like, “I’m so excited to be here!” (Laughter) Because I was superhero adjacent. I was that close to my dream and seeing this world… the Marvel Universe…

That’s my next one. My next move. I feel it. My next big move, I think. And I’ll stay there forever!

“Bosch” is available now on Amazon Prime.

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