MICHAEL CONNELLY: Hey, I'm Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch novel series, and this is Titus Welliver, who is going to play Harry Bosch– or is playing Harry Bosch in the upcoming Amazon Studios production of the show called Bosch. Uh– we have a pilot coming out, and, uh, we hope you'll, uh, check it out, and, uh, tell us what you think.
Um– I wanted to talk a little bit with Titus here about this. Um– this is a character I've been writing about for twenty years, so he's largely been in my head and on paper, and a little bit of, uh, digital life, but never, um– uh, you know, presented in flesh and blood. And this is the guy who's going to be Harry Bosch, um, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Um– why don't we start by talking about, like, what you did when you got the job, and how you prepared, um, to play Harry Bosch.
TITUS WELLIVER: Well...I talked to you, quite a bit. Then, the– the most important thing, I think, from the get-go was to read the books, at least the– the two novels that relate to our show, and that being City of Bones and Concrete Blonde. So I read both of the books several times, uh, just to get a sense of getting into Harry's head. Um– that, for me, um– and then also to reread the script several times, just to sort of see if there was anything that was in the books that might not be in the scripts that maybe we could put back in.
Um– and then I spent some time with your friends in the LAPD, um– little bit of time, they were on set a good deal of the time, so I was able to use them as a– as the– as the measuring stick to make sure that, you know, there wasn't anything too Miami Vice, or, you know, going in the wrong direction and deviating from that, because it is so grounded in reality that– that there's not a superhero moment.
Um– and then did some, uh, shoot-don't-shoot training down at LAPD, which was a lot of fun. I think I– I lean a little more on the Dirty Harry Callahan, but there's a little Harry Bosch in Dirty Harry Callahan.
CONNELLY: I mean, I– I think we've done that with the pilot: very happy with it. Um– you know, we had– obviously we had to do– we had to establish a couple of different strands of story – the two books mentioned: City of Bones and Concrete Blonde. We had to establish Harry – uh, I should have mentioned we're in Harry's house here. Um, you know, who he is and so forth.
I had this ulterior motive, and I think what is key about Harry is that he has this innate ability to make everything personal, and he can make, uh, cases personal. And I wanted to at least get to that, or the start of that, in the pilot. So– `cause I think that's how people connect with him in the books, and I want them to con– obviously connect with the show. And I think that's what leads to, um, you know, the final scene of the pilot, when you know Harry has jumped that gap, and now it's personal.
I– you know, I think we also are providing something good for someone who’s never even read the books. Um– but I do think– the thing you said: we are trusting the audience, and– and that’s something, in a lot of what I watch on TV, I don’t think the TV makers do. They don’t, um, believe they’ll be able to follow, you know, A, B, C, D, and all that. We skip some of the letters, but we trust that people will be able to fill in, uh, those blanks whether they’ve, uh, read the books or not.
But I do think that, um, at least starting out, the wide majority of the people that are going to look in on this and– and see what we’ve done are people familiar with the books. And, uh– so I don’t know– on one hand, that, to me, is really exciting, you know, because I’m fully behind this, and proud of it, and I’ve been so involved in it, I can’t blame anyone else. I can’t say: “ah, Hollywood took my books and screwed them over.” Um, I can only say, um: “this is what I wanted to present.” I don’t have a single regret about any move we’ve made. Um, and, so that’s exciting to me.
WELLIVER: For me, I actually experienced– because the Bosch fanbase is so enormous, uh, I get really sort of swept up, and sometimes forget that I’m the guy who’s playing Harry Bosch, because of the&ndash the– the energy and the excitement and the welcoming that is been coming, uh, through the social media, um, that people have been, um, very welcoming and really supportive. So, um, I just like to focus on the good stuff.
CONNELLY: I think that’s a good way to do it. I think people are, um, are excited about, you know, just the general sense you get from them looking at social media, which, uh, you know– as you say, there’s a pretty good fanbase out there, and– and what we’re hearing is– is extremely positive.
WELLIVER: You’re there every day on the set, and if I have a question, or just, um, you know– and I think you and I also had, uh, we had a few facial expressions, uh, silent expressions where I could look at you and you could give me a nod, and– and I know that I was there. And that’s what, you know, keeps me grounded and moving in the right direction for Harry, and that’s a collaboration. So, for me, that’s, uh: that’s worth it all.
CONNELLY: I really enjoy that, uh, collaboration. I mean, I’ve had those kind of deals where I say: “here’s my book, you know, do you best not to mess it up,” and “I trust you.” And then I see what happens in four or five years. Um, and I just couldn’t do that with, uh, with Harry Bosch, `cause– maybe `cause it’s the guy who brung me to the table. You know, my first, uh, book was a Harry Bosch book, and I’ve been writing about him for so long.
I just kind of felt that at this point, with him and in my career, that, I wouldn’t even go down this road unless I was on the road. And so, you know, our main producer Henrik Bastin, when I sat down to meet with him for the first time, I said, you know: “if you take my books, I’m going with them.” And, you know, that– that’s my plan: to be involved. Um, it is a little bit of a schizoid existence–
CONNELLY: – to– to– to write– you know, do the solemn work of– of writing books in which you also write– I, at least, write, you know, chapter one to the last chapter in a linear fashion. And then you come out and you make television shows, and of course you write the scripts that way, but the way you were shooting, you know, nothing is done in order, and– and the way it’s all seamed together is pretty amazing.
I– I can still remember– and, you know, I don’t want to talk about it `cause it’s the last scene, but the very last thirty seconds of the pilot are my favorite, and they were shot, like, on the third day of– of a thirteen-day shoot, which, to me, was– we talked earlier about bringing it, and– and you certainly brought it in that scene. Um, and I think that nails down that Harry Bosch character, um, but that’s difficult to do, because we were just kind of doing two days of kind of getting up and going, and then, bam, you have to do the most difficult, um, emotional scene, I think, in the piece. So that’s going to take some getting used to.
CONNELLY: Okay, so, based on what you’ve read in scripts and how you’ve portrayed this character only in this very slim slice of what we hope will come, um, how do you– what do you think? Do you think you could go– grow old with Harry Bosch? As Harry Bosch? Do you think, uh, you know, you– you– uh, always seeking fulfillment– um, I kind get the same question: can you keep writing Harry Bosch? And I never get tired of it. I never get, um, thinking like: “oh, I gotta do something else.” I mean, and, you know, I do other things as well, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of writing about Harry Bosch. So: long way of saying, will you ever be tired of being Harry Bosch?
WELLIVER: No. Because I think that that’s, you know– with the– with the books– with the same passion that you write the books, um, I have the same passion for playing Harry. And, so, for me, it’s going to be an endless exploration, even though I’ll know the stories and know the books, there’s always going to be the challenge of how to take Harry to– to the next place as– as he unfolds, and I– I think there’s a lot of years in– in Harry to come. Um, there’s a lot of stuff to explore with him, and, uh, I’m– I’m looking forward to the journey, so I’ll keep playing Harry `til they say: “okay, we’ll get Chris Pine. We’re gonna reboot it; we’ll get Chris Pine to play Harry Bosch.”
CONNELLY: Alright. Good answer.
WELLIVER: With a moustache.