Whenever audiences see Lance Reddick, they think they’re watching reruns of The Wire. That’s because the 53-year-old actor and Baltimore native made his mark as Lt. Cedric Daniels, the tough cop and commander who didn’t take shit from the massive piles that were widely available. Otherwise, viewers might think they’re catching a random episode of Fringe, a science fiction police procedural (that felt like The X-Files for millennials) in which Reddick played special agent Phillip Broyles.
These days, Reddick can be seen making appearances in everything from online comedy sketches to one-off roles on popular television shows, though he spends most of his time on the Amazon drama Bosch. The popular cop show, which is about to debut its second season, features Titus Welliver in the title role and Reddick as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving — in other words, another cop. As Reddick explained to us, however, he doesn’t mind because The Wire alum Eric Overmyer is in charge. That, and he gets to go toe-to-toe with Welliver.
You and Welliver have two of the most soothing voices on television today.
Titus’ voice is obvious. It’s just so deep and resonant, and he uses it so well. For me, you almost forget about it because it’s just a part of me and the character. People bring it up, but I don’t think of my voice that way because I don’t actually think it’s that deep. At least not as deep as Titus’ voice. But I guess there’s just something about it that people like.
Bosch and Irving seem less adversarial towards one another this time around.
I wouldn’t say they were adversaries in the first season, necessarily. They have different priorities and world views that often come into conflict with one another, but that’s not unlike real life in a police department. It’s interesting. I was talking to a homicide detective once, and I asked her if she would ever do command. You know what she said? “I don’t want to be command. I don’t want to be a kiss-ass.” It’s just that… During the first season of The Wire, we were filming a big raid and its aftermath, and it was my first time being in the field. So, I asked Ed Burns what I should do during the scene. Being the veteran homicide detective and street guy, Ed said, “You’re a commander, so just walk around like you don’t know what you’re doing.” Then I thought I should ask somebody else.
[Laughs.] Right, but with Bosch, Irving is cut from a different cloth altogether. He knows what he’s doing.
And with the second season, you’ll see a side of Irving you probably never thought you’d ever see.
Definitely. You get to do things with Irving this time around that you hadn’t done before, especially in some of the second season’s most emotional scenes. Was that something you were looking forward to?
Well, I did look forward to the emotional enjoyment of it, but yes and no. And when I say yes and no, I mean that I love the opportunity. But especially during certain scenes… that shit is hard. [Laughs.] One of the things that was kind of… It took a lot of preparation because I don’t often get opportunities to do that. You’ve got to practice getting into that state day after day. It’s not something you look forward to doing, because it’s painful and physically uncomfortable to be that upset, but you have to be able to do it on cue. To wire all those associations into your nervous system so that when you walk on set and see what’s there, you just see it and everything triggers. Being able to do that kind of stuff is great, and actors love that, so it was great for me to have the opportunity to do that.