son ever leaves the circle. It’s more of an evolution.”
An evolution that promises to shake up Bosch fans before the 10-episode story line is finished, Welliver adds.
“There are things that happen this season that not only for fans of the show, but the books, will be earthshattering,” he says.
Without giving anything away, the first three episodes of the season that we’ve seen launch the story in a fashion that fans will love. Bosch and his nowsomewhat-estranged partner Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector) are thrown back together on a small murder task force that also includes Sgt. Amy Snyder (Winter Ave Zoli), the internal affairs officer who investigated Bosch in the third season of the series. The dead man, attorney Howard Alias (Clark Johnson), was a hero to the city’s African American community for taking on the LAPD, and suspicions of a police coverup increase tensions in the city.
“There’s an excessive amount of pressure to get the case solved and closed with alacrity, because the city is like a big pot of rice that could bubble over and explode,” Welliver says.
For Welliver, playing Harry Bosch remains a dream gig, a role he loved from the moment he read the pilot script but was confident he’d land.
“I thought to myself, ‘I couldn’t write a better role,’ “he says. “But also, having done this long enough, I was not necessarily deterred, but thought, I don’t want to want this too much, because so much of the life of an actor is navigating the sea of disappointment.
“I also thought, being a realist, every actor who’s right for this role, and people with significantly more marquee value than myself, would want to play this part.”
So after a series of unforeseeable events — losing his phone, not being able to make a few meetings with the show’s casting team, and a hectic shooting schedule for “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — Welliver says he’d almost assumed he was out of the running when his agent called to tell him that finally a meeting with the “Bosch” team had been scheduled.
“I honestly said, ‘Oh, I thought that boat had sailed,’” Welliver says. “I thought, ‘Let me give it a shot,’ and went in and met with Michael and (co-executive producer) Pieter Jan Brugge.
“And as Connelly tells the story, I left and he said, ‘That was Harry Bosch,’ “he says. “Needless to say I was overjoyed.”
He’d only read one Bosch book before getting the part, so he asked Connelly which books he should read first to get more insight into Harry Bosch.
“It’s an enormous gift not only to have such a multilayered, interesting and dynamic character, but also to have the trust of Michael Connelly to sign off and say, ‘That’s the guy,’ “Welliver says.
Of course, Connelly’s approval was that of one man, the creator of Bosch to be sure, but looming over preparations for the first season were the expectations of millions of readers and their own ideas of what kind of actor should play the part.
“I think like all people, when we read books we formulate our own kind of ideas and almost prejudices about who can best fit the role,” Welliver says. “I do it all the time.
“And of course coming on the heels of Tom Cruise just having been so battered for playing Jack Reacher” — the star of Lee Child’s thriller series, who many felt Cruise was miscast to play in the 2012 movie — “I was aware of it,” he says.
“But I also thought to myself, no matter what, it’s never going to please everyone. All I can really do as an actor is service who the character is and the books. That’s my job.”
Welliver grew up in New York, far from the Los Angeles neighborhoods so vividly portrayed in the Bosch novels and now TV series, though the 57-year-old actor says that, like many who visit Los Angeles, he felt a familiarity just from having seen it on television all his life.
“The first time I came to L.A. it was a mind-blower because I was looking around and going, ‘Oh, I remember a scene from “Mission Impossible”; they always shot here,’ and going up to see the Bat Cave from the ‘60s series.”
Welliver says he knew the Angels Flight funicular in downtown Los Angeles from the film noir classic “Kiss Me Deadly,” and shooting there for the current season, which is partly based on Connelly’s book “Angels Flight,” was a thrill. But much of the show is shot in less commonly used parts of L.A.
“The crew has a joke — ‘Oh, the places Harry takes us’ — and it’s true,” Welliver says. “The metaphor of this town, all of the facade that’s beautiful and successful, beneath it there’s this darkness.”
Amazon recently renewed “Bosch” for a fifth season, so while Welliver has other projects coming soon, including a “Shaft” sequel with Samuel L. Jackson, he says he misses Bosch and the cast and crew when the show is on hiatus.
“It’s really kind of an actor’s dream,” he says. “It’s the gift that keeps giving.” Contact Peter Larsen at email@example.com or @PeterLarsenBSF on Twitter.
Detective Harry Bosch, played by Titus Welliver, is on the job.
Detective Harry Bosch, played by Titus Welliver, is armed and on the job.
Detective Harry Bosch, right, is played by Titus Welliver, his partner, Jerry Edgar, left, is played by Jamie Hector.