Bosch is back, un­der pres­sure

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - LIVING - By Peter Larsen South­ern Cal­i­for­nia News Group

A s the fourth sea­son of “Bosch” opens, the emo­tional stakes for De­tec­tive Harry Bosch couldn’t be any higher, says Ti­tus Wel­liver, the ac­tor who stars in the Ama­zon se­ries based on the best-sell­ing thriller se­ries by Michael Con­nelly.

He’s placed in charge of the mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a prom­i­nent Los An­ge­les at­tor­ney who spe­cial­ized in su­ing the po­lice for abuse and bru­tal­ity, so the pos­si­bil­ity of a cop pulling the trig­ger is at the fore­front of pub­lic and po­lice spec­u­la­tion.

“It’s not like any­thing ever goes eas­ily for Harry,” says Wel­liver as he drove to a tap­ing of co­me­dian Adam Carolla’s pod­cast on Wed­nes­day be­fore head­ing to Dodger Sta­dium, where he and Con­nelly were to throw out the first ball.

Bosch is also still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mur­der of his mother on the down low, and his ex-wife Eleanor (Sarah Clarke) is act­ing strangely, so much so that their teenage daugh­ter Maddie (Madi­son Lintz) is in­creas­ingly alarmed.

“He’s jug­gling all those balls at the same time,” Wel­liver says of the show that re­turned to Ama­zon last week. “In some ways, though, it’s dif­fer­ent. I think we al­ways sort of in­crease the scope, the scale of the show.

“People al­ways say, ‘Oh, and then it comes full cir­cle,’ “he says. “I don’t think our story this sea-

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 now-some­what-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.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

De­tec­tive Harry Bosch, played by Ti­tus Wel­liver, con­sid­ers the scene of the mur­der on the An­gels Flight fu­nic­u­lar that kicks off sea­son four of the Ama­zon se­ries “Bosch.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

Ac­tor Ti­tus Wel­liver found a dream job in the part of Harry Bosch in the Ama­zon se­ries “Bosch.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

De­tec­tive Harry Bosch, played by Ti­tus Wel­liver, is on the job.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

Ac­tor Ti­tus Wel­liver found a dream job in the part of Harry Bosch in the Ama­zon se­ries “Bosch.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

De­tec­tive Harry Bosch, played by Ti­tus Wel­liver, is armed and on the job.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AMA­ZON

De­tec­tive Harry Bosch, right, is played by Ti­tus Wel­liver, his part­ner, Jerry Edgar, left, is played by Jamie Hector.

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