Mimi Rogers Interview: The Secrets of "Bosch: Legacy"
Image attributed to Amazon Studios
Mimi Rogers has spent over four decades in the entertainment industry as an actress. Her film roles include Gung Ho, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Lost in Space. She garnered much critical acclaim for her role in the religious drama The Rapture, with critic Robin Wood saying that she “gave one of the greatest performances in the history of the Hollywood cinema.”
Television appearances are Hill Street Blues, Paper Dolls, The X-Files, Dawson’s Creek, Two and a Half Men, NCIS, Mad Men and Blue Bloods, just to name a few. Rogers portrayed civil rights attorney Honey “Money” Chandler for seven seasons on Bosch, a police procedural TV series produced by Amazon Studios and reprised her role on the spinoff series, Bosch: Legacy, which premiered on Amazon Freevee on May 6, 2022. Bosch: Legacy also stars Titus Welliver and Madison Lintz, and the series was renewed for a second season prior to its premiere. The season finale is May 27, 2022.
"I was informed confidentially that this new show was in the works and that I was going to be one of the principal characters, in which case, I was not going to die in season seven."
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Mimi, did you know before Bosch ended that you would be one of the stars of Bosch: Legacy?
Mimi Rogers: That’s pretty interesting because going in to season seven, Amazon let everybody know that was going to be the last season. The producers had called me before we started season seven and said, “It’s the last season, so we’re thinking of killing you. How do you feel about that?” (laughs) I was like, “Well, gosh. If it’s the last season, go ahead.” So that’s what I thought going into the last season. Then very early on in the shooting (not of me but the season), I was informed confidentially that this new show was in the works and that I was going to be one of the principal characters, in which case, I was not going to die in season seven.
I’d been reading the scripts that I get shot, and suddenly I’m in a medically-induced coma in the hospital. I’m like, “What’s going on, guys? Are you just going to drag it out and break everybody’s hearts in the end because I’ll die anyway?” That’s when they told me they had to make some changes just because we weren’t done. So I was stunned and incredibly happy and shed a few tears of joy. Then I had to keep a secret the whole rest of the season.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Sometimes a secret like that can be very difficult to keep (laughs).
Mimi Rogers: I know. They told me Titus was the only other one who knew. So for the whole season, he knew that I knew, and I knew that he knew, and yet we never said a word to anyone or to each other. We just kept it secret.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Was it difficult for you to fake being in a coma, to just lie there in the bed, listen to the other actors and remain very still?
Mimi Rogers: Well, yes and no. I mean, in that situation, I tried to just go into a relaxed meditative state. Unlike most scenes, I didn’t have any lines to remember or marks to hit or anything to do, so sometimes I’d actually get sleepy. I found it very relaxing (laughs).
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Tell me about the character of Honey Chandler in the first series and how she has changed in Bosch: Legacy.
Mimi Rogers: In the first series, Chandler’s a very high-powered defense attorney who’s in the big fancy office on the 30th floor downtown. We really get to know her because she’s usually acting as Bosch’s nemesis in some way or another. It’s actually in a case during the first season that Chandler reveals, with Bosch on the stand as a witness, a lot about his past that is very upsetting and humiliating. So we start off in this very adversarial position. But one of the the things about the character of Chandler is that she’s one of the few people who always seems to get the best of him. It’s a great nuance for the show because he’s such a lone wolf, and he’s talented and competent, then he runs up against this person who just runs circles around him.
So over the course of the seven seasons, we got to explore all kinds of dynamics in the relationship, me being an adversary, me being in a supervisory position of a case Bosch was on, and then I was having a season where I actually had to defend him. It’s sort of an indication of whatever the mixed emotions are, Chandler and Bosch ultimately have a deep respect for each other. When he was in trouble and needed help, he knew that I was the person that was going to be able to help him. So we’ve explored all the different dynamics of this relationship.
So coming into the new series, we’ve obviously all had a major change in circumstances. Harry’s no longer with the police department, and I’ve barely survived an assassination attempt. So what we see in the new show is, it’s still Honey Chandler, but it’s a different version of Honey Chandler. There’s an element of brokenness to her and a little bit of a sense of fragility, as she’s trying to complete the recovery which doesn’t happen quickly or easily. So we see what she’s going through, and then there’s been a major shift in her career path, as she’s now working at a much smaller civil rights-oriented firm, and her focus is less on high-profile, high-money cases and more just about trying to achieve justice.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Chandler tells her therapist, “I’ve lost my sense of myself,” so she has a lot to work through.
Mimi Rogers: Yeah. I mean, it was important for me to try to portray the posttraumatic stress and how difficult the recovery period is from something like that. I wanted to show very clearly that it’s not, “Oh, I’m out of the hospital. I’m better. Here we go.” It messes with you in many, many ways for a long time.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: There is also the different dynamic between Bosch’s daughter, Maddie, and Chandler in Bosch: Legacy.
Mimi Rogers: Yeah. It’s a different dynamic. Obviously, since Maddie’s now a cop and working on the force, there’s less chance for us to have interaction, which I miss. But I think the three of us are all so important to each other that I’m going to be interested to see in the next season if there’s going to be more interaction there.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Chandler is unique because she apparently has no family.
Mimi Rogers: We certainly haven’t explored that, have we?
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Absolutely not. Would you like to see Chandler have a personal life?
Mimi Rogers: You know, I’m kind of fine either way. I think one of the interesting elements of the show is that we don’t delve too deeply into anybody’s personal life and get to know these people through their work and through their interactions with each other. Listen, I have infinite faith and trust in our writers, and it’s obviously been a very successful formula the way it’s been written and what we’ve done with it. So yeah, I’m on board with whatever they come up with.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: We’ve spoken to Titus several times, and he’s really very different than Harry Bosch. Some people might imagine him to be gruff and tough and not having much to say just like the cop turned private eye. But Titus is completely different than Bosch.
Mimi Rogers: Well, yeah. That’s the thing, you know. Bosch, as a character, is monolithic and stone faced, and Titus is literally the opposite. Titus is just a giant friendly puffball who loves to talk, loves to have fun and loves to laugh, and you would never know it from watching Bosch (laughs).
Smashing Interviews Magazine: That is the hallmark of a great actor. Mimi, did you audition for the role of Honey Chandler?
Mimi Rogers: That’s a funny story because yes, I did audition for the role of Honey Chandler when they were first casting us. They were doing this thing where Amazon was going to do three pilots, and then, I guess, they let the subscribers vote on which show should go to series. So I auditioned and thought I did a fabulous job and then heard absolutely nothing (laughs). That was it. Never heard anything.
They shot the show, and then literally 13 months later, my agent called and said, “They’ve offered you the part.” I said, “What are you talking about? They already did it.” He said, “Yeah, they did. There was some issue. But the decision was that it didn’t quite work with the person they cast in your role. So they’ve now offered the part to you, and they’re going to reshoot the Honey Chandler scenes for the pilot. So do you want to do it?” I was like, “Hell, yeah!” I think it’s the only time in my career that I got a job 13 months after the original audition (laughs).
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Although Madison Lintz has been acting for several years and is very talented, has the 23-year old ever asked you or Titus for advice in a scene?
Mimi Rogers: Maddie has literally grown up on the show. She and I are definitely friends. She’s very talented and very professional. So we talk, and I give her friend/motherly advice about different things in life. But I don’t think I’ve ever been in a position where I’ve had to or been asked to counsel her about what to do in terms of her acting. She’s just a consummate professional.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Why did you want to pursue acting as a career?
Mimi Rogers: You know, I don’t have a deep, complicated reason. I enjoy books and storytelling, and it just seemed like it would be a fun thing to do. It seemed like it would be a fun job. Unfortunately, I was very naïve and didn’t realize there were millions of people that thought the same thing (laughs). So I just blithely started out and said, “Okay. That’s what I’m going to do.” Fortunately, it worked out (laughs).
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did you find it difficult to break in at the start?
Mimi Rogers: Yes and no. It is very difficult to break in. It took me a while, but I finally got a good agent. That first week, I went on a whole bunch of auditions, and I ended up getting this role. It was the first season of Hill Street Blues, and I got this role, a four-episode arc, playing Officer Renko’s girlfriend. That was my first gig. That was the first big job. That was kind of a wonderful, brilliant way to start. But it’s always tough. It’s always competitive.
You have to learn early on that most of the time, you’re not going to get the job, and you have to learn early on not to measure yourself by anybody else’s success or failure because that will just eat you alive. I just feel like I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I’ve been able to just keep working all these many years and still be working.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You assumed your first husband’s last name, even though you were married after that. Did you believe it was a good acting name?
Mimi Rogers: It was because when I joined SAG, that was my name, and it was just easy and concise. It didn’t seem like any point in changing it.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: I believe you’ve said the 1991 film The Rapture was your favorite of all the ones you’ve done. Why?
Mimi Rogers: I would say so. I would say it was the most challenging, deepest work I’ve ever done. When I read the script and was offered a chance to do it, my feeling was, “This is really out there.” It was the sort of thing that was either going to work or it was just going to be a dismal, bizarre embarrassment. Michael Tolkin and I did months and months of research and work together because going into the character of Sharon was something wildly different than my character or anything I had ever experienced. The role was challenging as was the work commitment necessary to make that material work. In terms of acting, I feel like that’s probably my biggest accomplishment.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In 1998, you worked with the late William Hurt in Lost in Space. What are your memories of him?
Mimi Rogers: I was, as you can imagine, thrilled to be working with him. I always believed him to be just an acting god and unbelievably talented. And the truth of the matter is that he was a very prickly guy. He could be charming, fun and funny, and he could be difficult and prickly. But I must say, in terms of acting with him, when the camera was rolling, it was actually one of my best experiences ever. Doing a scene with him with the camera rolling and being in character, the talent just oozed out of him. So for me, it was tremendously rewarding.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Do you ever get tired of answering questions about Tom Cruise, whom you divorced so many years ago?
Mimi Rogers: Uh, yeah (laughs). That was so many years ago. I mean, my oldest child is 27. Like, hello!
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Is there a role that you’d still like to play after over 40 years of being in the business?
Mimi Rogers: Yes. I want to be in a real period piece. I want to wear corsets and gowns and hats and headdresses.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Like Downton Abbey?
Mimi Rogers: Maybe 1700s or 1800s. I just want to do a real period piece. The earliest I’ve gotten is 1940s. I want the long dresses.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Do you have other projects you’d like to discuss?
Mimi Rogers: No. We’re just literally gearing up. We’re going to start shooting the second season of Bosch: Legacy really soon, like mid-July.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Do you know anything about the second season?
Mimi Rogers: Not a thing. They tell us nothing. Well, you know how the first season ends.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: With quite the cliffhanger.
Mimi Rogers: So obviously, we’re going to continue from there. But what happens and how it happens, I have no idea.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Are you on social media?
Mimi Rogers: No. I’m a dinosaur. I have Instagram, and that’s it. I feel a little bit like social media is kind of evil.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: It very well can be. Are you a streaming binge-watcher, Mimi?
Mimi Rogers: Yeah. My husband and I have just been watching Under the Banner of Heaven with Andrew Garfield. It’s so good. So creepy, but it’s so good.
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