Titus Welliver Interview: "Bosch" Star Talks Heart-Stopping Season Six Storyline
Image attributed to Amazon Studios
Titus Welliver has appeared in numerous films and television series. The Connecticut native is best known for his portrayals of the Man in Black in Lost, Silas Adams in Deadwood, Jimmy O’Phelan in Sons of Anarchy and the title role in Bosch, the police procedural web series produced by Amazon Studios.
In addition to Welliver, Bosch features Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino and Madison Lintz. Season six is set to premiere on April 17, 2020. The series is based on the Michael Connelly novels and was renewed by Amazon for a seventh and final season.
"It’s a major, major threat, so rather than it being just a homicide, it’s a homicide in which it is revealed these dangerous materials have been stolen to be used potentially to hold the entire city hostage, not even hostage for money, just to create upheaval and destruction. Very high stakes. Very, very high stakes."
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Titus, how are you and your family doing during the coronavirus quarantine?
Titus Welliver: Hunkered down, watching a lot of television, exercising because we’re eating a lot of the wrong foods. Other than that, just trying to stay put and ride this through like everybody. Thank you for asking. I hope you and yours are well as well.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Yes, thank you. So far, so good. I can’t wait to binge on the sixth season of Bosch! I understand it involves terrorists and radioactive materials.
Titus Welliver: It differs from the book, The Overlook, only in that, rather it being supposedly an Islamic fascist group, it’s a separatist group that gets involved with the theft of cesium. It’s not catastrophic in the nature of a homemade thermonuclear device, but it’s a form of a dirty bomb, and by exposing this material into the atmosphere or into a water supply or in a landmark, it would be uninhabitable for over 300 years. So for arguments sake, if they put it in the water supply, it would devastate Los Angeles in that people wouldn’t be able to drink the water. Since Los Angeles is a desert itself, it could potentially be a big problem.
But it’s a major, major threat, so rather than it being just a homicide, it’s a homicide in which it is revealed these dangerous materials have been stolen to be used potentially to hold the entire city hostage, not even hostage for money, just to create upheaval and destruction. Very high stakes. Very, very high stakes.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Sounds like a race against time for Harry Bosch! Will this season be perhaps more fast-paced than previous seasons?
Titus Welliver: It is, but it’s still a murder case. So at one point, the focus is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation being very myopic, and what Harry keeps trying to tell them is, if we find the killers, we’ll find the cesium, which was the ultimate goal. Harry, as we know, has a very contemptuous relationship with the FBI, so they’re kind of bigfooting his case, so there’s a lot of friction there. But at the same time, they really are kind of forced to make nice because the potential for catastrophe is enormous. So there’s a lot of interesting stuff. But the pacing of it, I would say, is perhaps maybe dialed up a little bit, but it’s still Harry working the case.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Harry is also working a separate murder investigation?
Titus Welliver: It’s a continuation from the previous season, in which we ended season five where Harry opened up a cold case of a murder of a 15-year-old girl, Daisy Clayton. That’s the last moment we see when his dog, Coltrane, comes back home. Harry’s revealing a cold case file with the murder of this girl. So he’s doggedly pursuing that case while simultaneously trying to solve the homicide of whoever forced this physician to go and get the cesium out of storage and then killed him at the overlook.
But the Clayton case is a continuation, and it resonates because the mother of Daisy Clayton, Elizabeth Clayton, is the mother and drug addict that Harry met in season five when he was undercover. So there’s a personal level to it because it’s not dissimilar to the way that Harry’s mother’s murder case was kind of left because she was a marginalized part of society being a prostitute, and this young girl who was murdered was a street kid, so nobody really put the effort into it. So it becomes very, very personal for Harry. So a lot of balls in the air in typical Bosch fashion.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Last season, Harry’s daughter Maddie was living with him, and they were working at the same precinct. What can we expect from that relationship this season?
Titus Welliver: Well, interestingly enough, you know, that relationship has become very, very essential to the entire universe of Bosch, and Maddie is still living at home. But the wrinkle is that she’s gone to clerk for Mimi Rogers’ character, Money Chandler, and that creates conflict for Harry. While he understands and respects the fact that Maddie is very drawn to Chandler because not only is she very good at her job, she’s also a strong female character. She’s a tough woman, and Maddie admires her, and the conflict therein lies that Harry, despite the mea culpa between he and Chandler, for Harry, there are moral dilemmas and lines that are blurry on the side of Chandler, and it creates conflict between he and Maddie because she thinks that he’s being somewhat hypocritical. So there’s some really great stuff. But their relationship continues to evolve, and I think has a really interesting resolution.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Titus, how do you feel about the series ending after season seven?
Titus Welliver: I’m very sad about it. I understand at the end of the day; it’s called show business not show fun. Doing this show has presented me with a tremendous amount of joy and certainly artistic reward, and I’m forever grateful for it. I’ve become very, very close to all these writers, producers, cast and crew and to the fanbase. I will miss doing it. I’m disappointed. But you know, I’m not unlike Harry. Those decisions are above my pay grade. So while I’m disappointed, to me, I see the glass is half full.
So as I said to my kids when they asked me that very same question, it is incumbent upon us to go out with a bang and not a whimper. There have been concerns come across on social media where people were worried that we’re going to kill Harry or do something like that. That’s not going to happen. Obviously, Harry’s not a guy who just walks away, but I think there will be resolution to the best of our ability. We had a conversation recently with the writers, and they’ve chosen what books to use for the final season, and we will go to work with a smile on our faces and create something that we can continue to be proud of. And you know what? We’ve had a really good run, and we still have season six, which I’m excited for everyone to see.
I think it’s really a strong season, and the plans for season seven, the final season, are really strong, and I’m excited about it. So obviously, yes, disappointed, but it’s not the end of the world. I’m grateful for the long run that we’ve had.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: I’m sure the last season will be emotional for the fans and for everyone working on Bosch.
Titus Welliver: Absolutely.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did you have other projects you began before the pandemic stay-at-home order?
Titus Welliver: There were a couple of irons in the fire. What I’ve ultimately done with this time is to work on developing projects of my own that obviously have been back-burnered because I was very, very busy with Bosch. Once again, I hesitate to distract myself too much because I’ve still got season seven to do of Bosch. But, yeah, it’s sort of a two-pronged answer because that, with whatever I do next, is a big chore because doing Bosch has been by far the most rewarding gig I’ve ever had as an actor in my entire career. It’s a tough act to follow. So I’m not about to just leap onto something else for the sake of commerce. I need to really think long and hard and look because the quality of what’s been created with Bosch is something that’s really top shelf.
But all that aside, I’m excited to get back where people hopefully obey the law and stop going out to the beach and playing volleyball when there’s a pandemic. I think that it’s a resilient planet of people, and we’ll come to the other side of this, unfortunately, not without having serious loss, but if anything, it gives people pause to look around and say, “Hey, you know what? There’s a fragility to life, and we need to have a little more gratitude for that which we have,” which obviously, many people take for granted because it’s there. And when it’s not there, suddenly people go, “Oh, well, that’s not fair.” Well, guess what? Stand up and do the right thing, and we’ll get back on track.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Exactly, and I believe also we should praise humanity and keep the politics out of it.
Titus Welliver: I agree. This is a pandemic. This isn’t a political rally. I’ve literally been on a news blackout because I’ve just sort of gotten to the point where even my kids were going, “Dad, turn it off! You can check online and get updates as to what’s going on in the world without having to sit for hours on end in front of the TV getting a blow-by-blow like it’s a sporting event.” And it’s not a sporting event. People are dying. It’s not political, and it’s certainly not entertainment.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Totally agree. Are your kids still interested in acting?
Titus Welliver: Oh, they are. They are. Right now, they’re interested in jail breaking (laughs). But they’re doing their school on the Zoom format thing. So it’s just obviously an interesting learning curve for everyone involved, but they’re diligently doing their schoolwork. One is in doing his schoolwork now, and the other one is on Spring Break. They both have different breaks, so it’s a lot of trying to figure out how to entertain themselves because that whole thing of bingewatching movies and television was kind of fun for about the first ten days, and then even the kids’ eyeballs were bugging out of their heads from being on their phones and iPads. We spend a lot of time in our backyard swimming around in the pool when the weather’s nice.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: By the way, will you be guest starring on the new Amazon “series” Detective Coltrane?
Titus Welliver: (laughs) If I’m lucky. If I’m lucky. I know. Maybe I should be blaming all this on the dog. When they made the decision, they should’ve said, “You know what? The dog is better than the guy. Let’s give this animal a shot.” It was a very, very sweet thing. When the Amazon guys came up with the idea, I thought it was really quite clever. We had a ball doing that, and it’s really sweet the way that he’s emerged as really a kind of a character on the show.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Yes, it is, and Coltrane is precious. I know you’re an animal lover and rescuer.
Titus Welliver: That’s why I have to be very careful about those shelters. I always say that if I had 1,000 acres and a big old fence, I would live that way, and they could all just come and be there. There’s nothing that would make me happier.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Titus, thanks for the time. Can’t wait to sit on the couch and watch the new season from beginning to end.
Titus Welliver: (laughs) Well, you know, there’s no excuse not to do it. Thank you so much.
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