Jamie Hector knows a thing or two about great TV shows.
After all, the New Yorker has starred in the most legendary shows on the small screen (The Wire, Heroes). It’s no surprise that the actor is now a part of the popular Amazon series Bosch, a gravelly crime drama following the books penned by Michael Connelly. The series follows Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) and Jerry Edgar (Hector) as the brilliant yet problematic Bosch plays the fine line of renegade-rogue detective with Edgar as his right-hand man in Los Angeles.
Like most crime dramas, the story quickly resonated with viewers. What made things different was the amount of power the audience actually had in the future of the show. After the series premiered in February 2014, the viewers voted amongst a sea of other shows if it would get the boot. With season two premiering on Friday (March 11) it looks like the show is here to stay.
Season two will follow heavy story lines with Bosch’s family and the murder of a Hollywood producer. It also blends three of Connelly’s books (The Drop, Trunk Music and a portion of The Last Coyote) to make any binge-watcher thank the high streaming gods for.
Creating a show like Bosch in a time of civil unrest against law enforcement could be seen as unsettling, but the show takes on a world of its own, enthralled in justice seeking, heart-stopping action and suspense.
Speaking with Hector, we find out just how much the actor has learned about the LAPD (he shadowed them for research), why fans will go coconuts this season and his other big project, the Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me.
VIBE: What drew you to the role of Jerry Edgar on Bosch?
Jamie Hector: When I read for the part and when I auditioned for the team. Michael Connelly and Eric Overmyer received it and that drew me to the part. After that, I started reading the books. I learned more about the LAPD division and shadowed the officers just to tell the story from that perspective.
What was like to shadow police officers?
It was informative and just from a different place. Recognizing how you always have to stay alert, understand the rules of the game and knowing that you have to come home every night to your family [makes it different.] You are your brother’s keeper. It’s your job to be on point. You have to be smart about it also.
The belief is you’re meant to be a community servant.
Exactly. Doing a job like that is way better if you ‘re called on it by a deep passion. You’re going to do it hard and not without any ego or arrogance or bravado.
It’s great when people have that passion. Just last month Gil Hill (of Beverly Hills Cop fame) passed away. He remained on the force and later became a councilman serving his community for over 40 years in Detroit. On the other hand, we have a group who has abused their authority at the expense of the people. With your new perspective, do you have a different view of law enforcement?
From the perspective from whatever job you do, you have to be passionate but unfortunately, now from where we’ve come with the economy, people are just working to feed their family. The understanding of being an LAPD detective right now in this time of social media during the time of body cameras on officers, it’s not that easy to get away with things. Even when you think you’re getting away with something, you’re not. It keeps them on their toes.
What’s the difference between Bosch and other crime thrillers out today?
From a brother that loves film and good television, [I have to say] it’s a really good project. It is! It’s really good. In season one, we started off with the body in the trunk!” [Laughs] It’s way grittier and way more honest. It’s using L.A. as one of the characters in the show. You get one case that follows the entire season. In Bosch you’ll have one storyline for the most part that is very dynamic and very difficult. When you think you know the answer you don’t. You journey through the story with Bosch, Jerry Edgar, all the way to end you’ll think, “Wow, I didn’t even see that coming.”
What do you think fans should look out for with your character in Season 2?
You’ll see Jerry fighting for the bond him and Harry have which is husband and wife or best friends. Think the armed forces, ‘I am my brother’s keeper from left to right.’ You’ll see that Jerry doesn’t want Bosch to go rogue and goes over the edge like he tends to do. At the same time, with the things that Harry does, it’s also in a way to protect Jerry from charges that might come down from above. At the end of the day, when you’re riding with your boy it’s like, ‘If you’re in, I’m in. If you’re not I’m not.’ I need him to understand, ‘I need you alive, I rather you here with me instead of there lying stiff in a coffin. Better alive than dead.’
That’s pretty powerful. You’ve played such strong characters in your career. Another would be in as Mutulu Shakur (Tupac’s stepfather) in the rapper’s biopic, All Eyez on Me. How was it to work on that project?
We just wrapped on it. It’s wrap party time. It’s in post-production now. I heard Mutulu was released so of course I reached out. What’s better than to actually develop your character by speaking to the people themselves? Then I found that it wasn’t true, but I was looking forward to speaking with him. It was cast with a great group of actors. Danai Gurira, who plays my wife Afeni Shakur, did an amazing job so I look forward to seeing her performance. It’s a full-out expression of Afeni Shakur. She was making the Black Panther community better and stronger by not allowing the people to be oppressed by those oppressing them. It was a great experience to film in Atlanta.
I had a few friends volunteer as extras in the film. Look at Atlanta, Black Hollywood.
You know what I’m saying! Look, to be fortunate enough being on a film like All Eyez on Me is an honor and a blessing. To be doing it in Atlanta, everyone comes out, showing love to this project with Tupac, which would undoubtedly be loved. You get a chance to do something great.
If there’s anything you would tell people who haven’t seen the show, what would it be?
First, you got to get Amazon Prime. If you watch the trailer, you’ll see guns, women, drama, shootouts, the fence [laughs]. When you do view it, you’ll see an intellectually thought out dynamic project. You have two detectives: Bosch and Jerry Edgar are determined to keep the world safe. To keep L.A. safe. To solve crimes people normally don’t care about. You will be impressed. Tune in and I’ll guarantee after you watch the first episode you won’t be able to turn it off.
Set up your Bosch binge-fest here.