Actor Jamie Hector is no stranger to working on crime dramas; after all he starred in HBO’s hit series The Wire as Marlo Stanfield. Now he has crossed over to the other side of the law in the Amazon crime drama, Bosch. The show follows Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) and Jerry Edgar, played by Hector, as they work together to solve cases in the City of Angels. The new season is now available on Amazon Video and gives viewers a chance to see Los Angeles up close.
“The show is different from other crime dramas because Bosch has a dogged approach of latching onto one thing and not letting it go,” Hector told EBONY. “You can binge watch 10 episodes from beginning to end of non-predictable dynamic work as well as the writing. You also get to explore L.A. since many shows don’t do it and they shoot outside of the city.”
Hector isn’t just playing a detective, the actor can also be seen in the highly anticipated Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me as the rapper’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur.
EBONY chatted with Jamie Hector about the new season of Bosch, lessons learned from Mutulu Shakur, and helping at-risk youth reach for the stars.
EBONY: Can you tell us what Bosch is about?
Jamie Hector: Bosch is about a homicide LAPD detective named Harry Bosch. The story comes from New York Times best seller Michael Connelly’s books. So many fans wanted to see this character come to life. Harry Bosch is this detective that believes in the saying, “Everyone counts or no one counts;” and once he’s onto a case, he can’t just let it go. He can’t understand letting go. I just happen to be his partner, playing the role of Jerry Edgar. So it’s one detective that focuses on one job per season while also dealing with his mother being murdered and trying to solve that case.
EBONY: What drew you to the role of Jerry Edgar? It’s the complete opposite of the character Marlo on The Wire. How did you prepare for the role?
Hector: (laughs) That was one of the reasons! It was also the fact that Eric Overmyer was on board. He’s the showrunner, producer, and writer and he came from The Wire. I auditioned and I got it. We have an amazing lead actor, Titus Welliver, and then the role itself is what drew me to it.
The role is about Jerry Edgar who is an LAPD detective, and you know I played the role that is known by everyone as Marlo Stanfield on the opposite side of the law. This guy Jerry is actually morally fit on this side of the law. I just wanted to express the fact that I can be that and have fun with it and pay homage to those that are really living the life.
To prepare for the role I had a chance to shadow two LAPD detectives and really see how they move and understand how they do things. I had the opportunity to go through a simulator where you are in front of a large screen that runs you through examples of situations on whether you should pull out your firearm.
EBONY: What can we expect to see this season on Bosch in regards to Jerry Edgar?
Hector: You can expect an amazing arc and the story of a man that is into doing things the right way. Jerry is an officer that actually doing his job and actually has to shut his eyes at night and deal with the fact that he did his job. This is very difficult for him and also express that to his family and tell his children and try to live that out and just having done his job. This season we’ll have a situation where Jerry Edgar is doing his job and dealing with the fact that Bosch is still dealing with his mother’s murder and the case is closed. It’s going to be a fun ride and journey of two characters that go up against each other. Both of them are trying to do right; but we’re not really going against each other, but trying to protect each other and the conflict arises from that.
EBONY: Switching gears, the trailer was recently released for the All Eyez on Me biopic. What was it like playing the Tupac’s stepfather, Mutulu Shakur?
Hector: It was great. I had the opportunity to look up Mutulu Shakur and see exactly what he was about especially in that time period. The time period always counts, what he was doing for the community and also what he got caught up in. I was hoping that I could sit down and have a conversation with him. It was amazing to be a part of this project. Pac was extraordinary, he was amazing. To find out that Mutulu Shakur was one that poured into his life the way King David poured into Solomon’s life. Yeah you want to live this life out in the streets with drugs and women, but you got to have purpose and direction, you can’t be out here flying willy-nilly, if you are going to do it, do it right.
EBONY: What lessons did you learn from Mutulu Shakur that you carried over into your own life?
Hector: I learned that sometimes you have to take things into your own hands. He opened up an acupuncture service for the community in Harlem and when heroin and crack was dropped on Harlem in the ‘70s, and people turned their back on the area. So he opened an acupuncture facility to service the people. He took it into his own hands to do that because if left to everyone else to help the community, they would be ignored. So I learned that sometimes you just have to do it yourself. If you constantly sit down and think about how you’re going to execute something, you’re never going to execute it.
EBONY: Technically you took matters into your own hands, because you created your theater company Moving Mountains Inc., can you talk about it and any success stories?
Hector: I’m so glad you asked that about the success stories, because that is one of the reasons I decided to take that into my own hands. I was a part of a theater company growing up so I decided to develop a theater company for budding talent that are at-risk youth. Youth that are driven but don’t have the access to arts programs, or if they do have access, they can’t afford it.
So I opened the doors to budding talent ages 10 to 21 years old that want to develop their artistic skills. We focus on building their character. We also focus on drama, dance, vocals, and cinematography through tutorship. So through this we have been able to develop careers. We have one young lady that is now on the Oceans 8 that plays Rihanna’s younger sister, we have one that just booked a lead on Law and Order: SVU, we have one that’s a recurring on The Get Down, one on the new show Seven Seconds, and one on the entire season of The Breaks. We’re like a theater school. You can learn more about MovingMountainsNYC.Org, where you can find out what we do and how we do it.
Shameika Rhymes is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and her list of receipts include Charlotte Five, EBONY Magazine, Sheen Magazine, JETMag.com, SoulTrain.com, VanityFair.com, WEtv.com and her own website, www.themofochronicles.com. Follow her on Twitter @Mofochronicles @WriterShameika