Before Season 2
HBO: I had a little
something. That I should really know what the show what kind of
responses it was going to get. It comes out. Great reviews.
Comments. Awards. People win awards. It's kind of that kind of a
season. But why do you think it hit so early with the viewers?
LEE TERGESEN: (BRONX CHEER) I have no idea. I think the writing is
great. And I think it's sort of because of the pace of the show. The
show moves along rather quickly. And I think that that it just sucks
people in. Because they get caught up in it. And I think it's,
people are fascinated with prison. And they want to know
what…granted, it's an intelligent show. But, they want to know what,
what's going on in there.
HBO: And how, how did it feel playing the victim? How is it
emotionally for you? Like, is it hard to kind of get out of it
LEE TERGESEN: Yeah. It was definitely weird. Because I noticed, and
I haven't had this experience with a lot of other jobs, but, with
this job, I noticed that a lot of like things were coming up for me.
In my life. Not, not directly related to the show. But it was in my
whole time, that four months was very sort of uh, you know,
tumultuous. There was a lot of things going on. And it took me a
while to get over it, after we were done.
HBO: How is it changing this season? What new direction do you think
it's going to be?
LEE TERGESEN: You mean, for the entire show?
HBO: Yeah, and specifically about your character, Beecher.
LEE TERGESEN: I think, for the first time, people will start to see
what they were trying to do in Emerald City, which they never really
had a chance to do in the first because things were so hot, when the
show started. And from episode one, they were talking about the
riot. And they felt the riot was coming. And things were just
falling apart. So I think now, they're showing, they're really
trying to affect the prisoners, trying to educate them, and stuff
HBO: How, how do things change for Beecher this year? And does he
take revenge on Schillinger? And where do, where do we put that in
LEE TERGESEN: The first episode starts right after the riot and, and
then the second episode is a ten month jump. From which, to where
everybody's coming out of Gen Pop now and is being put back into
Emerald City. So now it's really about assimilation. What I'm doing
to, become part of it. Because that's what you have to do. If you're
not gonna die, you have to become part of it. And so my character
has done some things that have given him this sort of reputation of
being sort of crazy. And so, people have a certain amount of fear
HBO: That's great.
LEE TERGESEN: Yeah. It was like when I was a kid. And my dad always
used to say, "Nobody wants to fight a crazy guy." [LAUGHS] Because
you don't know what he's going to do.
HBO: Did you do any special research on your own? Did you go to a
prison, to sort of like just see it at all?
LEE TERGESEN: Well, I didn't really go to prison because I felt
like, for my character, I'm coming to this place. And this is the
reality for me, and not necessarily what happens in another prison.
So I decided that I would let this world be, let it exist on its
own. And although I had a friend who went to jail for a certain
amount of time. Ten years, for attempted murder. So, I spoke to him.
HBO: How do you think being on HBO affects the kind of realism for
LEE TERGESEN: Well, you know, for something like this, it gives it,
the language. And some of the things that are graphically shown and
implied. And sometimes, a lot of times, the violence is implied on
this show, more than really shown. But there's that freedom to, push
it, and to make it, that's the kind of stuff, when you hear
somebody, [LAUGHS] when you hear the way people talk. I mean, that's
the way people talk. You couldn't have this show on NBC.
HBO: Great. Is there anything in store this season for you? How did
your initial character, was that a little different from last
LEE TERGESEN: As the character, I am trying to emulate something
that I want to be. I want people to be afraid of me because of my
actions, because of the things I've done which are scary. And, but
then also, like for people watching the show, I wanted them to be
going...well, what? Does he think he's tough now? So, Tom sort of
suggested that I do something with my facial hair.
HBO: It's different. Now how do you and um, J.K. in your encounters?
LEE TERGESEN: Well, I'm not spit shining his shoes with my tongue.
[LAUGHS] The great thing about, J.K. is that because of like last
year, we had a lot of really tough stuff to do. And, this year,
there's a little bit of it, but it's not the same. It's not as
degrading for me. And the one thing that I would keep in my head, to
like pull me back, when we were doing scenes like that, was that he
was Captain Hook. To Cathy Rigby's, Tinkerbell. It sort of fills you
with like, happiness. [LAUGHS] He's not really going to hurt me. But
he's a great actor, it's great to work with him. And that's the
thing about this show. All across the board everybody is so
committed to it and everybody is really talented.
HBO: I just wanted to ask, I mean, it seems like you said, it sounds
like you guys have a lot of fun together?
LEE TERGESEN:Well, somebody was just talking about they're working
on a sitcom here in town. And that it was like, they were temper,
and, it was like a lot of stuff going on. t was very intense. But
here, it's like everything that goes on in the show is so intense,
that there's very little posturing, which is refreshing. When you
get a bunch of men together, who are actors.
HBO: Anything else you want to add about what happens to Beecher?
Anything that, without being too specific, you could say?
LEE TERGESEN: Yeah. You know, it's what is happening to him is still
on going. And he's still, there's still a lot of hurdles that he has
to overcome. And, it's not over. Even though there are certain
things that happen, that feel like it's movement, and like that I'm
safe again, in reality, you're never really safe.
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