IMDb file: From ‘The Wire’ to ‘John Wick,’ Lance Reddick always looks for new challenges.
“Range is always what I’m striving for,” says Lance Reddick, an actor known for the wide variety of his roles. “I never want anybody to say ‘Oh, this is who he is.’ Although the characters I play, even in all their diversity, tend to be fairly intense. But they’re all very different guys.”
The actor has had several projects come out recently, including the indie drama “Little Woods,” the action sequel “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” and the fifth season of detective drama “Bosch” on Amazon Prime Video.
Since breaking out on “Oz” and “The Wire,” Reddick, 56, has been careful to keep things as open as possible, often consciously choosing roles he’s never done before. The actor, who also appears on Comedy Central’s “Corporate,” has taken on everything from TV shows to blockbuster films to video games such as “Horizon Zero Dawn,” where Reddick played a mysterious villain.
Going forward, he’s looking to continue taking on new challenges. His most recent project, “Sylvie,” out next year, represents a completely new — and less intense — side of Reddick. “I want to do more black films,” the actor confirms. “And I want to play a regular guy. I don’t want to be the boss in a suit. I don’t want to be an intimidating figure. Just a regular, nice guy.”
Here the actor discusses some of his most memorable projects, including “The Wire,” “Lost” and “Bosch.”
“It feels timely. I’d never seen this story before. I was really impressed by the director, Nia DaCosta. It was one of those projects I didn’t do because of the role; I did it because of the project itself. It was so special and so important that I wanted to be a part of it. Every once in a great while you’ll meet somebody and you see that they’re going to be a star. After meeting Nia, I thought, ‘Wow, I want to be in her first movie.’”
Irvin Irving (2014-19)
“I didn’t want to do it at first. I didn’t want to play another cop. I asked everyone I knew for advice on whether I should do it and eventually I just took the leap and decided to go for it. And it is a great show. My character is really different from those I’ve played in the past. He’s almost more of a politician than a cop. From the beginning, Irving was a political animal. He’s really smart and he loves the game of power. I’ve never really played a character like that before.”
“Horizon Zero Dawn”
“I did some motion capture for this. They scanned my face, but the motion capture action was done by someone else. It is my likeness; a similar thing happened with a game called ‘Quantum Break.’ I’ve never played the game. I tried and it just takes too much brain power. For me, if I want to play chess, I play chess. I do play ‘Destiny’ a lot because you just shoot monsters.”
The “John Wick” trilogy
Charon (2014, 2017, 2019)
“I had never seen a hit-man revenge script done like this before. We’ve seen that idea so many times, but the way Derek Kolstad wrote that script was incredibly creative, incredibly tight and such a character piece. Because it was under the radar for the studio at the time, they kind of left us alone. I just wanted to do it because it was a cool world and I feel like I got in at the right moment. I didn’t know it was going to turn into such a phenomenon.
“White House Down”
General Caulfield (2013)
“At first I didn’t want to audition for it. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? There are multiple seasons of TV of me playing the head of a military unit and you want me to audition for a general?’ And then I went in and didn’t get it. But the person who was cast dropped out for another project. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had the greatest time. I was a huge fan of Richard Jenkins. On my first day, I was late and there was Richard in the car waiting for me and I was like, ‘Richard Jenkins is pissed at me.’ But working with him was great, and to this day we’re friends.”
Phillip Broyles/Alternative Phillip Broyles (2008-13)
“It seems like, with so many shows I was on, the role I played was not the role they first wanted to see me for. Originally they wanted me to come in for the role of Charlie. I read the pilot and the only role that made sense for me was Broyles. So at first I didn’t want to go in for it because I didn’t feel it was necessarily moving my career forward. But I didn’t have another job, so I auditioned. I read for Charlie, but they brought me back to read for Broyles. And then they passed on me for Broyles. I figured I wasn’t doing the show, but a month later they brought me back in again. Ultimately, it was not the most perfect experience. I both enjoyed it and I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t used to the whole network machine and how that works.”
Matthew Abaddon (2008-09)
“My character was a recurring character that was supposed to become a series regular, but when I was cast on ‘Fringe’ that went out the window. At first I thought I would be able to do both, but then I got the script that said I got shot in the head. I was pissed. I didn’t know that was where that was going. That was the first time fans were really weird. I was living in New York at the time, and it seemed like everybody was stopping me to talk about ‘Lost.’ I went from small, niche notoriety to being completely recognizable.”
Cedric Daniels (2002-08)
“I first read for Bubbles, and I found out a week later I was the second choice for Bubbles. If the first choice turned it down, I’d get the role. Obviously he didn’t turn it down. But it’s funny how you start to get typecast based on the last thing you did, and they knew me from ‘The Corner’ as a crackhead, and I had just played a heroin addict on ‘Oz.’ They didn’t even want to see me for Daniels — they wanted a name. I did go in for Daniels, but weeks went by. Then my agent called and said ‘Lance, you got it.’ I said, ‘Which role?’ He said, ‘Daniels.’ It’s the only time in my life I thought I must be dreaming. I just knew that starting now my life would be different.”
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