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Polished Edge: C. Thomas Howell of ‘Southland’ on TNT
Q: Now that your character, LAPD Officer Bill “Dewey” Dudek, is a regular, what’s he up to?
A: He has an old-school point of view and perspective. He’s been on the force for 25 years and seen everything. He’s jaded and hardened, doesn’t trust anybody. All those things happen to these guys that have been on the force for that long. A lot of them retire or quit, can’t take the heat.
Q: How do you see your role in the large ensemble cast of “Southland”?
A: I just try to make our other actors look good. That’s my job. I’m like the fullback on the team. I’m the guy that hits the hole and blocks when they’re given the ball so they can score a touchdown. It’s an unglorified position, really. We’re not going to win a game unless somebody does it.
Once you really understand your role ... that’s why I think actors get lost in a series. Everybody wants to be the quarterback or the game-winning wide receiver. I’ve been around long enough and done enough stuff to where I don’t feel that way. I just want to do what I do as well as possible.
Q: How do the fans feel about the politically incorrect Dewey?
A: You ask 10 people, online or in person, five people really hate Dewey, but the other five, he’s their favorite character. It’s really memorable. After every episode, there are a couple of lines you’ll repeat. I get Tweeted all day long, quotes from Dewey. It’s great.
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