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Interview: Annie Wersching

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In early 2014, Bosch was one of a handful of pilots that were streamed online for free by Amazon Studios for fans to watch and vote on. After several months of fan votes and opinions, Amazon Studios decided to pick Bosch up to series. Based on the hugely successful series of books by Michael Connelly, Bosch follows LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy and at the same time is facing charges that he killed a suspected serial killer in cold blood.

Added to the mix of this intense drama is actress Annie Wersching. Annie plays Julia Brashner, a LAPD officer who has just joined the force and is looking to make a difference. Annie is definitely no stranger to our television screens as she has amassed an impressive list of credits. Most notably, she played the tough Renee Walker on the hugely popular 24 with Kiefer Sutherland and opposite Halle Berry in Extant. She’s also appeared in series such as Dallas, Revolution, Supernatural and Body of Proof. Not only will she be seen in Bosch this season, but she will also be reprising her role as Dr. Kelly Nieman on Castle and has just accepted a role on the hit CW series The Vampire Diaries.

Annie sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about her new series Bosch, how she misses Renee Walker from 24 and gives some sound advice to up and coming actors.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it about the pilot script for Bosch that made you want to be part of that project?

Annie Wersching – The writing was a big part of it. Good writing is always the first thing when it comes to a script. Also, the fact that there were already nineteen Michael Connelly books to draw on that were so popular and already had this built-in fan base was huge as well. It lets you know that the writers know what is going on and that they aren’t winging it. Sometimes you go into a show and they know where they are in the beginning, but don’t know where they are headed and don’t have a true idea where they are headed. Everything obviously isn’t figured out yet for Bosch, but at least you know they have an idea where they are going because of those hugely popular books.

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Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us the premise of Bosch and your character Julia Brasher?

Annie Wersching – Bosch is a show about an LAPD homicide detective named Harry Bosch. In this particular first season, we’ve taken three of Michael Connelly’s books and wove them together into what will be our first season. Bosch gets a case about the murder of a thirteen year old boy from a long time ago and things kind of take-off from there. It’s a procedural cop show, but it is very character driven and you get to see the world from Bosch’s eyes.

Along the way when he first gets to this new case he meets Julia Brasher, a newbie uniform police officer, who is three months out of the academy. She’s had a lot of life experiences, so she doesn’t necessarily carry herself a newbie. More than anything she wants to be a cop that makes a difference and wants to be a homicide detective like Bosch. They instantly have a pretty real and genuine connection. This case that he is working on is sort of dragging him down deeper into his past and is pretty dark. Brasher kind of brings Bosch alive in the present in a really cool way.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it like working with Titus Welliver who plays the lead character Bosch?

Annie Wersching – It was just awesome and he is the best. He’s such a pro and has seen it all and has so many stories to tell. He’s worked with everyone in the business and is also a complete gentleman. We had some sexy scenes together and he could not have been more of a gentleman and was very protective of me which was really nice. Right off the bat, we had those kinds of scenes and I really didn’t know him all that well. When I worked with Kiefer, we had already been friends for three years and it was a different thing, this was basically kind of working with a stranger, but he was very gracious and very sweet. I learned a lot from him and we had a great time.

Pop Culture Principle – The series Bosch is based on Michael Connelly’s books which have a huge fan following. Did you as an actor feel any pressure living up to the expectations of the fans?

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Annie Wersching - I think a lot of that unfortunately for him falls on Titus because the fans have lived with this guy since 1992, so it’s a pretty big thing to try and fit the person with what the fans have in their head. I also think that was important to casting because they didn’t find him until the very end, and when they did they instantly knew he was it. It was kind of a cool thing the way Amazon tested the pilot where everybody could see it because they could weigh in on what people’s thoughts were…The Bosch they had envisioned the entire time had come to fruition. As far as Julie Brasher, she is only in one book so I had a little less pressure to portray her exactly like fans might think. We just wanted to tell a good story and try to represent the books and stay as true to them as we could. With Michael Connelly involved with the show, we knew he wouldn’t let them veer too far off the path.

Pop Culture Principle – Where there any major differences or challenges shooting the pilot for Amazon as opposed to shooting the pilot for one of the major networks?

Annie Wersching – When I first got the call for the pilot and they told me it was on Amazon, I was like what? I hadn’t followed the show Alpha House that they already had on. It was before their two Golden Globe wins, before Transparent and before they secured Woody Allen, so they all of the sudden came out swinging. Being a part of this whole Amazon Studios taking over the whole world thing from the beginning is very exciting. We are also their first drama series which is pretty cool. Amazon gives the creators and showrunners more creative freedom then they would have if Bosch were on a network. I can’t even imagine Bosch being on another network. They can do a little bit edgier topics and add edgier content to the show. They have the luxury of time because there are only ten episodes as opposed to twenty-two episodes, so they really have the time to mold and craft the story.

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Pop Culture Principle – With the rise of Amazon Studios and Netflix along with cable networks like FX and AMC, would you agree these are exciting times to be an actor?

Annie Wersching – Oh absolutely! It is such an exciting time and there is so much stuff to watch. It feels like the best movies are being made on television. The quality and the amount of stuff out there seems to be endless.

Pop Culture Principle – You’ve also booked a recurring role as Lily in the second half of season 6 of the Vampire Diaries. What can you tell us about your character?

Annie Wersching – My character’s name is Lily and I really haven’t started shooting anything just yet, but will be shooting very soon. I think I can say that my stuff is kind of period, which is something I was really excited about. She’s a strong woman and a very protective woman. I did get a little bit of future dirt on this character and I will tell you that is what 100 percent sold me on the character. She ends up adding something really cool to the story.

Pop Culture Principle – The Vampire Diaries has a huge and loyal fan base. Are you looking forward to interacting with the fans?

Annie Wersching – Oh definitely! Bring it! Maybe I’ll take some behind the scene photos while on the set of Vampire Diaries. We had some great fans for 24 and I’ve been in the Castle world for a minute and they have great fan base as well. I’m looking forward to interacting with the fans.

Pop Culture Principle – You will also be coming back as Dr. Kelly Nieman on an upcoming episode of Castle. What was your experience like working on that show?

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Annie Wersching – I did one episode last season and I just wrapped my third episode last night, so I come back for a big two parter for February sweeps. The character was so fun in the episode I did last season that it’s so cool they actually brought her back. She’s way creepy and totally obsessed with Stana’s character Beckett. She’s a totally creepy plastic surgeon lady and really a lot of fun to play. A lot of my stuff is with Stana and she’s just the sweetest, kindest, most generous human being. Also, Nathan and the other guys are hilarious and it was just a fun time.

Pop Culture Principle – One of your most notable roles was as Renee Walker on 24. Can you tell us what it was like working on that show for 2 seasons?

Annie Wersching – I was such a huge fan of the show before I joined the cast, so I knew what it was like to be the viewer and be so stressed out. Once you are in it, every moment of the show for the most part is like that, so you just go there and match that pace. Most of my stuff was with Jack, so I just had to keep up with Jack and as long as I did that, it kind of stayed on the same level once we got there. It wasn’t stressful really, it was very exciting.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it like working with Kiefer Sutherland?

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Annie Wersching – It was fantastic! Like I said, he became one of my really good friends over the three years that we worked together. All of our scenes were always so intense. It was wonderful working with him and I miss him big time. We got to work together again on Touch, but he’s off doing all kinds of things now and I don’t get to see him that much. Again, such a pro and he had this really cool way to tweak a scene. I mean, we would have the scene down and he would tweak a word, intention or a look and it always made it so much better and so much more intense.

Pop Culture Principle – Did you enjoy getting to play a “bad ass” and the physicality that was needed for the role?

Annie Wersching - I was constantly getting in trouble because they would have stunt doubles for me and I would never use them. I was definitely game for any of the stunts. I loved that part of her and it was a huge part of who she was that I loved trying to bring that to life. I love her and I miss her big time.

Pop Culture Principle – As an actor, how does it feel knowing you were part of a show that is considered one of the best of all time?

Annie Wersching – Now in the world of binge watching, I think 24 was the first show that was really in that world. When the box set came out, it was the kind of show where when one episode would end; you would have to watch the next episode. Again, I was such a huge fan of the show and sometimes I just say, “Wow, I was a part of that show and that’s pretty amazing. Just the fact that the character was such a big hit with the fans late in the series, and that she was a woman who was trying to be up to par with Jack and was accepted in that way was amazing. I am so proud of my time with the show and so proud to be a tiny piece of it.

Pop Culture Principle – You’ve also had some great guest appearances on shows like Revolution, NCIS, Dallas, Supernatural and Body of Proof to name a few. Is it easy for you as a guest star to come on to a set of a well-established show?

Annie Wersching – It totally depends on the show and me in general, I am always a little bit shy at first and then I try and find one or two people I can joke around with. Sometimes if your guest stint or your recurring stint is literally a scene or two, you are in and out so quick, you don’t even have the chance to make relationships or bonds which can feel kind of strange. I have to say that I’ve been pretty lucky with the shows being very welcoming. Many times it’s the actors that you are in a scene with or it could be the person who sets the tone for the show.

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If they are cool and fun, then I can kind of ease into it. It depends show to show; some are more welcoming than others, but I have bene really lucky.

Pop Culture Principle – As someone who continues to have a successful career, what advice would you give to actors just getting into the business?

Annie Wersching – You have to really want it because it can be a bitch. For some people, crazy success can happen overnight and for some people, they just keep plugging along doing their thing and never really find that break they are looking for. You have to be seriously ready for and prepared for rejection. You have to be able to go, “Oh man, I really wanted that one”, but the next day you have to be totally over it if you don’t get it.

My husband and I both come from the theater and sometimes you just can’t help it, it’s what you do. For me, I don’t even know what else I would possibly do. I would say you have to really, really want it. If there is anything else you can imagine yourself doing in an equal way, I would say do it. But, if this is your thing and you know inside that this is what you have to do, then you have to work really hard. You have to be flexible for sure, you can’t be too sensitive and don’t let things get to you because a lot of the times things are completely out of your control.

Pop Culture Principle – Any other upcoming projects you can talk to us about?

Annie Wersching – Right now, just Bosch dropping on February 13th, the Castle two parter on February 9th and 16th, and I start Vampire Diaries which will run through the spring. So, I am pretty booked up for now with some very exciting stuff.

We would like to thank Annie Wersching for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to talk with us. Don't forget, Amazon Studios will premiere all 10 episodes of Bosch on February 13th. You can keep up with all of Annie's latest news and projects by following her on Twitter here or you can like her official Facebook page here.

**BOSCH photos courtesy of Amazon Studios**

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