Terrence Howard says he’s aware television can be viewed as a negative career move for a film actor. But when the TV show is “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” the opportunity can be too good to resist.
“The only hesitation is from yourself — the fear that someone is going to think that your brand is diminished in some way,” says Howard. “But your brand actually expands when you get to work with someone like [‘Law and Order’ creator] Dick Wolf. There’s a huge gap between so-called writing and true writing. You actually treasure a call from someone who stands for the truth.”
Howard — best known for movies like “Hustle and Flow,” “Crash” and “Iron Man” — says he looks forward to the rigors of making a weekly TV series.
“Instead of sitting for three, four months between films and getting stale, my [acting] chops are getting sharper on a day-to-day basis,” he explains. “And I’m also able to grow as a person, because there’s a confidence that comes from knowing you have a job.”
In the new series, Howard plays Deputy District Attorney Joe Dekker alongside a fellow deputy DA played by Alfred Molina. As for plot, it’s the same police/courtroom premise, albeit with a decidedly different class of criminal and court cases. Howard says that while the New York-based “Law and Order” was inspired by the headlines of the blue-collar New York Post, the Los Angeles “L&O” will use celebrity-obsessed tabloids for inspiration.
“Now you’ll be able to see the story behind every word of The Enquirer,” he says. “Instead of picking up Star, you can watch ‘Law and Order’ and see the re-enactment.”