Is how Laurence Fishburne describes his character
Can you tell us how you came to be cast as Jack Crawford?
Yes, I can. I was in Los Angeles and I got a call from a friend who said that another friend of mine was working on this show and was wondering if I would read it and be interested, etc., etc., and assured me that it was really well written. And so I read it and I thought “Hmm, this is good, okay.” And so then I heard that Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen were cast as the two leading characters and I am a fan of both of them. So that made it easy to say yes, and then just as it would happen, they were shooting it here in Toronto and my wife works on a show here in Toronto called “Suits.” So I was spending a lot of time here anyway and so it just all sort of fell into place.
How would you describe Crawford?
To start off, Jack is the only normal person on the whole set! Jack has recruited Will Graham to come help him catch serial killers because he’s so good at empathizing with them and he is concerned that the work will damage Will Graham psychologically. So then he hires Dr. Lecter to look after Will and his mental state and that is pretty much the premise of the story.
How did you prepare for your role?
The first thing is what’s on the page; the first thing is what’s written and action. Whatever it is that the character does, the things that the character does, those are the things that really define the character.
What do you look for when you are choosing a role?
There’s no one single thing; there’s no one thing consistently. Sometimes you take a job for the money; sometimes you take a job because the character is great. Sometimes you take a job because you’re going to be working with people who you admire and respect and you want to work with them. Sometimes you get a lot of those different things that are all happening at the same time. So this is a combination of things, the things that I just mentioned.
How does Crawford compare with Morpheus in Matrix?
They both play men who are in charge. Both are bosses and mentors. Who doesn’t like being in charge? It’s always good when you can be the boss.
What are the similarities and differences between television and cinema?
I think in terms of cable TV -- the landscape on television in the cable world is pretty amazing. The things that you can do are pretty amazing both with scripted drama and with documentaries. There is so many really wonderful stories so yes, it’s great. This happens to be a network show and I’m not sure how we’re going to get away with it, but we will see.
Which do you prefer and why?
I love to act and it doesn’t matter to me whether I’m doing it on film or TV or on stage.