[With today’s television culture rooting more and more for the bad guys in shows like Netflix’s “House of Cards” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” former “Oz” star Mums talks to SOHH about HBO giving birth to these hit series.]
Acting is a great thing, it pays the bills but writing is my calling. I became an actor from being a poet. I love to act but I’d rather write a poem or a play. Don’t get me wrong, I love acting and I love the paycheck.
HBO was a fun time back then. A lot of shows, we used to hang out together. Us and “The Sopranos” cast members, we used to always run into each other. It was just fun. Being on HBO, “Oz” was kind of one of the first ensemble casts on TV. Period. You would be following someone for a while and they’d die and you’d be like, “What!?”
It was also the first show with an ensemble cast where you’d have a character that was kind of grey. It wasn’t until “Oz” that you’d get these grey characters. You’d get these heroes that you’d root for that just weren’t perfect. They’re all in jail. Everyone f*cked up somehow.
It was a thing about watching a show like that and realizing there is no perfect. You could root for somebody that was actually a bad guy.
Then “Sopranos” came and you had Tony Soprano. He was the perfect anti-hero. You could root for him. He was cheating on his wife, he was killing people and you could root for him.
HBO really cornered the market for that which led to “Breaking Bad” and “Sons of Anarchy” and all of those shows that people really respond to. You could look at Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” If it wasn’t for “Oz” and “Sopranos,” you wouldn’t have a “Ray Donovan.”