A quick six with ‘The Beast’s’ Larry Gilliard Jr.

Actor Larry Gilliard Jr. has appeared in so many great films and notably HBO’s long running award winning series, “The Wire.”

Gilliard studied acting at the Juilliard School, Baltimore School for the Arts, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The Acting Studio, Inc. and has appeared in “The Gangs of New York” and “The Machinist.”

His follow up for the smallscreen post-“Wire” is the A&E critically acclaimed series “The Beast,” starring alongside Travis Fimmel and Patrick Swayze.

In the next episode of ‘The Beast’, a deadly virus is taking the life out of a boy each second and Barker must find the person behind it for a cure.

Called “Infected”, the episode will air Thursday, February 5.

“The Beast” which is starring Patrick Swayze as Barker, is an A&E drama series about a seasoned  FBI agent who takes on a rookie assistant in solving crime cases.

Larry Gilliard Jr. plays Ray Beaumont in the series.

Monsters and Critics caught up with Larry Gilliard Jr. for a quick chat.

To date, what has been your favorite scene with another actor in The Beast that you feel is your best work so far on that series?

Larry Gilliard Jr.:  I can’t really say what my favorite scene is. I don’t know.

When I’m doing a scene I just try to be truthful to what’s happening in that moment. It doesn’t always translate through the camera. Sometimes I think a scene went pretty well. Then I watch it and think, “What the hell was I thinking when I said that?”

Sometimes I think I could have done a scene better. Then I watch it and it’s not so bad. I haven’t seen all the episodes yet.

Once I have, I can look back and say, “this one or that one wasn’t so bad.” You gotta get back to me.

When you got the script for The Beast, what was it about your character Ray that intrigued you for this project?

Larry Gilliard Jr.: I liked that Ray was a cool-headed, mild-mannered intelligent guy.

I haven’t had the opportunity in my career to play characters on the side of “Law Enforcement”.

That was a draw as well.

When you worked with Patrick, was it easier when you were in character to forget the news and media storm about his health and just act, or was it always there?

Larry Gilliard Jr.:  Patrick comes to set to work. I go to set to work. It’s never an issue when they say, “Rolling!”

Gilliard Jr as DAngelo Barksdale in The Wire

Gilliard Jr as D’Angelo Barksdale in “The Wire”

So many people were emotionally involved with the excellent HBO drama The Wire, what do you miss about that acting “family” and playing D’Angelo Barksdale?

Larry Gilliard Jr.:  I miss everything about The Wire. The character. The other actors. The creators. The crew. It was a special show that went far beyond entertainment.

You have a sterling CV for your education in the arts, what medium is most enjoyable for you, stage, film or smallscreen?   What gives you the biggest thrill as an actor?

Larry Gilliard Jr.: I love all the mediums, but movies are my favorite.

There is nothing like walking onto a movie set.   Especially when it’s an actual set that was built.

Just like when watching a movie, acting in a good one can transport you to another place.

How long were you in Chicago filming this series?   Is it one of your favorite American cities or do you prefer New York?

Larry Gilliard Jr.:  New York is my number 1, but Chi-town is a close second.

I like Chicago a lot. It’s a great city with very cool people who had the foresight to elect Barack Obama before the rest of us even knew.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.