“There’s a great description of that guy as a subtle beast, so that was always something as a touchstone I could have with me when he was moving through a scene,” says actor Bill Camp about his role as determined NYPD detective Dennis Box in HBO’s crime drama “The Night Of.” Det. Box is an understated role, often with more happening behind the eyes than is spoken aloud, so to get into that mindset Camp considered how someone like Box must have spent “a good portion of their adult life living in the world of homicide … the worst thing that we can do to each other as human beings.” He understands “the seriousness of the job and that people’s lives were in the balance.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Camp above.
The eight-episode limited series aired last summer and explores the functions and dysfunctions of the criminal justice system during the investigation of a woman’s murder. The prime suspect is a young Muslim man (Riz Ahmed), who is investigated, arrested and tried for the crime, but in the end we still don’t know with certainty whether or not he’s guilty. “I like the idea that it’s up in the air,” Camp reveals. “We always want to have somebody to condemn and blame. We want to have that answer so we can tie it up in a very neat ribbon and walk away from it.”
Since “The Night Of” has an open ending, there has been speculation about a possible second season, either as a continuation of this story or as an anthology exploring a brand new story. Camp says that it would be a “no-brainer” for him personally to return for another season. Det. Box “is still somewhat a mystery. There are things I know about him, but there are also things I would love to discover about him … [a second season] would be something that I would embrace, but I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
In the meantime, Camp can say for sure that he will be revisiting another role on an HBO series. He will appear in the third and final season of “The Leftovers,” which is currently airing. He appeared in season two in an alternate dream reality where his mysterious character encountered Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux). “I come back in season three, and I may have just committed a crime by saying that,” Camp says. “A little more is revealed … Is [my character] the devil, or is he God, or is he some angel, or is he a figment of Kevin’s imagination?” We’ll have to wait and see.
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