James, who hails from Great Britain (you may recognize him from his turn as Kemal Pamuk on Downton Abbey), agrees. "Being in New York—that was the most important thing."
James read controversial cop Bernie Kerik's autobiography and other police novels to prepare for the role and hired an accent coach to master Clark's New York staccato. He also spent time with real New York cops: tagging along on ride-alongs, going to dinner with their friends and families, and hanging around other establishments to learn about police culture. "Drinking in cop bars, having tequilas—that's when you get the real stories, when you start getting s---faced with people," James says.
"By giving you the book ends to the show"—that Clark will survive to the series's conclusion and will achieve great career success—"it takes away the element of life and death," Wootton says.
"It's not about whether he survives this experience, it's what kind of a human being is he at the end of it, what is the price that he paid, who around him has a target on them, and what's the price of success ultimately."
Golden Boys premieres on CBS with two special previews, on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and Tuesday, March 5 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT, both nights), moving to its regular Friday time period (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on March 8.
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