Michael Harney considers himself grateful and lucky to be a part of History Channel’s new hit series “Project Blue Book.” The new show airs on Tuesdays and has quickly grabbed viewers’ attention. Harney spoke highly of the cast and crew and that they are all trying to create something really cool for everybody to embrace so they can feel good for a couple of hours. When it comes to believing in UFOs, he believes that there is a tremendous amount of information out there and people like Doctor Hynek have done some amazing work in demystifying what is real and what is not.
After starting his career in social work and prison reform, the Bronx, NY born actor has come full circle with roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Weeds” and “NYPD Blue.” He is also well known for his role in “Deadwood” and can be spotted in films such as “Erin Brockovich,” “Ocean’s 13,” and the list about goes on forever.
Colleen Bement: Let’s start out, of course, with “Project Blue Book.” General Hugh Valentine and no doubt you’re just perfect for the role. What can you share about your experience on the set filming the series?
Michael Harney: Well it’s a professional set, so we all come to work ready to go. I’m pretty quiet in the way that I work. I just create a world and I sort of start living in that world before I start to shoot. I sort of try to stay in that place for a while. I go to talk to people and socialize, but minimally. I have to say the biggest thing that all are pulling for each other to create something really special. The talent is really top level from the producers, the directors, the actors, the writers, everybody; set designers, costume designers, just everybody is top shelf. I’ve been around for a while so I really feel that. It’s really sort of a group effort to make something that’s extremely special and something that will last. It’s really something.
CB: What you think about
MH: I think to demystify the information it’s important to look solid research among that research there’s Doctor Hynek, but there are a plethora of researchers who have done tremendous work. There’s also a tremendous amount of information out there in interview form with people that have top-level security clearance in the military who have broken rank and talked about the existence of extraterrestrial life. So far in terms of the research that I’ve done it appears that they’ve been around here for so long and that there seems to be
CB: I remember you well as your character of Sam Healy in ‘Orange is the New Black” and your character in “Weeds.” I loved all of those shows. I know my characters. How did you prepare? You really came full circle to play Sam Healy.
MH: I watch a lot of footage.
CB: I think I read that you were planning to be a social worker?
MH: I thought about it for a while. I also was thinking about the priesthood when I was in my early 20s, and I didn’t do either at the time. I ended up falling, by accident, into an acting class that that just kind of really grabbed me. I fell into a class in college. I had a professor there who went to the Royal
CB: I see you have a really cool film coming out sometime this year “The Banker.” Great cast and interesting premise. Tell me more.
MH: It’s a really wonderful story in terms of civil rights. It’s a story about two African-American men who decided to get banks going that would operate fairly with the African-American community. They were smart enough in those days down South to realize that they needed a Caucasian man to do the front business, and they did that. They weren’t doing anything wrong, they were running a business. Of course the good