Frequently Asked Questions


HBO: So, you are back for your third season.

muMs: Yes.

HBO: What's new for the poet?

muMs: Let's see, he stopped writing because he was punishing himself. He felt bad because he let everybody down coming back to prison. Now he's writing again; but the thing is, the man that he looked up to, Said -- he let him down. Poet writes a poem that kind of disses Said -- not a little bit, actually a lot.

HBO: Can you tell me how you came to be part of the show?

muMs: I perform a lot at the spot called the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, and Darnell Martin, who shot the pilot, was at one of my shows. I had been performing, and she had been coming a lot. She came up to me after the show, and she was like, wow I really like your work. Would you like to come down and audition? So I came, and I originally auditioned for the another part. I didn't get that, but I did a poem in my audition; and Tom really liked it. It was the poem, "Kidnap the President's Wife." He really liked it, and he said, we've got to put you in this somehow. So in the first season I was just doing poetry, you know. I would be in the background doing poetry; and then they started to develop my character a little and that's how I came.

muMs HBO: Were you an actor before you did OZ?

muMs: Well people say that, but I hadn't done anything. This is my first acting gig -- but I was on stage, just performing poetry and doing little skits that I had written. I never thought it was going to turn into acting and whatnot; but here I am.

HBO: Do you still do poetry?

muMs: Oh yes, that's my love, man. Without that I wouldn't, you know... this is fun; but the poetry -- doing poetry that's my thing.

HBO: A lot of time actors use a particular prop or clothing or hairstyle to get into the role. Do you have anything that really kind of gets you into the character that you play?

muMs:: I usually have my book. I'm reading. I like to show that Poet reads a lot... the shirt that I'm wearing, the African Holocaust; he thinks about his people a lot. The Poet is searching for something. He has this talent, but he also is still doing drugs. He's still in the bad part of society, but he doesn't really know what to do with his talent. So I'm trying to get across... he loves to write, loves the write.

HBO: Why do you think the show has been such a big hit with critics and fans?

muMs: Because it gets deep into the characters. It's like you hear about prisons; I mean everybody is talking about how they're putting more money into the prison system than they're putting into education. Then nobody really knows what's going on behind the walls. So this actually gives you a glimpse, just a small glimpse; cause it's really... it's fiction, but you get to see these characters develop.

Like Beecher, you see him come in as a lawyer, and how he's turned into this like wild character and what can happen when you get into this little society. It's just a microcosm of the larger society with all the smiley faces striped away.

HBO: This season you have the opportunity to work with Matt Dillon.

muMs: Yes.

HBO: It seems to be like a celebrity-director season. Last year Kathy Bates. Did you get a chance to work with her?

muMs: Yes, Kathy Bates is great. She reached and brought out... I mean she made me feel like an actor. Up until then, I was really nervous and scared. But she really was like, muMs, you have to bring out. She really reached in and grabbed the actor in me.

HBO: What was it like working with Matt Dillon?

muMs: Matt Dillon was great. Matt Dillon was running around... he's running back and forth doing this, that, and the other thing, really energetic. He had a nice vision, you know. We did a lot of angles, a lot of different takes. He's cool.


Back to the Top
Additional Interviews

Season IV:

Robert Clohessy
Lance Reddick
J.K Simmons

Season III:

Edie Falco
B. D. Wong
Adewale Akinnouye-Abgaje
Lauren Velez
Terry Kinney
Chris Meloni
Steve Buscemi
Chazz Palminteri
Matt Dillon
Rita Moreno
Lee Tergesen
Tom Fontana Part 1
Tom Fontana Part 2
Eamonn Walker

Season II:

Tom Fontana & Barry Levinson
Kirk Acevedo
Ernie Hudson
Kathy Bates
Dean Winters
Eamonn Walker
Edie Falco
B. D. Wong
Harold Perrineau
Lee Tergesen
Rita Moreno
L L Cool J