CLARICE: Michael Cudlitz on the Ambiguity of Krendler - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CLARICE: Michael Cudlitz on the Ambiguity of Krendler

May 6, 2021 by  

Clarice Michael Cudlitz Interview

“Add-a-Bead” – Clarice feels an emotional tie to the victim when ViCAP investigates what appears to be the suicide of a medical student in the United States on a foreign visa. Also, Krendler secretly collects a DNA sample from the man he suspects attacked Clarice at Woodhaven, on CLARICE, Thursday, May 6 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Pictured Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler
Photo: Brooke Palmer ©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights ReservedClarice Michael Cudlitz Interview

CLARICE returns on Thursday, May 6 with the team in a tough spot as Krendler (Michael Cudlitz) pushed back against on their major lead. What they don’t know? He’s being blackmailed by Joe Hudlin (Raoul Bhaneja), the man who attacked Clarice (Rebecca Breeds).

“We’ve set Krendler up, when we first met him, very much reminiscent of the Thomas Harris [version of] Krendler that we knew from HANNIBAL and briefly in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS,” Cudlitz notes. “And then we saw a little bit more of a warm, fuzzy Krendler, who was a little bit more understanding, a little more well-rounded. And now we’re not sure.”

But that murky nature for Krendler appeals to the actor. “I think it’s wonderful. The format of the series, the long format in television, is that we can have these longer arcs where you follow these characters,” Cudlitz points out. “We don’t know how this is going to play out with Paul and the rest of the team. We don’t know what his ulterior motives are, if there are any. We don’t know if he’s just being completely worked. And right now, we’re not really sure who the bad guy is—or bad guys are. Or what is really going on.”

“There’s multiple layers to all of this, and I’m excited for the audience to come on this ride with us,” he continues. “I do feel we finally got them to sort of go, ‘Oh, maybe he’s not that bad of a guy.’ And then all of a sudden, it was a gut-punch and we don’t know again. I always love that storytelling: the rise and the fall of our heroes. Human nature. What we think we’re capable of and what we are capable of and what audience expectations are of us. So it’s a very interesting ride over the next few episodes. I think there’s a lot of things that are gonna surprise people in our storytelling.”

For Cudlitz—whose three decades on television has included roles in everything from BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 and BAND OF BROTHERS to THE WALKING DEAD and THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT—what he needs to know to properly play a mysterious character has varied.

“Sometimes you want to know,” he acknowledges. “I was always very adamant early on: ‘Look, Paul can’t just be somebody that people hate; you have to love to hate him, if you’re going to hate him.’ You can’t literally have people be like, ‘I wish that guy was dead.’ We do that in THE WALKING DEAD, we did it in SOUTHLAND, where had we had characters that were that were distasteful at times, but ultimately the audience loves them. And that’s the goal, to find somebody that people love to hate every week, if you’re going to go in that direction.”

“I prefer, typically, to have a wonderfully well-rounded character, as I think most actors do,” he continues. “And the journey is getting there. [Executive producers] Alex [Kurtzman], Jenny [Lumet], and Elizabeth [Klaviter] have done a wonderful job with these characters. But I don’t need to know everything, week to week, in advance. Or all of the big broad strokes. There’s still tons of stuff that I do not know about Krendler, personally, and I’m excited to find out as we move forward. That’s the nature of television. But there are, at times, large stroke things that you want to know. And you want to make sure you’re getting stuff right, because you’re setting stuff up for down the road.”

CLARICE, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS


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