Harold Perrineau

Harold Perrineau

Harold Perrineau’s had an incredible career that most actors can only dream of. From being a part of the whirlwind that’s Lost to quoting Shakespeare in Baz Luhrmanm’s incredible re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet, he’s been an instantly recognisable face for years.

Tonight sees him take a much needed break to comedy though, as he’s a part of Wedding Band, 5*’s latest great US import.

We talked to the actor about the show, his musical explorations and getting all dolled up with Penelope Cruz.

So for us folks who’ve not seen it yet, what can you tell us about Wedding Band?

Wedding Band is a show about four friends in Seattle who are rock and rollers who are just a little past their prime. so instead of playing at indie clubs, they're playing at weddings, where everyone knows the songs, even if there not the most captive of audiences.

The band's called Mother Of The Bride, and these guys will go to any lengths to make sure that your wedding day is the best day of your life. They will go as far as they need to go which always leads to some funny, silly things happening.

Apart from your own, what’s the best wedding you’ve been too?

I’ve been to a number of really great weddings, my friend Kelly Williams had an amazing wedding up in Santa Barbara. She had two totally different services because she and her husband are from totally different backgrounds and that was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. Apart from the fact that two weeks later my girlfriend at the time broke up with me, but during the ceremony it was fabulous! (laughs).

The Wedding Band Gang

Is it good to be doing something funny like Wedding Band after so many serious dramas?

It was so good, it was such a relief. it was like the career gods went "Hey Harold, you need a break, so lets do something funny for a while." Wedding Band is the perfect thing for me. We get to have fun, makes jokes and get to play all these great songs which is another huge passion of mine and I get to pretend to be this brilliant musician, which I'm not, but I try real hard at.

My character Stevie's a musical genius though, so I've played six or seven instruments in this first season. It was a real relief to get to do this. I hoped we'd get to do this for a real long time, it was so much fun. I had a whale of a time with all the cast and our great guest stars.

Talking of music, you do that a little bit on the side too. When did that become a part of your life?

It’s just been part of my entire adult life. I was a violinist in high school and I when I went to college, I went there as a musical theatre major. So I’ve continued on that musical path, it’s always been a part of me. Then around 2001 I met a friend of mine and we just started exploring writing and playing music.

It was a really good opportunity for me to stop saying what other people wanted me to say as an actor and see if I could make sense writing down things myself. I’ve been having fun with it; it’s really good for my soul. Music is universal; it connects with everybody and to be a part of that is a great feeling to be part of that.

Back to acting, what’s it been like being on Sons Of Anarchy?

Of Anarchy is so much darker and it’s the stuff and I’m used to working in. It’s the way my career’s gone as a dramatic actor, being in Oz and Felons, I’ve been a lot of people in that criminal world. Sons Of Anarchy is another chance for me to dip my foot into that world and do what people seem to do what I do best. It’s been really fun though, I get to be the biggest badass on the show, and that’s a show filled with badass guys.

You’ve been a lot of the biggest TV and movie projects out there over the last decade, is that something you could find yourself bragging about?

I guess, but I just count myself as really fortunate. I wouldn’t eve brag though. I know it’s not just talent, because some amazingly talented people haven’t had the same luck I have, I so do count myself as really fortunate. I’ve gotten to work with amazing actors, directors, cinematographers, stage directors and I’ve had the most amazing time. I’m really proud and happy about it, but I’ll never brag. I don’t know the secret to all this.

We can’t leave Lost alone forever, but the only question I have is do people still yell “Walt” at you?

Every day, which is amazing! Every single day at least one person does is it. I’m just there going “Wow, still?” It never stops man, whether it’s on Twitter or just walking down the street, I was in a sandwich and the guy asked “Hey, were you Micheal in Lost?”, to which I off course said yes and he said “I was about to ask if the sandwich was for Walt, but I didn’t”. The guy then found me on Twitter and just wrote “WALT!”, which was just perfect (laughs).

Wedding Band

So, in both Woman On Top and Romeo and Juliet, we’ve seen you put on the drag. When next can we see you put on a skirt?

Hopefully as soon as possible. I remember when I did Woman On Top and the makeup artist had just done the most amazing things to my face and I was just there going “Wow, I’ve never felt pretty before! This is an amazing feeling”. In Romeo and Juliet, there was no pretty to be found there, he was just a madman, but I actually felt pretty in Woman On Top.

I have some photography from the set and its like “You know what, I’m not a bad looking chick” (laughs). So the next chance I get to feel pretty again, I’ll take it, I don’t get to feel that too often.

You don’t get many opportunities when you can stand next to Penelope Cruz and know she’s not the only pretty one there.

(laughs) Exactly right! I remember this one time we were dieting because we had to fit in these dresses and it was so cool doing a movie with her and dieting together (laughs).

So, rounding off, what’s next for you then?

I’m working right now on this movie called Ten, with a young woman from the UK called Olivia Williams and this Austrian gent Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s another series piece, working with David Ayer, who’s a really serious guy and we finish that up soon.

After that we’re doing a sequel to a movie I did years ago called The Best Man, we’re going to pick that up 12 years later. It’s going to reuniting with the old crew of Taye Diggs, Terence Howard, Morris Chestnut, so that’s going to be great.


Wedding Band starts exclusively on 5* at 9pm tonight.