Frankie Faison is one of those character actors who has been in everything. You might recognize him from his roles on The Wire, Grey’s Anatomy, The Silence of the Lambs, and many more. He’s currently starring on the Cinemax show Banshee, about an ex-con with a stolen identity living amongst the Amish. He chatted with OKMagazine.com about the cool concept and which celebrity freaked out his kids the most!
OK!: For people who haven’t seen it, can you describe the show and your character?
Frankie Faison: It’s about a jewel thief who goes to prison, comes out thirteen years later, and he’s looking for his wife and finds out she’s married in Banshee, Pennsylvania. He stumbles into my bar. I’m Sugar Bates, I’m an ex-convict, champion fighter who runs a bar. There’s a lot of corruption in this town, so the sheriff who comes to straighten out the town gets killed in my bar. The main character takes on his identity, and becomes sheriff of the town. He’s trying to win his wife back, and she’s now married to the prosecuting attorney in the town.
OK!: There are a lot of theater actors in the cast. Does that make for a different filming experience?
FF: I didn’t even know that! They do get a lot of actors who got their start in theater in New York, before coming into films or TV. Yes, because it’s filmed on a set that feels very theatrical in presentation, we take time to rehearse and work on scenes in a way that you don’t usually get. We have the economy of taking time.
OK!: You get the best one-liners on the show. Does one stand out as a favorite?
FF: Oh, there’s so many. The writers give me a lot to work with, great one-liners. One of my favorites was “What are you going to do now?” which I know doesn’t seem exciting, but you’ve gotta see the context of what’s going on. You’ve fooled everyone this whole time, and now people are beginning to ask questions. So what the heck are you going to do now?
OK!: Why do you think it is that people are so interested in the Amish culture?
FF: Because it’s a culture we don’t know a lot about. It’s a protected culture, very insular, they stay amongst themselves. For peolpe to get an up-close-and-personal look on what this community is all about, it’s exciting. And then you put it up against drugs, gambling, sex, and violence, and it’s so anti-Amish that it gives a nice contrast.
OK!: You were on The Wire, which was one of the original binge-watching shows. Have you binge-watched anything lately?
FF: It’s so hard for me to binge-watch anything because I’ve got a busy schedule, but I sort of binge-watched this thing Luther, on BBC. I binge-watched Orange Is the New Black, which for me is one episode a week. At my leisure! Or maybe two a night. That’s as binge as I get.
OK!: Has there been a celebrity that you’ve worked with over the years that your daughters freaked out about?
FF: Yes, many times. As recently as about a month ago, this guy Jonny Miller from Elementary. I was doing an episode of Elementary and I didn’t tell my daughter and she was ready to kill me! “I love that guy, I love that guy! Why didn’t you tell me?!”
Have you ever seen Banshee? What do you think of the Amish twist? Did you watch Faison on The Wire? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.