How Lance Reddick’s Background as a Musician Informs His Acting

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Actor Lance Reddick

The Wire and Fringe star Lance Reddick is not just an actor — he formerly attended several schools to study music and just over a decade ago he released a jazz album, Contemplations & Remembrances. As someone trained both as a musician and actor, Reddick sees clear parallels between these performing art — particularly when it comes to learning accents.

In an interview with Flickering Myth, Reddick says:

It’s funny and interesting because they’ve found that with actors who are athletes and actors who are visual artists, music helps. For example, I’m a big rhythm and paintings person, so being a musician really helped me, particularly with Shakespeare, which subsequently helped me with acting because I’ve played so many characters who give a lot of monologues [laughs]. So I’m good at that because I was really good at Shakespeare, and I was good at Shakespeare because of my music. I was able to apply my musical trends to my Shakespearean study.

But the rhythm and the key to the character is very important as well, and you’ll find that especially when you’re doing characters who have different accents. Most of the characters that I’ve played don’t talk like me in real life, and I’ve played a few characters who speak similar to each other: you know the commanding officer, cop type. And in terms of being able to break down how I approach learning lines, I was able to apply my experiences from playing the piano, so that was also very helpful.

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