Q&A: Bobby Wahlberg, Star of the New Web Series, In Plain View
Another Wahlberg, another cop show? Really?
Yes, really! Be excited, because this series is different from the cop-life seen on Boston’s Finest. Actor—and brother of Mark and Donnie—Bobby Wahlberg is working on a web series titled In Plain View, a show about four police officers in Boston involved in a crime of their own.
Wahlberg has been working closely on the project with the show’s creator Joe Conforti and fellow actor Tom Kemp, who describe the series as nitty-gritty, “something more along the lines of The Departed, Cop Land, and Gone Baby Gone.” Conforti is counting on creating a fantastic pilot product with outstanding acting, regardless of their allotted length with whatever funds raised. Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith is also committed to the cast of In Plain View.
“We’re taking on a genre that is very difficult,” says Conforti about starting a scripted series for the web. “Our goal is to produce the first and best cop drama to come off the streets of Boston—and probably nationwide.”
“I think ours will be quite a bit darker,” Kemp says about comparisons to Donnie Wahlberg’s Boston Police reality show on TNT. “This is not Boston’s Finest. This is Boston’s Darkest.”
Below, Bobby Wahlberg shared some insight into In Plain View, the importance of portraying Boston with accuracy, and why this show definitely is not Boston’s Finest.
First, can you give some background details on the plot of In Plain View?
The series takes place in Boston with Boston police detectives. It’s based on a true story, a detective who was killed several years ago. It revolves around several police officers, some trying to do the right thing, and all for their own benefit. My character is obviously the guy doing the right thing, as usual. He goes through great lengths to do the right thing and try to uphold his duty to be the guy he’s always wanted to be.
Is this a character you felt you have a strong connection with? Joe [Conforti] and Tom [Kemp] told me that you were perfect for this role.
I see the character as a guy who is in a sometimes…gray job. Meaning right and wrong can be kind of fuzzy. He’s always bearing on the side of being right. You do what you gotta do to get your job done, but he is by the book and looking to continue up the ladder to bigger and better things.
So the cast and crew shot the promo video, and right now you’re in the process of putting together a pilot. As you, Tom, and Joe are natives of the city, how much of a priority is accuracy in terms of the portrayal of Boston?
Well, I just finished producing Boston’s Finest. And if you watch that show, you will see Boston shine. Nobody is more proud of Boston than we are. We’re going to be as authentic as possible. You’re talking about 95 percent of the cast coming from Boston or very close to Boston, so anybody from Boston will be able to watch that show and say, “Hey! That’s my neighborhood!” or “That’s where I get my coffee in the morning! That’s the laundry mat I drive by!” It will be very familiar and very true to Boston. I promise you that.
How closely are you working with the Boston Police Department with regards to accurately portraying crime scenes, investigating, and shootouts?
Joe and I have a lot of connections at the police department. But it’s still early in the shooting process. I’m sure once we’re on set, we will have consultants for accuracy as most films do.
Your brother Donnie is the executive producer of TNT’s Boston’s Finest, and you’re also a producer yourself. Are you or anybody on In Plain View‘s creative team concerned that viewers will say, “Hey, another cop show by one of the Wahlbergs—I’ve seen something like that before”?
For me, I’m not the creative force behind [In Plain View], but I see myself, I see Mark and Donnie—all of us—as regular Boston guys. So if there’s a Boston show about police, who’s better to do it, you know? Several of my friends are police officers. I grew up with many guys who are on the police force now who are detectives now or lieutenant. I don’t look at it as a negative. And if anybody does, I don’t get that connection. But you know what? I’m proud of the Boston Police Department, so I love to go out there and make them look good in In Plain View.
Is this a show that was created specifically for the web? Or is this a project the creative team would like to get picked up for TV?
Well originally it was written as a feature film. And it’s been adapted for the web. In hopes of attracting a network, it can easily be transitioned into network TV. So that’s the new business model. A lot of new shows now are getting picked up from the Internet—It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and a couple others. It’s just another avenue. So if it gets picked up by a network, it would be fantastic.