Philip Baker Hall ('Lt. Bookman')
"It's funny, Lt. Bookman was one of the last roles I ever auditioned for, simply because so many doors opened up after I did the show. I remember that Jerry had a hard time keeping a straight face during the reading. Usually, when you read for things, no one lets on too much, even if they like you. But people were fighting to control their laughter, so when I called my wife afterward, I told her 'There's no such thing as a sure thing…but I'm pretty sure I got this part [laughs].'"
They had said they wanted him to be a blunt, hard-spoken guy…a Raymond Chandler detective type. I wasn't exactly sure what they were after at first — hell, I don't think they knew either, it was going to be a 'we'll know it when we see it' thing. But they knew I was a theater actor primarily, and that I'd bring some of the gravitas and the swagger that you associate with theater actors to the role, you know? As soon as I we started filming it and the whole rat-a-tat-tat thing with the dialogue happened, there was this collective 'that's it!' feeling behind the cameras. Jerry certainly liked it; he was incredibly supportive and really generous, I have to say."
"It's been over 20 years since we shot that episode, and I still can't go out in public for very long before someone says 'My god, it's Bookman!' Or: 'Are you Bookman? I returned that library book, I swear!' [Laughs] It's not just in New York or L.A.; it's happened in a mall in the Midwest or even other countries where they air the show. The guy made an impression."