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Interview with Rhys Coiro

Rhys Cioro as Billy Walsh

HBO

From auteur to unhinged 'Medellin' director to devoted father  which Billy Walsh most resembles you?

Rhys Coiro

I think I have a little bit of all of that in me& and that's kind of scary.

HBO

Do you have any favorite Billy moments?

Rhys Coiro

I never had so much fun as when we were shooting all that Medellin stuff. It was just a blast. I remember that one scene where I'm yelling at a guy about fitting a crane through a window and I have a machete in my hand. But there's a real satisfaction in the stuff that's coming up this season, where Billy is part of the friendship and not the antagonistic force. I savored this season for that.

HBO

Are you guys close off screen?

Rhys Coiro

Absolutely. After eight years, there's going to be a deep connection no matter what.

HBO

In this episode, Billy helps Vince out of a jam. What lengths have you gone to for a friend?

Rhys Coiro

I've never shared penises before with a friend.

"Something I love about the episode is that it's so not network, where it's all wrapped up and everyone's happy in the end. Vince does the wrong thing, and he gets rewarded for it. I personally find that pleasurable because it's a departure from the norm."

HBO

"Whiz Kid" is the episode that Jerry Ferrara wrote. Did you give him any feedback?

Rhys Coiro

This was one of the best episodes that I've read. I had to give him a big slap on the back. Something I love about the episode is that it's so not network, where it's all wrapped up and everyone's happy in the end. Vince does the wrong thing, and he gets rewarded for it. I personally find that pleasurable because it's a departure from the norm.

HBO

Billy used to criticize Eric for being a suit, but it seems like now he's part of the system.

Rhys Coiro

He's still fiercely opposed to compromising and has a clearly defined sense of right and wrong within himself. In the "Whiz Kid" episode, he's all for Vince taking the risk in order to win out in the end, and that's consistent with his previous behavior. Throughout the episode, E and Billy are like the angel and devil on Vince's shoulder. Billy is the devil even though he's in the guise of the god-fearing, straight-laced guy.

HBO

Have you ever worked with a director like Billy Walsh?

Rhys Coiro

I've met several directors and crew people who come up to me and say, "I'm exactly that way," or "I wish I were like that," or "I know some many people who are worse than that." So there's definitely some realism to it. I've personally never come close to working with a director who is like that, although I have worked with scary directors. I think that part of being a director is that you have to command  and Billy has said making movies is like going to war. It is structured in a hierarchical, military way and the director has to have the respect of his troops in order to lead them effectively.

HBO

Can I assume you've never worked with a director like Wally Balls?

Rhys Coiro

That episode was about as close to the porn world as I've gotten.

HBO

If there's a movie, would Billy still be a part of the entourage?

Rhys Coiro

I hope so  I would love to be. We need more devilish angels.

92: Whiz Kid

Season 8