David Krumholtz Believes He Was Meant to Play Harvey Wasserman

by Olivia Armstrong

The actor divulges what drew him to the role of porn director Harvey Wasserman and why Candy’s entry into his world might shake the status quo.

  • What's it like working with series creators David Simon and George Pelecanos?

  • Once you get past the worship stage of working with someone you’ve idolized for quite some time, it’s a thrill. It’s fun and relaxing to know you’re in experienced hands. When there’s genius behind the camera you know what you’re doing in front of the camera will be curated to make you look your best. That’s always a comfort.

  • What were your initial reactions to reading the scripts?

  • I thought, Whatever this show is, it’s as brilliant and grounded as what they’ve done in the past. If David and George are examining an intense world through their magnifying glass, it’ll be huge. My audition scene was that first moment with Candy in the diner. It was so well crafted and I could picture Maggie [Gyllenhaal, who plays Candy] doing it so beautifully.

  • Why is Harvey hesitant to help Candy break into the film industry?

  • He’s happy to bring her in as an actress, but when she mentions directing -- the idea of a female director or producer was such a ludicrous notion. That a female could make porn challenged the entire idea of porn. I think he’s a lazy guy and he ends up not wanting to do the work for her -- not wanting to have to convince people she’s something worth fighting for. But he comes to like her in that scene.

  • Besides the spotlight on female directors within the story, there's also a strong female eye behind the scenes. How was this dynamic on set?

  • Michelle MacLaren, Roxann Dawson and Uta Briesewitz: these directors are at the top of their game. Of course you want the female perspective, especially on a show like this. I just think it’s really sad there was a time when absolutely brilliant women weren’t being allowed into positions of power.

    I’m proud to have worked with these women on something so provocative that I’m sure challenged them on an emotional level like it did with me. It’s such a visceral show. But I’m proud to say I got to work with them because of how great they are, not necessarily because they’re women.

  • James Franco's characters are based on real twins. Do you know if Harvey is based on anyone specific?

  • Not that I know of, but the strangest thing happened: I live in New Jersey and an older gentleman who lives across the street from me is always checking in on my career. He had seen a preview for The Deuce and was excited and said, “I remember those times. Who do you play?”

    I told him I play a porn director named Harvey Wasserman. And he goes, “That’s my name!” No relation, but what are the chances of that happening? It’s the strangest thing in the world -- I feel like I’m meant to be doing this part.