Toby Huss, who plays John Bosworth on AMC's Halt and Catch Fire, discusses Bosworth's relationship and financial woes, the importance of his bond with Cameron, and how Bos received a scary wakeup call.
Q: What were your feelings coming into the final season? Did knowing this was the last chapter have any impact on you?
A: It’s going to be tragic! [Laughs] No, we all reacted the same way to it: It’s sad to see it go because we all loved it and liked working with each other and thought of it as a really wonderful show, but this is the end of it. We have to keep on.
A: You know, it’s weird because I didn’t plan on keeping that beard. It just sort of showed up, and then I asked Chris [Cantwell] and Chris [Rogers] if we should keep it and they said, “Yeah, we don’t care.” I kept looking for a point in the script to shave it off and I never really found one. Like, is he going to shave it off because he’s real tense and has financial problems? Nah, he’d keep it. But what if he has a heart attack?! Nah, he’ll keep it! [Laughs] There was never a big enough reason to shave it off, so I just kept it. It’s gone now, though, thank God.
Q: We learn in the Season Premiere that Bosworth has gotten himself into a financial bind. When Bos asks Gordon for the money, he says, "This can't be my last thing." Do you think he is unsatisfied with what he's accomplished in his life?
A: You want to go out on a high note and Bosworth is feeling like he’s on a low note to go out on, so he’s concerned about that. He’s in a position now where he never thought he’d be and he never wanted to be. He’s got Diane, which is fantastic for him, but financially, he’s in the sh–tter.
Q: He clearly is unwilling to ask Diane for money because of other pre-existing relationship problems. What do you think was causing the "choppy water?"
A: This is a power dynamic that he’s not used to. He’s not used to being with somebody who makes a lot more money than him or with a woman who is as business savvy as he is – and is probably better in business than he is. It’s a different dynamic for a guy of that generation to get used to. He’s lost his footing there and he could always say he had some money to fall back on, but he’s lost that. And he has to sell his boat! He’s lost his footing in every aspect of his life, almost.
Q: How does Bos feel when Donna invites him to work on the Rover project? Does he think it will help him solve his problems?
A: He doesn’t know if they’re just trotting him out because he’s an old guy and they’re giving him something to do so he doesn’t go crazy or if they really value what he brings to the company. He’s going to make the best of it, but there are mixed feelings. He doesn’t know what the real motive is behind it. He’s aware of his place – that he’s not a 28-year-old hungry kid who’s starting his career and kicking ass. He’s a different thing and he knows it.
Q: When Bosworth finally goes to Cameron to help with Rover, how conflicted is he about it? Is it a move of desperation?
A: He wants to see Rover succeed. He’s not going to work against a project he’s working on. He has no political agenda like that. He’s not like that as a man. Whatever he’s working on, he wants to succeed – whether it’s a relationship with Diane, Rover, Mutiny. This guy’s a real team player and he’s a leader when he has to be.
Q: Is he happy his relationship with Cameron is strong enough that he is able to ask?
A: Of course. Besides Diane – or even instead of Diane at some points – the relationship with Cameron is the most important relationship in his life.
Q: In Episode 5, Bos suffers a heart attack. What was your reaction when you read that scene?
A: It makes a lot of sense. That’s what’s going to happen to a dude who gets in that position. He’s really a wreck by the time that happens. It’s a natural consequence. He was a cocktail-drinking, cigarette-smoking business man for most of his career and this other part of his life has changed. Guys like that have heart attacks all the time. I heard about it through word of mouth, so I was like, “Oh shit! I wonder if they’re going to kill John.” That would stink because I like the character a lot.
Q: Although Bos survives the scare, what kind of impact do you think it will have on him moving forward?
A: I think for anybody who goes through a health scare like that, it changes them. Maybe it makes them so fearful that they go back to exactly what they were doing before or maybe it wakes them up and they see Jesus every morning in their cereal. And for a lot of people, something in-between happens. I think it was a wakeup call for Bosworth.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment or memory from being on set, either this season or throughout the run of the show?
A: Working with that cast and that core of group of us. They’re really great people. I learned stuff every day that I was on set with them. I was engaged, creative, humbled and really happy to work with those guys.
Q: Are you bummed you didn’t get to sing more Sinatra this season?
A: No, I’m glad they kept Bosworth away from a microphone this year. I’m very satisfied with what it was last year.
Read a Q&A with Mackenzie Davis, who plays Cameron Howe.
Halt and Catch Fire airs Saturdays at 9/8c on AMC. To stay up-to-date with all the latest Halt and Catch Fire news, sign up for the Members Only Club.