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'Southland' Actor Michael Cudlitz Reflects on USO Tour

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Actor Michael Cudlitz plays a veteran cop who was the training officer of Ben McKenzie’s character in the TNT police drama “Southland.” Off the set, the two actors, Regina King and the rest of the cast are a tight team of friends, as King intimated in a recent USO interview. It also made the group jump at the opportunity to go on an overseas tour for the USO together. Below, Cudlitz takes a few moments to email some of his thoughts following the trip. 

Q. When the idea of going on a USO tour came up, what was your immediate reaction?

Michael Cudlitz: Sign me up! ... I had traveled overseas to visit troops before in the Middle East and Germany and it was amazing. These trips are wonderful morale boosters. You see it in the eyes of the troops and the families the minute you step out of the van.

Q. What was the reception for you and your traveling party upon your arrival? What were your impressions?

MC: Everyone was very excited to see us. We were a small group so we were able to go to smaller bases/installations and visit with troops that rarely receive visitors. The whole experience was very moving and extremely gratifying.   

Q. If it was your first time in Japan, what kinds of things stand out from the nation or its people?

MC: It was my first time traveling to Japan. I didn’t see much of the country outside of the bases … You guys kept us pretty busy and I would not have it any other way.   

Q. You played Staff Sgt. Denver “Bull” Randleman in the award-winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Did you have the opportunity to meet him in preparing for the role or before he passed away in 2003? What kinds of memories did he share with you? Any particular things you took from your interaction?

MC: I spent some time with Denver and his family before he passed. He was a very special man and will be in my heart forever. 

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Related links: 

Check out interviews with Cudlitz’s cast mates Regina King and Ben McKenzie, as well as other USO entertainers in our USO Entertainment News section. And see all of the photos from their USO tour on our Flickr set.


(Photo captions: Top, Michael Cudlitz flashes a victorious "V" from the cockpit of a U. S. Marine Corps CH-46 helicopter last May while on the group’s USO tour. Below, from left to right, "The Big Bang Theory" actor Johnny Galecki and producer Steven Molaro, Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie and Regina King pose for a photo with troops at Camp Shield in Okinawa, Japan. USO photos by Michael Clifton) 

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