Edward Burns Stands Up for 'Public Morals'

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Actor/writer/director Edward Burns sat down with Ben Travers for IndieWire to talk about, Public Morals, his 1960s-era gangster series, which is set to become the first TNT drama to stream new episodes online before airing them traditionally.

Burns notes that he has a personal connection to the world the series covers of cops and gangsters. "The stuff in it that’s autobiographical is limited to the relationship between Terry Muldoon and his sons. The other story we’re seeing — the subplot in the pilot — is word-for-word me and my dad when I’m in the sixth grade. And there are other moments like that between my character, Terry, and his son James, that pull from what it was like to grow up with a father who was a police officer; what it was like to grow up in that culture and climate in a big cop family where a lot of your social life — weddings, funerals — were attended mostly by cops and their families."

Burns, who has been an early adopter of alternate distribution methods for his indie films, embraces different ways of reaching the audience that once existed for serious filmmaking. "It’s the natural progression for any indie filmmaker. We did back in ‘07 with 'Purple Violets,' and putting that onto iTunes exclusively. That is where that indie-film-loving audience that used to go to the art house [goes]. They are now home in front of their televisions. This is really a case of where is the best place to tell this story. A friend of mine had a great line the other day, he told me 'When we were kids, films were for adults and television was for children. And now the reverse is true.'"