David Milch: Trying His 'Luck' With Horse Racing | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

David Milch: Trying His 'Luck' With Horse Racing

Play associated audio

Veteran TV writer and producer David Milch grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. But a few times each year, Milch would accompany his father across the state to Saratoga Springs, where the two would bet on horse races.

"The first thing he informed me was that he knew that I was a degenerate gambler ... but it would be impossible for me to gamble because you had to be 18 to make a bet," Milch tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "On the other hand, he had arranged with the waiter, Max, to run my bets for me, and, therefore, I would be able to bet. And with that set of mixed messages, I was off."

Milch's lifelong fascination with the races forms the basis for his new HBO series Luck, which examines the inside world of horse racing through the lives of thoroughbred breeders, owners, jockeys and gamblers who spend most of their lives at the track. Many of the characters, says Milch, came from his own recollections and his own struggles with a gambling addiction.

"Once you enter into that world, your chemistry changes, and your chemistry changes in the same ways it would if you became a drug addict," he says. "The paradox is, as all of this alternation is going on, you still have the opportunities and challenges of being a human being. That's the rest of the story: how to be a human being, and the fascination with how these people live their lives."

Milch has a history of creating groundbreaking television series. The first TV script he wrote, for Hill Street Blues, won an Emmy. He co-created NYPD Blue and was also the creator of the HBO series Deadwood, known for its colorful characters, intricate plot lines and distinctive dialogue. He has an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Two entrepreneurs have developed new tricks to make food that's literally illuminating, using ingredients that are as natural and unprocessed as possible. It's just basic food chemistry, folks.
NPR

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Two entrepreneurs have developed new tricks to make food that's literally illuminating, using ingredients that are as natural and unprocessed as possible. It's just basic food chemistry, folks.
NPR

Another Man Jumps White House Fence, But Is Stopped On The Lawn

A month after a man armed with a knife leapt the White House fence and got deep into the first floor of the building, another man made a run across the north lawn Wednesday night.
NPR

Drones Are Taking Pictures That Could Demystify A Malaria Surge

How is a rare strain of malaria spreading near cities in Southeast Asia? That's the question that's been puzzling a team of scientists. And they're using drones to find the answer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.