Unlike his days on Oz, Lord Jamar was tapped to play a correctional officer in the newest HBO mini series, The Night Of, which tells a complicated story about an alleged murderer’s experience in prison. In the past, the Brand Nubian star has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Third Watch, and The Sopranos without any formal theater training. Unlike his peers in Hip-Hop, Lord Jamar says with the help of his manager and just speaking things into existence, he was fortunate to audition and nab the part. In this interview with DJ Vlad, Jamar talks about working with some of Hollywood’s greats and the benefits of receiving residual checks long after the shows have their finales.

HBO’s The Night Of will premiere July 10th. For now, check out the interview above.