Mike Olshansky in Hack

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''Hack'''s David Morse answers 10 stupid questions. He drives a cab AND does good for humanity? The talented actor fills us in by Liane Bonin

MORSE CODE Tony tries to help us understand the ways of cabbies

And you thought Marilu Henner was the ideal on-screen cabbie. On CBS' ''Hack'' (Fri. 9 p.m.) David Morse (''The Green Mile'') plays Mike Olshansky, a disgraced cop-turned-cabbie who uses his law-enforcement skills to assist distressed customers with far tougher tasks than making change for a 20. EW.com asked the 49-year-old actor 10 stupid questions, and he graciously answered them.

Is there any such thing as a free ride?

Well, apparently, because on my show lots of people get them. The amount of time Olshansky spends in his car with people who don't make him any money has his friends worrying about him.

Olshansky often saves customers' butts. What's the customary tip for that?

So far none of these people has tipped me a cent. It's not that I'm getting really cranky about it, but it'd be nice to see a buck or two along the way. And, hey, maybe 5 or 10 if I saved their life.

You starred in the off-Broadway play ''How I Learned to Drive.'' Does ''Hack'' mean you've come full circle?

I guess you've seen the pattern to my life. Now I just need to do ''Driving Miss Daisy.'' I don't know if I'd play Morgan Freeman's role or Jessica Tandy's. Either way, I like a stretch.

Tell me the secret to hailing a cab: a whistle, a hand wave, or showing a little leg?

I would be happy if you did any of those things. My experience of Philadelphia [where ''Hack'' is shot] is they're so grateful to get a fare, there's no secret at all.

Are you an idol among real cabbies?

One of the weird things is that I see cab drivers in Philadelphia drive by with a picture of me on top of their cabs, and they'll give me the nod while their passengers open their windows and wave. It's surreal.

When you're driving, do real people try to flag you down?

No, but I had one guy the other day who wanted to beat me up. He was crossing the street with his wife and they were pushing their baby in a carriage. I was being very polite, but apparently he didn't think I was polite enough. He stood in front of my cab making gestures like he'd like to end my life.

Which is longer, Olshansky's night shift or a stroll down the Green Mile?

The problem is, when you walk the Green Mile, it's never long enough. Generally, the cab ride comes to an ending you can approve of. I'm not sure you'd be too happy about reaching the end of the Green Mile.

Maybe you can solve this eternal mystery: Why are so many cabbies such rotten drivers?

Apparently cops think they're bad drivers, too. Cabbies complain they get picked on by the police all the time, and the cops I talked to while researching this role admitted to it. They also said being a cab driver or a fireman are the two most dangerous jobs you can have. But they still pick on cabbies.

Can you give us your taxicab confession?

No, I can't confess to EntertainmentWeekly.com. My confessions are only for appropriate, private places.

Who would win in a cabbie death match: Olshansky or ''Taxi Driver'''s Travis Bickle?

Travis Bickle's got weapons hidden up his sleeves and a lot less to lose, so I would have to give it to Bickle.




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Last modified Tuesday, November 4, 2003