It has been 13 years since HBO’s DEADWOOD ended, but the series – all of which is available for binge-watching on Crave – has maintained a huge cult following. Now fans have something to look forward to with HBO’s DEADWOOD: THE MOVIE streaming Friday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET, only on Crave (on television, the film will be broadcast on Sunday, June 2 at 9 p.m. ET). Stars Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant take a trip down memory lane to talk about what it was like to be on the DEADWOOD set again.
What was it like returning to this story after all this time?
Ian McShane: “Going back to it was like being in a well-rehearsed dream. When we were filming the movie, I’d look at Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock) or John Hawkes (Sol Star) or Paula Malcomson (Trixie) and think, ‘Here we go again.’ It was a very odd feeling. The shoot was eerie in the sense that it was very organically nostalgic. It was like 10 years ago but 10 years later, because you’re older but you’re wearing the same outfit and you’re with these same terrific actors and you’re doing similar scenes.”
What was it like working with David Milch (series creator and the film’s screenwriter) again?
Ian McShane: “I miss all of David’s writing - I think we all did. But we all got it back again. He brought it back again. I think he wrote a fine two-hour movie script, which is the reason we’re all back here. HBO wouldn’t have done any old movie, just for the sake of nostalgia. It had to be the right one, and I think they found the right script.”
Timothy Olyphant: “It’s super fun when lines are written by David. You want seven more takes? We’ll do seven more takes - I’ll do as many as you want. Because once we move on, I’m going to miss these words, I’m going to miss this language. It’s all so delicious, it’s all so specific. It really makes my job easy. And ever since I left that set years ago, I feel like David Milch has always been a little voice in the back of my head. Whenever I’ve dealt with writers on the TV shows I’ve done since, and you come up against an obstacle, I would hear David’s voice and realize, ‘No, this is an opportunity, we can just change all this.’ I know because I watched David do it.”
How have your characters changed over time?
Ian McShane: “My character, Al Swearengen, is a little physically diminished, but he’s the same in his brain, he’s the same in his attitude, he’s the same as much as he can be. But the passage of time has not been kind to him. I don’t think you can drink that much and have it be kind to you. But this only adds to his determination to be as mentally astute as he can, and to get his affairs in some kind of order, because he’s not a fool.”
Timothy Olyphant: “When we first meet him (in the film), he’s still married and has three beautiful children, and he’s done very well for himself. But he’s about to encounter some old demons and be tested, and find out if he’ll succumb to that rage that was always within him.”
What can we expect from the movie? Without giving too much away.
Timothy Olyphant: “This movie, unlike the show, is more about the passage of time and watching a community go through a major shift - a new world is coming - and the fear of change. It’s about a community trying to see how they’re going to walk into that new future, and are they going to do it with a sense of optimism.”