Just like its name suggests, the WGN's series
Outsiders is definitely something that engenders risk; it, so to
speak, sits "outside" of expectations. Think about it: a weird community
in the hollers of Kentucky resists efforts to corral an extended family
by local law enforcement and societal conventions, all the while keeping
their clans together.
In Outsiders the story of the Farrells unfolds –
clan who have been in rural Kentucky since long before the modern world
had intervened. Living off the grid and
outside of established law on their mountaintop enclave, they protect
their world from society's intrusions and defend their way of life using
any means necessary. A
struggle for power and control ensues in these rugged and mysterious
hills of modern-day Appalachia, both within its insular community and
coming from the normal world beyond it.
The ensemble cast for Outsiders
includes: David Morse as Big Foster, Ryan Hurst as Lil Foster, Thomas M.
Wright as Sheriff T. Wade Houghton; Gillian Alexy as G'Winveer; Kyle
Gallner as Hasil; Christina Jackson as Sally-Ann; Joe Anderson as Asa;
Francie Swift as Haylie Grimes; and Rebecca Harris as Ledda.
The challenge faced by both creator/executive
producer/writer Peter Mattei and Executive Producer Peter Tolan was
profound: How do you create characters that audiences would identify
without them becoming a parody? With intriguing story lines, a set of
complex characters and a locale rife with its own history, the show has
found a large enough audience to launch a second season this January.
season, Big Foster, the Farrell family patriarch, was shot and left for
dead. Certainly it doesn't hurt to have him be played by such a
craftsman as David Morse. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, this
63-year-old studied at the William Esper Studio after high school and
went on to star in the television series St. Elsewhere and
In 2002, Morse was nominated for Best
Supporting Actor at the Golden Horse Awards for the crime-drama
Shuang Tong. In 2007, Morse appeared as the creepy Mr. Turner in
Disturbia, starring Shia LaBeouf. His other notable films include
The Negotiator, The Green Mile, 12 Monkeys and The Long Kiss
Goodnight. Morse was also seen in acclaimed Emmy nominated Treme
and received Emmy noms for his work as George Washington in the HBO
mini-series John Adams.
In this set of one-on-two pairings, he's joined by Ryan Hurst as Lil
Foster, who provides a contrast to the headman. Considered a gentle
giant, he's determined to be his own man. This Californian previously
had established himself as Opie Winston on the hit series, Sons of
Anarchy, and was seen regularly in Bates Motel, Medium, King &
Maxwell and Wanted. The 40-year-old also starred in Taken,
a Steven Spielberg sci-fi miniseries. The 6'4" actor got started in film
opposite Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans. He also
appeared in Saving Private Ryan, The Ladykillers, We
Were Soldiers, Patch Adams, and Rules of Engagement
with Samuel L. Jackson.
the father figure and the son. What do you do to feel familial?
In terms of feeling comfortable with each other as actors?
hot tubbing. That was fun.
also figuring our your relationship with your characters. Do you get
together to figure that out?
the script. That's just there as a given. We give ourselves over to it
naturally. Just being with each other goes a long way. We spend a lot of
time together on the set; we got a good feel for each other pretty
quickly. It just grows as you do it.
attached to the project before I was. I've played someone's son before,
but when I heard he was attached I wanted in on the project. It was the
first other actor I saw that I thought even I would believe I was their
son. So there's a resonance there.
any comments on your own sartorial qualities – your hair and beards?
I do his
hair. He grooms my beard. That's what we do every morning.
was first cast, we didn't know what the look of the Farrells was going
to be. I did something – True Detective – where I had long hair.
I sent a picture to the producers and they thought it was great. We
needed a look so when people go into town and say, "These are the
Farrells," they know it when we walk in. As far as the tattoos [are
concerned], this man is responsible for the work with tattoos. From all
of us blooms these rituals and things as we do in this first season.
you have done series and films where you play outsiders. Did that help
first season, one of the things that helped us is that a biker gang is
like a secret society. There's going to be things, be they handshakes or
gestures or sayings, that delineate us from them. That was a conscious
effort on all our part. The day we were supposed to shoot Lady Ray
(Phyllis Somerville) coming
into the barn, David said, "I think we should have some type of gesture,
or bowing to her." So it was David, me, and Kyle [Gallner], and we sat
there and went "what about this? Or this?" And David was like "what
about this?" and we went let's do that.
drawn to people who are outside what feels like the normal world
[anyhow]. It's much more interesting to be out there. That's part of
what we're all drawn to in this, the out there. It's not familiar.
have a particular arc with its own special dynamic. How did that evolve
tell you too much about how their relationship evolves, but what I can
tell you is that Lil Foster is very isolated from everybody else. In a
different way that lends him an opportunity to see who he is. Our
relationship together I can't really [say but you will have to watch]...
being so abused by my character in so many different ways over the
years, he is the one who is sent to find me. That connection is deep,
and there's a lot that comes from it over the course of the season.
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