EPIX’s Billy the Kid series stars talk playing iconic characters

Billy the Kid on EPIX, image courtesy MGM
Billy the Kid on EPIX, image courtesy MGM /

Westerns are making a comeback and we are here for it. EPIX has an upcoming series surrounding the iconic character, Billy the Kid. We had the opportunity of sitting down with series stars Tom Blyth, Daniel Webber, and Eileen O’Higgins, to chat more about the new series.

Between Yellowstone, The Harder They Fall, The Power of the Dog and one of my favorite movies of last year, Old Henry, westerns are making a huge comeback. We’ve seen the Billy the Kid character played by some iconic actors over the years, including Paul Newman, Val Kilmer and Emilio Estevez.

The hour-long eight-episode season follows Billy the Kid (Blyth) on his incredible journey from his Irish roots, his days as a cowboy and his role in the Lincoln County War. I had the opportunity in watching the series and this is my favorite adaptation of Billy the Kid I have seen yet. Blyth is INCREDIBLE in the role and I hope we get to see him explore this role more in the future.

Hidden Remote had the pleasure of chatting with Tom Blyth, Daniel Webber, and Eileen O’Higgins about what it was like stepping into the shoes of these iconic characters.

Check out the video version of the interview here.

Tom Blyth, Daniel Webber and Eileen O’Higgins talk EPIX series Billy the Kid

Hidden Remote: Paul Newman, Val Kilmer, and Emilio Estevez have all played Billy the Kid, did you have any reservations about playing an iconic role like this?

Tom Blyth: I didn’t. I didn’t have any reservations. To be honest. It’s a childhood dream. And I felt very, very grateful and very lucky. But I jumped at the chance. I mean, that yeah, the minute it looked like it was gonna be possible for you to play the character as I kind of started down the road of, of kind of, yeah, my conversation with Billy, I didn’t watch any of their performances, specifically. It’s a slippery slope, especially because as an actor, you’re you put yourself in a place of absorption, and you put yourself in a place where you’re kind of trying to, you know, you’re mimicking, and you’re and you’re parroting, and you’re trying to absorb all these qualities. So what you don’t want to absorb is what someone else did, because then it’s not your take on it. So to answer your question, no, I’ve actually not seen any of those movies. And I can’t wait until the day that I eventually can when you know down the road when we’re finished with this story. But yeah, I feel very honored to be able to follow in the footsteps of some of my acting heroes.

HR: Daniel, you have played Lee Harvey Oswalt, Vince Neil, and now Jesse Evans, how do you approach playing a role of a real-life person?

Daniel Webber: With Jesse, it’s a little bit different because he’s in the past, and there are only two photographs of him. There’s anecdotal evidence that you go with, you know, he was sort of a scrappy barroom brawler and I loved that about him. There’s a photo of him with two other cowboys and out of the three of them, he’s kind of dirty. He’s got his four-day-old beard and you can see he’s still got hay and dirt on his jacket. You pick up so much that, maybe this is projection, but like there’s a sense of humor and a certain charisma and confidence in just a simple photograph of a person and that’s definitely what I got from looking at some of the images that we have left of Jesse. So you take what you can with stories like this and then fill in the blanks. Obviously, Michael was an incredible writer when it comes to sort of historical figures and his passion is second to none.

HR: Eileen, what attracted you to the role of Kathleen?

Eileen O’Higgins: When I read the script, and we read the scenes, and the compassion of the character and the relationship that she had between like, her sons and her husband, potty, and his illness and things like when I first auditioned for the party just had the first episode. And I had never felt so connected to a Western before or felt like I really understood these people. And it seems to saline, I really think of it because of course, they’re going to be extremely relatable to you or me, it just felt other before. And suddenly it felt very, very present. And the drama that was read in between these pages just got me pretty excited.

Watch the full interview below: 

Billy the Kid premiered last Sunday and will air every Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on EPIX.

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