This Friday, HBO’s Deadwood will return after 13 years away to properly end its story with a full-length movie set a decade after the third season’s conclusion. You might think, given how much time has passed, that many of the series’ actors would have retired their roles, but, because even famous people can’t deny a chance to celebrate how much Deadwood rules, it seems even the deadest among the cast are back for the film.
In an interview with Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture, Timothy Olyphant, who plays Seth “Highest Blood Pressure In The West” Bullock, talks about what it was like to return to the show after so many years away. Seitz mentions that one character, killed in the third season of the show, could have returned “as a ghost” in order to have his actor back on set. While replying that it’s “too bad it’s not that kind of show!” Olyphant mentions that having previously played a character killed during prior seasons isn’t necessarily a barrier for getting some of the same actors back on set.
“A lot of people did come back... Fucking Larry Cedar was out there today, playing background. [Garret] Dillahunt snuck in,” he says, referring to Deadwood’s Leon and Dillahunt’s double casting as both season 1's piece of shit, Jack McCall, and season 2's even bigger piece of shit, Francis Wolcott.
While two out of these three characters died during the show, Olyphant tells Seitz that Cedar showed up as an apparently unnamed extra and Dillahunt returned for a third time to play the no-doubt illustrious character of “Drunk Number Two” for the movie.
“He didn’t even get top drunk!” Olyphant says. “Talk about a reason to call your agent. ‘Hey, why am I not Drunk Number One?’”
The rest of the interview is full of other interesting reflections on reviving a creative project long assumed dead. Olyphant talks about how Deadwood and David Milch influenced his career, his mixed feelings on returning to the material, and lots more about a cast he refers to as “fucking sleight-of-hand magicians.”
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