DEADWOOD: THE MOVIE – Ian McShane on reprising the role of Al Swearengen

When any TV series ends fans usually experience the 5 stages of grief. Given Deadwood ended 13 years ago, fans are well and truly within the acceptance stage. However Deadwood has been revived over a decade later with Deadwood: The Movie seeing the majority of cast return to the boots and clothing they hung up so many years ago.

Ian McShane is one of those cast members reprising the role of Al Swearengen – a pimp and entertainment entrepreneur based in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota. So how did McShane feel returning to the story after such a long time?  “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, “Jesus, here we go again.”

Deadwood: The Movie

Deadwood: The Movie is set in 1889, picking up around 10 years after the end of the TV series which is fitting for both the story line and cast. “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. … I think (the film’s screenwriter and series creator) David Milch lovingly gives each one their full repertoire, and hopefully he satisfies most people.”

Ian McShane in character as Al Swearengen.

The character of Al won McShane the 2005 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama along with an Emmy nomination. Although an actor since the 1960’s, since Deadwood McShane’s career has gone from strength to strength having also starred in huge box office hits including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the John Wick franchise. “I think Deadwood was a great thing for me to have done, and to introduce me to a certain American audience. I knew Al was something special when I first read the script, and to play this amazingly-written character for three years was marvellous…I think the movie pays honour to the series, which for me as an actor was a great three years – three years of creativity and learning and feeling.”

Deadwood: The Movie began filming in late 2018 where crew member Daniel Minahan reprised his role as Director and Regina Corrado returned as Executive Producer / Writer. Set in 1889, Deadwood residents are celebrating South Dakota’s entrance in to the Union as the 40th State in the USA.

Deadwood: The Movie on SoHo2 – Friday 7th June

Deadwood: The Movie

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