“He’s been in an emotional paralysis for many years,” reveals Oscar champ Timothy Hutton (“Ordinary People”) about Russ Skokie, the tragic father that he brings to life on “American Crime.” In our video chat below, the actor revisits the highs and lows of Russ’ season-long arc in the critically acclaimed limited series created by Oscar-winning writer John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”). The series was recently renewed by ABC for a second go-round next season, with the cast, including Hutton, playing new roles in a completely different story.
In the recently concluded first series, Hutton, along with Emmy and Golden Globe winner Felicity Huffman, portray an estranged couple suffering through the aftermath of a home invasion that leaves their war veteran son fatally shot and his beauty queen wife on life support.
For Hutton, “American Crime” was not just about the themes of racism, bigotry, socio-economic disadvantage and the inadequacies of our criminal justice system but also “the crime of disconnect; the crime of preconceived ideas, notions and prejudices.”
Reflecting on his character’s journey throughout series, he recalls his favourite scene being one in the finale. “Russ tries really for the last time. Something about that scene and the way we approached it … showed so much of two people’s disconnect, their history and finally in a way a kind of forgiveness that happens at the end of that scene … it ends in an embrace and she says ‘let go’.”
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