Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn play estranged brothers in Netflix’s family drama “Bloodline,” which premiered its first season on March 20. Chandler is John Rayburn, an upstanding county sheriff in the Florida Keys, and Mendelsohn is Danny Rayburn, the outcast black sheep whose return throws the family into chaos.
There’s no shortage of conflict between the members of the Rayburn family, but there’s also “a competitive spirit on set” that Chandler enjoys. He explains, “It is a sport. We’re allowed to play with the words and play with the meanings. We’re asked to do different things with these scenes, so there’s a competitiveness. It’s like duking it out with other actors.”
But Chandler and Mendelsohn weren’t just battling each other. They also battled the elements in the show’s humid Florida Keys locale. Says Chandler of filming an especially grueling scene, “That brackish swamp water, you know what that stuff tastes like? Something I just cannot say on camera. There’s something else people may not know about … No one tells you about the sea lice. What is a sea lice? Little tiny microorganisms that after about a half an hour feel like someone’s sticking pins in you all over the place.”
“You know that stuff going in,” Mendelsohn adds about the physically challenging shoot. “As an actor, you’ll accept a lot of discomfort if you feel like what’s going to be left is good.”
But Florida has its perks. Chandler recalls a unique coconut tree on location that grows horizontally for “about 20 or 30 feet … we looked out and there’s all these beautiful girls down there laying on this tree. That’s the famous tree that you see all the swimsuit models [posing on], and it’s just 150 yards down the street from our house. That was a benefit of the Keys right there … It made up for the sea lice, I’ll tell you that.”
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