Bill Paxton Q&A: ‘Texas Rising’
"Once in a blue moon, you get to play somebody you really wish you could be. Sam Houston was a man for all seasons, and a real man's man," reveals Bill Paxton about his character in the new limited series "Texas Rising." During our recent webcam chat, he discussed playing this dream role of the legendary general who led the Texas volunteers in the 1836 battle for independence against the mighty Mexican army. "Great ethics, great integrity, great sense of humor, a great character." As Paxton explains, "He realizes he's up against a very capable foe in General Santa Anna." And, he adds, "He knows if he has any chance he's got one shot, and he's going to have to pick the battle."
The series begins just after the fall of the Alamo and traces the rise of the Texas Rangers. The actor reveals how much he enjoyed playing opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan who portrayed Deaf Smith, the leader of the Rangers scouts. He admits it might have been a better "love story" between Houston and Smith because of their "good counsel" together. Houston needed such strong men around him to provide advice and keep the rowdy soldiers at bay, frustrated that fighting was delayed.
The epic series was shot on location in Durango, Mexico, with two-time Oscar nominee Roland Joffe, ("The Killing Fields," 1984; "The Mission," 1986) handling the helming. Among those well-known names in the cast are Olivier Martinez, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Davies, Kris Kristofferson, Thomas Jane, Christopher McDonald, Brendan Fraser, and Rhys Coiro.
Paxton earned his only previous Emmy nomination for 2011's "Hatfields and McCoys," which was produced by Leslie Greif, writer and executive producer of "Texas Rising"; he lost to co-star Kevin Costner. In his lengthy career, he has reaped four Golden Globe bids and three SAG Awards nominations (with one victory as part of the ensemble cast of "Apollo 13" in 1995).