EXCLUSIVE: ‘Deadwood’ regulars react to series’ reported demise; Brown: ‘I guess the horse is dead’
Trust me. I’d much rather speak with “Deadwood” actors W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority, left) and Jim Beaver (Ellsworth, right) under happier circumstances. But I had to see if they would confirm and react to costar Ian McShane’s claims that the Western’s set was being dismantled and that the show was, in fact, done.
In August, days after Brown used the metaphor of a horse, “lying trailside foaming at the nostrils and heaving for breath” to describe the state of the show to subscribers of his blog, he was more optimistic about the series’ return in an Aug. 23 MySpace message to me. But in responding tonight at 7:44 p.m. EST to my follow-up inquiry, he confirmed the report of the tear-down and predicted “Deadwood’s” demise:
I called Ian, it seems that it is true — the sets are being dismantled. It makes sense, HBO had a 5 year deal to lease the lot. We started in Oct. 02. Those five years are up. The earliest possible date to even start a DW film would be June 08, due to Ian’s schedule. The industry is fearing a possible strike that would start June 08. To keep leasing the property, set dressing, and costumes would cost at least a year’s rental. So… I guess the horse is dead.
Beaver responded to me, in the more traditional e-mail format, 21 minutes later. His take was just as grim:
I saw the McShane quote. I don’t doubt it. I have NO insights or special knowledge, but my sense of things is that it’s over. I talked to David Milch today. He mentioned he was working on a movie for HBO, but the tone of our conversation led me to believe it was completely unrelated to Deadwood. Funny, I didn’t even think to ask straight out, though. At any rate, my gut tells me that if the movies or a fourth season were going to be made, the announcement would already have been made. That’s just my gut. But Ian’s remarks didn’t surprise me in the least.
Granted, Beaver’s “Deadwood” character was killed off in Season 3, but I’m sure it gives him no joy to see the show that showcased one of his most celebrated performances end too soon.
Meanwhile, Brown is in the process of trying to claim some of his character’s key props before they are lost forever.
I called both producers this morning about getting the Dority hat, knife, and gun belt. I haven’t heard back from either. Once I talk to either of them, I’ll know where things stand. But, I’m figuring that it is over.
Brown also waxed poetic about other HBO series that got proper send-offs:
SIX FEET UNDER got the best send off episode in the history of television. SOPRANOS ending was either great or awful (depending on one’s interpretation of it) but at least it got people talking. DEADWOOD — it just stopped. No ending. Just Stopped. It’s like never finding out that “Rosebud” was his sled or that Darth was Luke’s father.
The final episodes of THE WIRE will mark the end of HBO’s reign as tv’s best destination. Water Coolers across the country will never be the same.
(Photos courtesy of MySpace.)