(CBS Native)– Ethan Hawke is without doubt one of the most gifted actors in Hollywood and on Sunday, October four viewers will get to witness the vary of his performing skill within the new Showtime restricted collection “The Good Lord Hen.” The seven-part collection is predicated off the e-book with the identical title by James McBride and tells the story of an abolitionist named John Brown, who traveled the nation with a bunch of freedom fighters to finish slavery.
Hawke stars within the present as Brown, Daveed Diggs from “Hamilton” performs Frederick Douglass and newcomer Joshua Caleb Johnson performs Onion, a former slave who’s taken in by Brown and his crew. For each Hawke and Johnson, this venture was an unbelievable expertise for various causes.
“It was an incredible honor to be sincere with you. The story of the Harpers Ferry raid in America is one which has by no means actually been dramatized,” mentioned Hawke, in an interview with CBS Native’s DJ Sixsmith. “There’s no different motion pictures. You’d assume with how necessary an occasion it was… a pair dozen guys go and take over the US armory and begin a Civil Warfare. Folks don’t need to speak about it as a result of it’s such a lightning rod. To actually take a look at this story, it’s a must to take a look at quite a lot of ache that this nation was constructed on. It’s a scary story and what James McBride does is inform it with a lot love and humor.”
“Probably the most fascinating a part of the present to me was bringing the character of Onion to life,” mentioned Johnson. “He’s such an fascinating and complicated character. I used to be actually wanting ahead to breaking down the character and bringing him throughout the display in one of the best ways attainable.”
Though Johnson is simply getting going within the TV recreation, the actor had the key duty on this present of displaying what some slaves needed to do to outlive throughout this time interval. Johnson’s character Onion pretends to be a woman with the intention to stick to Brown’s crew.
“It was very enjoyable for me to play the character like that,” mentioned Johnson. “As soon as I put my thoughts into that point interval and forgot about fashionable Joshua and what he likes and what he needs to do and put my thoughts into Onion and his motivation is to purely survive. It doesn’t actually matter what it takes to outlive so long as he survives.”
Whereas Hawke has performed quite a lot of superb characters through the years, he says that this one feels extra necessary given the dialog that’s occurring proper now on this nation about racial injustice.
“The muse of this nation was constructed on against the law,” mentioned Hawke. “All of us need to really feel like we’ve checked out it and handled it, mentioned sorry and moved on. But when we don’t actually take a look at it, actually speak about it and actually heal it, we’re going to maintain affected by this crime and injustice of the best way the nation was constructed and the best way it continues to harm folks. It hurts all of us. It was a kind of experiences the place you learn a e-book and I couldn’t imagine I didn’t know extra about all of this. I discovered it so fascinating and I knew different folks would. I stored wanting to provide the e-book to folks. I feel good artwork has an influence to heal and provides folks a standard language to have a dialog.”
Watch “The Good Lord Hen,” Sunday, October four at 9 p.m. EST/PST and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” collection right here.