Australian actor Robert Taylor takes on the role of Walt Longmire, the dedicated sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, in A & E’s new modern western Longmire. Katee Sackhoff co-stars as Deputy Victoria ‘Vic’ Moretti, the newest addition of the sheriff’s office.
They both spoke with us about their new series, which debuts on June 3rd, 2012.
This is a classic Americana-type of role. Did you grow up watching American cowboy movies?
Robert: I think everybody grew up watching American TV. It’s the world’s TV.
I’m from a rural part of Australia originally, and people from big, open spaces might have a different accent, but they have similar attitudes.
The similarities are far more striking than the differences.
Katee, you’re famous for doing Battlestar Galactica for a number of years. Is this somehow liberating for you to get outdoors and away from the green screen?
Katee: It’s interesting about the two jobs. What drew me to Battlestar was the people being confined in a small space.
What drew me to this is people being confined in a huge space, but having a small-town mentality where everyone knows each other.
So it’s very similar in that. And I love being outside, and it’s nice not to be in a flight suit.
Have you ever seen the iconic series Gunsmoke, and do you consider your character a modern day Matt Dillon?
Robert: It’s hard to remember the specifics of that show. I just see Walt as Walt. He may have [the same] qualities, but he’s his own man.
It’s that kind of western stoicism, decency, honesty and willing to carry your load and help other people carry theirs. That’s what I really like about this guy. And I think that was a pretty common thing through all those shows.
What was it about the character of Vic that attracted you?
Katee: One of the things that I was so drawn to about this woman was her back story in the books. She moves for her husband, which I think is a common thread for a lot of women.
She followed him to this place and then he left, and he’s working and she’s home. And so she goes and gets a job.
You move to Wyoming with a man you think is you family, and then you find your family by accident. I really liked that. It spoke to me. She was strong, but she’s giddy. I think for the first time I actually get to laugh, and I think I might have even giggled.
So I think she’s the closest to myself I’ve ever played, and that excited me too.
Robert, your character says more with a look than with dialogue in this, can you talk about that?
Robert: That’s good writing. It’s brave writing to do less, and to stand by that is a rare thing. You don’t see it. So all I can do is agree with you, and I love that about this show.