Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 11:38 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Robert Taylor talks Season 3 of A&E hit ‘Longmire’

The actor reveals that playing Wyoming lawman Walt Longmire in the TV drama, based on the novels by Craig Johnson, is a complex process that requires him to keep notes of what’s going on with his and all of the other roles.


The Fresno Bee

Watch It

‘Longmire’

10 p.m. Mondays on A&E.

advertising

Robert Taylor’s more than halfway through filming the third season of the A&E series “Longmire.” While the role of Wyoming lawman Walt Longmire was one Taylor knew, from the moment he read the script, he had to play, he’s never allowed himself to be content with the way he’s playing the role.

“I was comfortable with the character from the get-go, but I have never allowed myself to relax. You have to do every moment like it’s the first time you’ve ever done it,” Taylor says. “Some of the physicality of the character is like putting on an old coat — the way he walks, the way he stands. What I have to concentrate on is all of the emotional stuff and the emotional journey of the character.”

The reason this series has tested his acting skills — where others haven’t — are the complicated story lines. And it only gets more complicated in Season 3.

In the June 2 opener, Longmire dealt with a series of major traumas: his best friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), was headed to prison on murder charges; Deputy Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) had been shot; and Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) was dealing with a menace from her past. It all unfolded on top of all the other mysteries that exist in the small, isolated community.

The series — based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by Craig Johnson — is so rich in story and characters, Taylor has to keep a record of what’s going on with his and all of the other roles. The process is complicated by the show being shot out of chronological order. Taylor had just worked on a scene where if he hadn’t checked his notes, he would have played the moment wrong.

Just because the series is based on a series of books doesn’t help. Taylor read the first two books when he started the series and realized there were enough differences that he shouldn’t continue to read the novels. When the series ends, Taylor plans to read all of the books in the series.

The Aussie’s first role was in 1989 in the Australian television soap “Home and Away.” Since then he’s worked in numerous TV and film projects such as “The Feds,” “Vertical Limit,” “The Matrix” and “Storm Warning.”

He’s not proud of some of his other work. But “Longmire” is special.

“I have been waiting for a long time for a show like this. You always work hard to get a part that you want. But, after being an actor for 30 years, I learned you can’t show them you are that interested,” Taylor says. “You have to make them believe you don’t give a (expletive deleted) but care enough to get the job.”

That approach has translated into the way he plays the role. Longmire comes across as restrained, with a lot going on under the surface. He’s the latest in the dark and brooding heroes who have become so popular on cable. In its second season, “Longmire” averaged 3.7 million total viewers with the season finale episode delivering a season high of 4.4 million total viewers. The show continues as A&E’s No. 1 original drama series of all time in total viewers.

Taylor’s not sure how long this trend will last, but he’s enjoying being part of it because of the smart writing and strong cast.

“I don’t think there’s a weak link in the cast. It’s always a joy to get to see what the other actors are going to do,” Taylor says. “For all of us, it’s not about trying to act but to be in the moment and to respond to what’s going on.”

If you want to see what went on in the first two seasons, all 23 episodes are available in a DVD set.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Autos news and research

 What's in a wheel size?

What's in a wheel size?


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►