There‚Äôs an old sheriff in town, and his name is Walt Longmire.
Veteran character actor Robert Taylor ‚ÄĒ maybe you‚Äôd recognize him better wearing the suit and sunglasses he did in The Matrix; then again, maybe not ‚ÄĒ takes the lead in an absorbing adaptation of Craig Johnson‚Äôs acclaimed mystery series. Set on the rugged, unforgiving Wyoming frontier, Longmire follows the middle-aged, recently widowed sheriff of Absaroka County as he seeks to work through his pain and revitalize his life and career. Helping him along are a big-city transplant deputy, Vic (Katee Sackhoff), and his longtime friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips). Walt also is at odds with his daughter (Cassidy Freeman), who is constantly pushing him to move past his grief. Then there‚Äôs the matter of the ambitious young deputy in his office ‚ÄĒ the terrifically named Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) ‚ÄĒ who is running against him for sheriff.
‚ÄúI just liked the guy. He‚Äôs the kind of guy I‚Äôd like to have a beer with,‚ÄĚ Taylor said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs old-school, not too technically savvy, and I certainly responded to that being a bit of a Luddite myself. He‚Äôs out in this huge landscape on his own a lot, and he‚Äôs pretty comfortable in his own company. He‚Äôs pretty self-sufficient, and I was pretty attracted to that, this world, and those kinds of people.‚ÄĚ
Even though he grew up on the other side of the globe, Taylor said it was in an area very similar to Wyoming, and can relate to how such a place shapes the people who live there.
‚ÄúThose kind of places engender something in people, they create a quality in people and the way they treat each other,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs languid, there‚Äôs room to breathe. I didn‚Äôt feel like it was something I hadn‚Äôt experienced. I‚Äôve been around those kinds of people a lot.‚ÄĚ
Sackhoff, who rose to fame having adventures in deep space with Battlestar Galactica, says she‚Äôs enjoying shaking things up with her much more earthbound role.
‚ÄúI think that she‚Äôs probably seen more in her six years on the force in Philadelphia than anyone in the sheriff‚Äôs department has in Wyoming,‚ÄĚ Sackhoff says. ‚ÄúFirst and foremost, she‚Äôs a phenomenal police officer, so she definitely takes her job seriously, she just finds certain things a bit humorous.‚ÄĚ
Things like having to investigate some dead sheep on a mountainside. Of course, that leads to the discovery of a dead human body, which is more up Vic‚Äôs alley. And for those BSG fans who might be leery following their beloved Starbuck to a modern-day Western, they should find plenty to like about Sackhoff‚Äôs new character.
‚ÄúVic would go in guns blazing every time, and that‚Äôs how she handles things because it‚Äôs worked for her,‚ÄĚ Sackhoff says. ‚ÄúWalt goes in and puts the gun down and walks in empty-handed and talks it out. Vic‚Äôs like, ‚ÄėUm, really? You‚Äôre going to talk about it? Can we shoot him? It would just make things so much easier, there‚Äôs less paperwork, if we could just shoot him.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Longmire premieres 10pm Sunday on A&E.
Photo: Credit: A&E