â€śCorcoran is a fascinating character, a hell of a lot of fun,â€ť Weston-Jones says. â€śHe was a boxer before he actually joined into the Civil War â€” he was a bare-knuckle boxer, which is almost like being a gladiator. Almost. And he uses that similar kind of process that youâ€™d see a boxer using, going with your gut instinct. Thatâ€™s what drives him, and what motivates him to do what he does in his day-to-day work.â€ť
Corcoran pursues justice in the world of CopperÂ with a tenacity rarely seen on the New York police force, to the point that it unnerves his police captain almost as much as it does those he goes after. And part of that pursuit has him traversing the highs and lows of New York society, from its Uptown blue bloods to the madam at the local brothel (Franka Potente). In part, itâ€™s a secret, painful bond that he shares with two of his war compatriots â€” the aristocratic Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) and Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh), the African-American doctor who slyly assists Corcoranâ€™s investigations â€” that makes navigating these waters possible, and necessary. â€śHe doesnâ€™t do it with ease, and he doesnâ€™t walk into any place without the fear or the threat of violence,â€ť Weston-Jones says of Corcoranâ€™s deftness at negotiating these disparate worlds. â€śHe basically uses the fact that he knows these people who are pillars within those communities to dig a little deeper â€” actually, a lot deeper â€” than most policemen would at that time.â€ť
Weston-Jones is obviously excited to see the reaction people will have to his work on Copper â€” by his own admission, the biggest project heâ€™s ever taken on. But heâ€™s confident that people will see its universal appeal. â€śThe story â€” it could be any time,â€ť he explains. â€śBut Five Points is such a claustrophobic, interesting place to do it, that it actually fits like a glove.
â€śItâ€™s a very different thing than what people will expect,â€ť he adds. â€śSomeone tuning in for a very comfy evening of watching people in nice dresses and costumes will probably get a sock in the stomach and be a little bit surprised at what they see. I think itâ€™ll appeal to people in many different ways, and thatâ€™s what makes an exciting show. I hope people get to see it the way I have.â€ť
Copper debuts on BBC America Sunday, Aug. 19 at 10pm ET/PT.
Photo:Â Â© BBC AMERICA/Cineflix (Copper) Inc.