Take one look at Wyatt Russell — the shaggy blond hair, the Southern California drawl, those blues eyes, that beard that sometimes fluctuates between handsomely masculine to Father-John-Misty bushy — and you can see why folks might want to cast him as a stoner heartthrob. To be fair, he does not necessarily have a problem with that. “Look, man, smoking weed is great!” the 32-year-old actor says, chuckling. The publicist sitting 10 feet away from Russell looks up from his phone for a second, shooting him a look that veers between friendly and dude-what-the-fuck-did-you-just-say-to-a-journalist? “I live in California where it’s legal, so, like, I can say that?” Now both of them are laughing. For a second, it’s like Willoughby, his breakthrough joint-rolling baseball player from Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, has just entered the building and taken over the interview.
“But I mean, I totally get what you’re saying,” he adds. “What I want to do, however — and maybe this sounds too hippie-ish, but whatever — is to find roles where the same magic you feel when you’re high is there even when you’re not stoned. You know, whether you’re bumming around a beach or, like, fighting monster Nazis.” (More on that last non sequitur later.) He strokes his hirsute chin. “It’s a good way of looking at life, too. Dud taught me that.”
“Dud” Russel’s amiable, if admittedly dim, ex-surfer who joins a Free Mason-like fraternal order on AMC’s early-fall dramedy Lodge 49 (and who does not toke up, the actor is quick to point out, “though, like, you could not be faulted for thinking that he did”). The brainchild of novelist-turned-TV-producer Jim Gavin, this idiosyncratic character study follows a SoCal lost soul as he stumbles into a decidedly chill local branch of an international secret society, filled with fellow misfits like a New Age kook who runs a marijuana dispensary, an ex-cop who fronts a surf band and a plumbing company’s sales rep named Ernie (played by Brent Jennings) stuck in a mid-life crisis. Quirky is too mild a word to describe the show’s ambling, rambling ’70s-cinema vibe (“[They] are probably the least aspirational characters on television,” the show’s co-producer Peter Ecko admitted to Variety). And if we stick with the show’s slow-burn narrative, it’s because Russell gives his character an almost guileless, go-with-the-flow charm and poignancy. [More at Source]
08 November 2018