Wyatt Russell was sitting in a tiny donut shop about a mile from the beach, looking slightly wonderstruck at the steady stream of adults buying themselves a treat in the middle of an L.A. summer day. None of the patrons so much as glanced as Russell, who’s hunched over a table near the door in a baseball cap and a gray Sturgill Simpson T-shirt. There was no reason for them to guess that this jovial, pale-bearded dude was the star of a new television show, AMC’s charmingly eccentric dramedy Lodge 49, which premieres August 6. Nor was there a clue that he is the nexus of prime celebrity D.N.A., the child of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
But then, Wyatt Russell has spent practically his whole life trying not to be recognized—or, at least, not to be recognized in that way. From a young age, he threw himself into hockey, spending after-school hours practicing in working-class Long Beach, where Lodge 49 is set. “I saw a really different type of L.A.,” he said. “A lot of the people who lived there had a trade—carpentry, plumbing, construction.” Although he attended private school by day, hockey allowed him entrée to a wider, “realer” world beyond Hollywood.
His movie-star parents “were both raised lower-middle class/middle class in the 50s and 60s. They didn’t let us forget those values . . . it’s just the way they were,” he said. Hawn and Russell encouraged their son’s interest in hockey. And that, he continued with a goofy little laugh, “made me feel normal. When you are 12, that’s all you want: to be more normal. It’s weird when people are looking at your parents and stuff. These friends didn’t care. They were doing the daily grind and figuring out how to be good people.”
These are exactly the kind of people who populate Lodge 49, a darkly whimsical series about the aptly named Dud (Russell), a down-on-his-luck ex-surfer and pool cleaner who stumbles upon a fraternal lodge brimming with secrets. Its members are ordinary men and women like Ernie (Brent Jennings), a struggling plumbing salesman, and Blaise (David Pasquesi), a pot dealer, who live in Long Beach, where the industry is contracting and working folks are barely getting by. [Source]
Wyatt Russell walks into a room and it’s almost too easy to make assumptions about him. Luckily, he upends nearly all of them.
The star of AMC’s big-swing summer series, Lodge 49, which debuts Aug. 6, towers a few inches above a tall-and-thin six feet, with hair down to his shoulders, a scruffy beard, and a languid surfer beach drawl to complete the stereotype of the SoCal beatnik—which he plays very well, but hardly fills.
No, this is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and his foray into Hollywood would seem a formality had the 32-year-old actor not spent the majority of his life rejecting the family business in pursuit of a career as a hockey player.
When we meet in Beverly Hills to discuss his new series, which is also his first leading role, the person we encounter is not the strung-out stoner his looks might betray, nor is it the entitled heir to Hollywood royalty you might expect from a person with as much celluloid history in his bloodstream.
Instead, the Wyatt Russell we meet is as wide-eyed and enthusiastic as a breakthrough actor experiencing the spoils of Hollywood for the first time, but with the self-awareness and intelligence of a person who knows how brutal the industry can actually be.
Maybe that’s because, for all the ways he’s seen his mother, father, and half-siblings Kate and Oliver Hudson navigate the business, he’s also churned through perhaps the only industry more ruthless: professional sports. Before he started seriously pursuing a career in acting eight years ago, he had spent over a decade as a promising hockey goalie, until an injury set him on a new path.
It’s perhaps fitting, then, that Russell’s debut as a leading man is in a TV series as unconventional as Lodge 49. As Russell tells it, he wouldn’t have it any other way. [Source]
Blessed with royal Hollywood DNA — his parents are Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, after all — Wyatt Russell was well positioned for movie stardom. But after roles alongside his father in “Soldier” and “Escape From L.A.,” he wiped the stardust from his tender eyes and by 15 began mastering the skills to become a professional hockey player. Then injuries derailed his dreams, and he found himself back in front of the camera.
Now he’s rather perfectly cast in “Lodge 49,” a modern-day fable set in Long Beach, Calif., from the writer Jim Gavin (“Middle Men”), which debuts Aug. 6 on AMC. Mr. Russell plays Dud, a sunshine-y former surfer who lost his mojo after a snakebite in Nicaragua and his father, the owner of a pool-supply store, vanished in the Pacific — leaving a limping Dud and his sardonic twin sister, Liz (Sonya Cassidy), in debt and untethered.
Then kismet happens. After Dud discovers a ring from the Ancient and Benevolent Order of the Lynx on the beach, his car runs out of gas in front of the fraternal order’s decrepit lodge. He naturally views this as a sign. Longing for the companionship offered by the order, and mesmerized by its legend of alchemy, he embarks on a quest for the idyllic life he lost, guided by Ernie (Brent Jennings), a middle-age plumbing salesman who holds the position of Luminous Knight within the fictional order.
“There’s nothing seemingly sexy about that world,” said Mr. Russell, who last year appeared opposite Anna Kendrick in “Table 19” and Elizabeth Olsen in “Ingrid Goes West.” “But what I love about it is that life is magical if you choose to look at it that way. And Dud has that in spades, and continues to give that to others, with his spirit and his energy and his will to find the light in the dark.” [Source]
I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Wyatt attending the TCA panel for his upcoming show Lodge 49 during the TCA activities in Los Angeles yesterday.
2018 > 28 July – 2018 TCA Press Tour – “Lodge 49” Panel