The life of the infamous Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid has been portrayed time and time again by some of the most famous actors over multiple generations, but Epix Original Series: Billy The Kid strives to unlock a new perspective in the retelling of a classic.

Tom Blyth (Billy the Kid), Eileen O’Higgins (Kathleen McCarty) and Daniel Weber (Jesse Evans) recently sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers for an exclusive video to discuss what makes this portrayal of Billy the Kid stand out from the others.

“This is a more humanistic approach to the story. It’s easy to look at him and all the facts and figures historically that we think we know and assume who he is or was, but what [creator] Michael [Hirst] does so well with the writing is he dares to go deeper and he dares to go further and say well, ‘Okay, yes, he may have killed 21 people by the age of 21 and he died at 21, but how did he get there?’ People aren’t born to do that sort of thing. They’re not born with a pistol in their hand able to spin it. They’re not born as the fastest rider in the west. People have to adapt and become those things. Michael says, ‘What are the circumstances that created Billy the Kid? What are the other aspects of this guy?’ He was described as so many other things than just a killer or just a cowboy or an outlaw. He’s described as charming having this twinkle in his eye, and being someone who people were fascinated by and that’s carried over hundreds of years later.”

The show delves into Billy’s family life before he became an orphan. O’Higgins, who plays Billy’s mother, spoke to how that relationship shaped him.

“It’s just a beautiful dynamic of respect,” O’Higgins said. “Kathleen literally does everything possible for her son to succeed and she gives so generously elements of herself, her personality and cultural things that she’s brought from Ireland that are important to her. Michael’s writing was so beautiful in what it not said between the two. They have such an understanding and such respect that often the understanding of each other just happens with a look or something. Billy sees Kathleen so well, that he’s able to see into the world through a female gaze which is probably why he’s so good with women and such a female advocate in this series. He also has compassion as someone who is displaced. We’ve been displaced from our own land as immigrants and then we’re encountering other people like that so there’s empathy.”

Weber shared insight into what made the competitive nature special between his character Jesse Evans and Billy the Kid.

“Jesse Evans is the leader of Seven Rivers Gang and he was a famous cattle rustler in the 1800s,” Weber explained. “Within our story, we meet him in the gambling halls with Billy and it sort of sets up the dynamic between the two as this wonderfully competitive equal. It’s competitive physically but also of the mind, which I think is so beautifully illustrated. They’re equals in intellect and capability but they go on this journey with an almost kinship between the two of them … a brothership that as they’re trying to just get through and survive a really tough environment.”

Billy the Kid premiered on Epix on April 24 and new episodes will be released on Sundays at 7 p.m.

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