Which Side Will You Choose? Snakkle Talks to Hatfields & McCoys Star Lindsay PulsipherYou first fell in love with her as Jason's vulnerable and abused werepanther love on HBO's True Blood. Now Lindsay Pulsipher's career is launching into a different stratosphere with her beautiful work on History's Hatfields & McCoys alongside greats like Mare Winningham, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Costner. Snakkle asks Lindsay about her experiences shooting such an epic series and so much more! By Erin Fox
The sweeping historical drama of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys comes to the History Channel in a three-part miniseries premiering Monday, May 28, at 9 p.m. Hatfields & McCoys is the story of two patriarchs (played by Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, respectively) who start as comrades until they return to their neighboring homes near the end of the Civil War. Through a series of misunderstandings and building resentment, the two families wage an epic feud with tragic consequences. Lindsay Pulsipher (shown on the right in the photo above), who plays the McCoys’ beautiful daughter Roseanna, talks to Snakkle about researching her part, working with an A-list cast, her hottie love interest, and so much more!
Snakkle: So it’s really crazy to see you go from a werepanther on True Blood to this huge, sweeping historical drama. Were you really intimidated being part of such a grand project? And how much research did you have to do?
Lindsay Pulsipher: Well, you know what’s funny, the intimidation didn’t really get me until I got over to Romania and we started shooting and I met everybody and realized who I was in company with. And then it really hit. When I first got the script, it was just pure excitement. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that was so beautifully written and so rich. There are so many elements to the script that are just incredible. It was a page-turner. I read all three nights in one sitting. So it was pure excitement, and then the intimidation set in when I got over there.
Snakkle: So tell me a little bit about your casting process. Did they have a part in mind for you or how did that evolve?
Pulsipher: I originally went in and met with Kevin Reynolds, the director, for Nancy, which is played by Jena Malone. And he quickly saw that I would be a better Roseanna, so he had me come back, and we went over Roseanna’s material and it just clicked. I fell in love with her instantly. It’s such a beautiful character. I was so thrilled.
Snakkle: Did you do a lot of your own historical research once you were cast? Did you throw yourself into it or did you just kind of let the script do it for you?
Pulsipher: I definitely did a lot of research. One of my favorite things that I found in my research were beautiful letters written from Civil War soldiers to their wives. It really gave me a sense of the time. They were kind of formal… even though they were supposed to be love letters. But I also let the script lead me, because although Roseanna was a real person, we don’t really know her personality traits and we don’t know what made her up, so I had to do a lot of that on my own.
Snakkle: What did you think was the most surprising thing about your character in the script?
Pulsipher: I loved her character arc. She starts out in such a sweet, innocent place, and she really ends up in a completely different place. To see her strength and her perseverance at the end… it was just really amazing to be able to play such different aspects of the same character.
Snakkle: I think everybody’s heard of the Hatfields and McCoys, but they don’t really know a whole lot about the specifics. Were you blown away to learn that something like fighting over a pig could escalate into such a catastrophic feud? How did this happen?!
Pulsipher: Yeah, I know. I was like you—I knew about it but I didn’t know a lot about it, I’m kind of embarrassed to say. But as I was reading the script, I had to go back and check to make sure that it had actually really happened, because it just felt so crazy to me.
Snakkle: Talk about working with acting greats like Bill Paxton and Mare Winningham. I mean, once you kind of got over being a little intimidated or starstruck by them, what do you think you learned most from them?
Pulsipher: I learned so much just being around them. Mare Winningham (Sally McCoy) has to be one of my new favorite people. She really just took me under her wing. She’s such an incredible actress and gets lost in her work and constantly surprised me. She’s such a different person onscreen than she is in person. She mentored me in personal things too, like how it is to have a personal life and also maintain a career. She just gave me so much good advice and I feel like I owe her so much. She’s incredible.
Snakkle: So let’s talk about your hottie forbidden love, Matt Barr (Johnse Hatfield). What was it like for you guys when you first met and worked together?
Pulsipher: We really didn’t get much time to spend together. But the first scene that we shot was us jumping into the lake. They really just threw us out and literally made us jump right in.
Snakkle: Yeah. That is baptism by fire, for sure. That’s just mean.
Pulsipher: Exactly. Like, okay, well, we know each other now.
Snakkle: Do you have a favorite scene that you can talk about?
Pulsipher: I think that the scenes between Johnse and me, when Roseanna was happy—I know this is going to sound totally sappy—but it was really hard for me to see her lose everything and end up in such a sad place. So I love those scenes we shot in the beginning. She was just ignorantly, blissfully happy. And those were really fun for me to shoot, because it was the one time that she got to smile—it was really fun for me to be able to give her that, I guess.
Hatfields & McCoys airs May 28, 29 and 30 at 9/8c only on History.
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