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Billy Campbell knows how to think on his feet.

“The funny thing is that in film land,” said the actor, 53, “often you don’t have a chance to do any preparation.”

Campbell is perhaps best-known to TV audiences as single father Rick Sammler on Once and Again (1999-2001) and, more recently, mayoral candidate Darren Richmond on the AMC crime thriller The Killing (2011-12).

He stars in Copperhead, a Civil War-era drama — opening on Friday in central Ohio theaters — for which he wasn’t given any prep time.

A team had been shooting the film for three weeks in New Brunswick when Campbell was hired to replace Jason Patric in the role of dairy farmer Abner Beech, whose anti-war stance makes him highly unpopular in his small community in upstate New York.

“I was pretty late into the mix, and so I really had no time to do anything other than consult the script and do that over and over again,” Campbell said from his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

“I felt that I was in catch-up mode.”

Based on the classic 1893 novel by Harold Frederic, the movie focuses on the farmer and Copperhead — that is, a Northerner against a war with the South.

Beech, though an abolitionist, thinks the Lincoln administration is taking the wrong approach to settling the dispute.

He articulates his beliefs in a thoughtful, moral way, but he becomes a pariah to friends, neighbors and even some relatives.

Radical abolitionist Jee Hagadorn (Angus Macfayden) rallies the townsfolk to boycott Beech’s dairy products, and the feud reaches a crescendo when Beech’s son falls in love with Hagadorn’s daughter and decides to enlist in an attempt to please her.

A torch-bearing mob led by Hagadorn descends on Beech’s home, with disastrous consequences for both families.

“The film is about dissent and the price that one pays for dissent — and, more important, the price one pays for squashing dissent,” Campbell said. “I think the film touched on it in a very explicit way.”

Directly after filming Copperhead, Campbell remained in the Civil War era to play the title character in the TV movie Killing Lincoln, based on the Bill O’Reilly book.

“Ironically, I left New Brunswick after the film, and I was hanging out with some friends on a sailing ship when I was informed that I was offered to play Abraham Lincoln,” he recalled. “So I went from being someone who loathed Lincoln to playing Lincoln himself.

His preparation time, again, proved limited.

“I found out about that job about a week before I had to be in Richmond (Va.) to play Lincoln, so I had zero time to do anything but read the script on that one as well.”

Campbell, a Virginia native, arrived in Hollywood in the early 1980s, shortly after graduating from acting school in Chicago. The long-

running prime-time soap Dynasty (1981-89) yielded him his first prominent role — as Luke Fuller, the lover of Steven Carrington (Jack Coleman), a principal character.

Campbell went on to star in films such as The Rocketeer (1991), Dracula (1992) and Enough (2002).

Nowadays, he’s working on the miniseries Full Circle, written by acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute.

“He’s a terrific playwright, but he writes a certain kind of dialogue, very real dialogue,” Campbell said — “how we actually talk in life: a string of half-formed thoughts and ellipses and repeated words. It’s very, very hard dialogue to learn — ... the most difficult stuff I’ve ever done.”

Besides acting, Campbell’s greatest passion is sailing. After finishing his commitment to the TV series The 4400 (2004-07), he underwent seamanship training in Scandinavia and then set sail around the world. He spent 14 months aboard the Picton Castle, a vessel that takes medical and educational supplies to some of the world’s less-traveled ports.

Campbell combined his two loves on the recently completed film The Disappeared. The movie, about six men adrift in the Atlantic, was shot mostly in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where the Picton Castle is based and where the actor has built a 48-foot wooden schooner from scratch.

“It was a thrill for me to go to Lunenburg and be among my shipmates and my friends and be making a film there,” Campbell says. “In fact, one night we shot right off the wharf. I’m acting and I’m looking just off camera, and to the left was the Picton Castle — I’d spent a year and a half of my life aboard her — and then just off camera to the right was my schooner being built.

“Then I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I’ve reached some sort of a zenith in my life.'"

Ecrit par Misty 



Ecrit par Misty 
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quimper, Avant-hier à 19:12

Il n'est pas nécessaire de connaitre la série pour participer. Vous devez simplement faire travailler vos petites cellules grises.

quimper, Avant-hier à 19:13

Oups, pas le bon détectives. Désolé ! Mais on vous attends nombreux sur le quartier

sanct08, Avant-hier à 21:20

Hello, venez découvrir les résultats de la finale de l'animation sur Le Caméléon :=)

bloom74, Hier à 13:22

Il vous reste tout ce mardi pour venir participer à la SuperBattle sur le quartier The Boys. Venez nombreux. Merci.

mamynicky, Hier à 17:00

'Jour les 'tits loups ! Monk vous attend avec un nouveau sondage. Venez nous parler de vos phobies sur le forum.

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