Pierce Brosnan moves to the small screen in The Son
Pierce Brosnan turns to the small screen, playing Eli McCullough in The Son. Eli was raised by Comanches, and grew up to be a ruthless businessman, while struggling to connect with his son and daughter. Indulge chats with the actor about the role:
Who is Eli, and why is he called the first son of Texas?
Eli McCullough is the first son of Texas. He’s seen a lot of death, and many families die. He’s driven by his heart and passion. He was born on the same day as the Republic of Texas. He’s a man questioning his time in life as the patriarch of the McCulloughs. His mother and father were settlers and travelled far to reach the Promised Land. He saw the brutality of the demise of his mother and sister, and then his own struggle at the hands of the Comanche. There’s a duality to the man — as a boy aged ten, his life is torn apart by the Comanche, and then he becomes a Comanche. And then he becomes a heroic figure to his own self, which he’s aware of.
Does Eli see himself as Comanche, white, both, neither?
When you have a traumatic upbringing like Eli did, you’re always catching up with yourself. There’s always deep remorse and deep grieving about who you were, and who you’ve become. This piece constantly reminds me of our ancestors, and I say that as an Irishman who has been an immigrant from Ireland to England and England to America, so I know what it’s like to be the outsider, and to try to be accepted, to fit in. So for me, there’s a lot of identification, as a man of 63 years of age and having acted all my life, playing characters, having a family, having sons, the drama and the suffering of life. Some days you get it for nothing, some days you have to try a bit harder.
The writing of Philipp (Meyer) is so beautifully rendered, you just have to follow the notes. And the team has such erudite minds and passion for the nuances of it. There’s a wonderful theatrical sense, and you have to pay attention. There are a few plates in the air at the same time. He’s a Comanche. You know, to live on the land, to have that pain in your heart. And he has a duality of pains. So you have a very complex psychology and emotionality, which you can’t really overthink too much.
When is Eli most comfortable?
When he’s with his granddaughter Jeannie. She is him. She is the one. She is this powerhouse of a woman in the making, and there is a deep attraction and love, father-to-daughter. That’s my granddaughter, my son Pete’s daughter (on the show). She knows the rhythm of my heart and how I feel, and it’s a beautiful relationship. She’s played by Sydney Lucas (Jeannie McCullough), an amazing young actor. I was surrounded by glorious actors, all magnificent players, and Philipp for a writer. To play each day and to be
a part of this is joyous.
On Zee Café’s Hollywood On Café segment, every Tuesday, 9 pm.