Friday, May 13, 2011

5/12 Robert Conrad Talks With Bill Paxton - and YOU!

A Texas twang in his voice and a willingness to play larger than life oddball characters initially gave actor Bill Paxton a steady career nailing humorous character parts during the 1980s, but directors like James Cameron and Ron Howard found the gravitas beneath his larger-than-life persona.

By the mid-1990s, Paxton had graduated to a dependable featured player and leading man in blockbusters such as “Apollo 13” (1995), “Twister” (1996), and “Titanic” (1997), but he also maintained a footing in independent films like “Traveller” (1997) and “Frailty” (1999), which marked his debut as a feature director. He also starred as the some thought, unlikely polygamist anti-hero of HBO’s “Big Love” (2006- ), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 2008 and a legion of television fans.

Paxton was cast in the HBO series “Big Love” as Utah businessman Bill Hendrickson, whose professional fa├žade and successful chain of home improvement stores served as a front for his home life as a polygamist with three wives. Much of the show’s drama was derived from Hendrickson’s life as high-wire juggling act – not only was he forced to contend with three spouses of very different temperaments and tastes, but there was also the issue of Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton), father to his wife Nicki (Chloe Seivgney), whose Old Testament approach to polygamy presented a serious threat to Hendrickson’s standing in the community. Critics and audiences alike gravitated towards the unusual series by its second season, and Paxton’s subtle work in his role led to a Satellite Award nomination in 2006 and Golden Globe nods in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

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