Over on my blog, I had the chance to interview, for the second time, actor Patrick Gorman, who is currently slated to portray Union General Charles F. Smith in To Appomattox. Our interview covered a wide variety of topics, so I will just post what is related to the show here. If you would like to view the full interview, please click here. Enjoy!
PG: A re-enactor on Facebook told me about the project initially. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember exactly who but it was followed by information from J. D. Petruzzi and a few others. Early on, I learned that Hood would not figure in the story arc. But Michael Frost Beckner, the writer and one of the producers thought there might be something for me. Actually, Smith is someone who I immediately resonated with. Smith was one of Michael’s favorite characters – a kind of Obi Wan Kanobi to Grant. Okay, he’s a Yankee. But that’s actually great because now my ancestors will be satisfied completely. Yes, they were on both sides. Of course, at this stage I’m just reading everything I can get my hands on about him. Much has been supplied to me from remote resources and that can be useful. An actor can never play the research but it does inform choices you may make. You can never say what is going to bring the character alive for the actor but research certainly can help you ask the right questions. Three people were instrumental in my getting involved: J. D. Petruzzi, Joel Kassay and W.E. Wolf – not to mention so many of my Civil War fans from Facebook who badgered the To Appomattox web site with recommendations in my regard. I was really moved by that effort. Now, that said, we’re not yet in production, so I won’t be ‘safe’ till I’m in ol’ Smith’s boots riding to the sound of the guns. Michael has written a great series of films and folks are going to be amazed at the scope and the care of our history he has lavished on this epic. It’s definitely not partisan, though Grant is the focal personage, it is fair and accurate. No one can be totally objective – at least I can’t – but the stories are wonderful, sincere and lovingly crafted. Again, the criticisms will be minimal and even the ‘button police’ may have difficulty finding fault.