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Cast members (in order of appearance):
Audience: How many of you is this your first trip to Deadwood?
Paula (raising hand): Me. (Also raising their hands are Sean Bridgers, Robin Weigert, and Franklin Ajaye).
Richard: How about South Dakota?
Peter: I’ve been to Mt. Rushmore …
Earl (pointing to Hawkeye): Hawkeye came here first on the rodeo circuit.
Hawkeye: Yeah – back in the ’70s I came here first.
Earl: Hawkeye’s a Hall of Fame bronc buster. My uncle’s a big rodeo fan, and when we first started the season, when I was home Christmas I said, “Yeah, there’s a couple of old cowboys on our show.”
Paula: Must be old.
Earl: I said, “Hawkeye Henson and Gary Lefew.” “Monty Henson’s on your show?” I said, “Yeah.” “Hawkeye Monty Henson’s on your show?” That’s when I found out that he’s the Michael Jordan of bronc busting.
Hawkeye: Michael’s got a little more money than I do.
(Somebody in the audience refers to the 2nd episode of season 2 where Hawkeye, as Silas Adams’ (Titus Welliver) right-hand man, gets beaten by Earl as Dan Dority)
Hawkeye: He beat on me ’til the cows come home, didn’t he?
Audience: What about stunt men?
Hawkeye: Well, they did have a stunt man he flipped over his back, but other than that Earl beat on me for awhile. He tagged me right under the cheek …
Titus: I was gonna say …
Hawkeye: One time he got me with a knuckle on the cheek and that woke me up. It was about midnight. I’m glad he didn’t get a good solid punch in.
Jim: Earl won the lottery for the chance to beat on him.
Hawkeye: Well everybody that knows me enjoys the fact that I did get the shit beat out of me.
Audience: Did any of you ride around town and go to the ???? or any of the other places …
Jim: Most of us haven’t had a chance because we got in around midnight.
Peter: We drove past ’em and they were pointed out to us as we went blowin’ by, you know -- on the way to a couple hotels. We weren’t sure where we were staying exactly.
Earl: I got the pleasure yesterday to be in Jerry Bryant’s Rhino – his little four-wheel drive ATV. He took me everywhere. We were on dirt roads, man. He took me to these old abandoned mines and showed me where all the encampments were.
Audience: How long does it take you guys to get used to the vernacular of the show when you start filming a new season? Is that kind of a process to get back into that …
Paula: It takes me no time but these guys are pretty slow. (Laughter) It actually does take awhile to start to get into the rhythm. It does take … I think … I noticed last year I sort of felt like we all found our feet about episode three, when we started to find the rhythm …
Jim: It took you that long?
Titus: I was gonna say – speak for yourself.
Paula: I wasn’t really in it much – I was watching these guys.
Sean: I felt fine right away, Paula.
Paula: Yeah – well, you didn’t look fine.
Peter: I gotta read it two or three times to figure out what it even means.
Jim: How many of you guys watch it with the captions on? (Some people raise their hands)
Paula: There you go – honest people in the back.
Audience: That’s why it’s good they showed the pilot again because we missed so much the first time around.
Jim: I’m in the show and I watch it with the captions on.
Peter: You’re in the show?
Jim: So I hear.
Earl: That’s what makes it so good. It works on so many levels: it’s funny, and it’s tragic, and it’s horrifying, and it’s all those things in one fell swoop. So you can watch it three or four times.
Audience: We’ve heard a lot here in Deadwood about the fact that David Milch is following kind of a Shakespearian theme really in his … in the way he writes. Do you find that?
Paula: Yeah – especially E.B.’s character …
Jim: Where the hell is E.B.?
Paula: I don’t know where he is.
Earl: He called …
Jim: He probably had a job.
Paula: He’s always working.
Peter: What doth thou mean?
Earl: Do you know of David’s background before television?
Audience: Uh, not a lot.
Earl: He was the chair of the English department at Yale. He’s a Summa Cum Laude graduate and Robert Penn Warren was his mentor. Mr. Warren took him under wing, um, and Mr. Warren got him hired on at Yale – because David was unhirable by Yale standards. He told this story to the New Yorker, so it’s .. it’s … you know. So that’s … he was at Yale … he chaired … when Mr. Warren retired he was the chair of the department until Steven Bochko approached him about writing for Hill Street Blues. And his first script was the third season opener of Hill Street which won the Emmy. And I said, “Well what made you leave academia?” And he said, “Well, I’m an absolute unrepentant gambler and you can put together one hell of a stake in television.” So that led him into … and he’s the smartest son of a bitch I’ve even encountered.
Paula: For sure.
Jim: This side of you – yeah.
Paula: A friend of mine was in his writing class at Yale, and he … um… he said one day a man walked into the classroom with a gun and pointed it at the students. And David had paid this guy to come in and do it, and explained later that that was real drama.
Titus: When Deadwood … David came to Yale .. I was living in Connecticut at the time … and he called me up and said, “I’m gonna show ‘Deadwood’ at Yale to the writing students and the drama students. And I want you to come and do a Q&A,” because I’d worked with him. He wanted me to talk about the processes as an actor since he was going to read scripts and everything … So they were having a screening at the law school auditorium, and as we were walking up to the auditorium David said, “You know, I originally started out here at the law school before I got kicked out.” And I said, “You got kicked out?” And he said, “Yeah – all behind some stupid gun fight with the New Haven police.” David had taken about four hits of brown microdot acid, and had a gun and was shooting street lights out. And the thing that … it wasn’t so much the gun that got him in trouble – it was the conversation with the cop, which when they were getting ready to take him into custody and David said, “I refuse to continue this conversation until your badge stops melting.” They locked him up. They locked him up.
Richard: So you’re beginning to see now.
Earl: Your dad ... tell them ... your dad was friends with David.
Titus: Yeah – my father (American landscape painter Neil Welliver) was a professor. He ran the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Yale at the time. And so David … they had a lot of friends … colleagues. So my dad knew David a bit then, and they reconnected when David and I did “Brooklyn South” (a TV series in 1997-98) and my father came out to visit me. They hadn’t seen each other since the days and so stories started getting thrown around, some of them that I’d never heard about my father. It was pretty interesting.
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