Fans of Star Trek The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine‘s Colm Meaney will be able to see him in a new AMC period piece due to debut this weekend.
In Hell On Wheels, Meaney will play the scheming railroad baron Thomas “Doc” Durant.
“‘Doc’ Durant is used to getting his own way, through money and, occasionally, when money alone won’t do it, by other means,” said Meaney. “Durant is capable of sudden, irrational, shocking acts of violence.”
Although an actor is only acting the part, he doesn’t leave it all behind when he leaves work. “But you do take it home with you,” he said. “I’ve found that, which surprised me a little bit. It can be unnerving, when you’re playing very negative values.”
In Hell on Wheels, set in the 1860s after the end of the Civil War, Meaney has to take on the mindset of a person from that era. “I find it can be uncomfortable, as an actor, taking on the prejudices that your character has,” he said, “which you must do, as an actor, in order to do anything authentic and serve the drama in the piece. If you’re playing a bigot, though, it can be unnerving for anyone with a modern sensibility.”
But working on a historical piece set in the post-Civil War era was interesting for Meaney. “It was a fascinating, great period in history,” he said. “There are great characters, characters you just don’t see that often in modern scripts. They’re larger than life. As an actor, it’s epic, wonderful stuff to sink your teeth into.”
Hell on Wheels airs Sunday, November 6, at 10 PM EST on AMC.