The series, the refuge of the men of the old guard

Interpretation is one of the few trades in which hardly anyone talks about retiring when they reach a certain age.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
26 May 2023 Friday 22:31
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The series, the refuge of the men of the old guard

Interpretation is one of the few trades in which hardly anyone talks about retiring when they reach a certain age. The public does not even consider it and the actors, taking into account their attitude, are not up for the job either. The men of the old guard, those unquestionable stars who made a living in movie theaters for decades, are disembarking one after another in a medium that until now they had ignored: television.

The reasons are simple. The studios don't have an excess of projects in development for actors approaching or already in their seventies. They are usually reserved for supporting roles, plots related to age, comedies where they often have to settle for being caricatures of themselves and, very occasionally, a treasure in which to exploit their potential.

Television also has a different reputation, with movie theaters having serious difficulties in attracting the public to adult proposals. And, taking advantage of the fact that the platforms need claims to attract customers, these veteran stars can get a good pinch for saying "yes, I do" to managers. The latest to join the fashion? Nothing more and nothing less than Terminator.

FUBAR, created by Nick Santora, is a series written with the intention of recovering the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Risky Lies and also satisfying the audience of James Cameron's action comedy. The former governor of California is Luke Brunner, a CIA agent who discovers that his daughter is also risking her life in the same government agency and that they have to work together, despite the disagreements for having lied to each other throughout their lives.

“David Ellison came to me with the idea of ​​a series. I told him: “it has to be something where I can use all my edges and talents. It has to be fun. It has to have action. It has to be sweet, ”he explained to The Hollywood Reporter about his conversation with the executive producer. He also had another request: he wanted to play someone his age, 75 years old. And Ellison wrote this kind of Risky Lies for Netflix where, curiosities of life, he is also an unfaithful husband. “We laugh about it: it almost seems like a documentary,” he joked.

Dwight Manfredi has spent 25 years in prison. His daughter hardly knows him. He sacrificed himself to protect his mafia family and, when he leaves the penitentiary, he discovers that he is also banished: they send him to Tulsa not to bother, a very religious and boring area. In a matter of days, Dwight makes Tulsa his own, discovering his potential for crime, in the same way that Sylvester Stallone is unavoidable in the character's skin.

Tulsa King on SkyShowtime isn't his only television foray. The Rambo and Rocky actor is now broadcasting a reality show in the United States with his wife Jennifer Flavin and his daughters Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet: The Family Stallone, a kind of Kardashians.

Jeff Bridges, winner of an Oscar, did not have a hard time getting on a series that highlighted his age. In The Old Man, produced by FX and available on Disney, he plays a CIA agent who, after disappearing without a trace and living under a false identity for decades, must go on the run when found. The surprise? Seeing his gifts for action at 73 years old: attitude, movement, talent allow us to believe that he can knock down stronger guys and half his age with the cunning and toughness of the character.

The actor encountered a tough obstacle during the preparation of the series: in October 2020, he revealed that he was going to undergo chemotherapy to treat lymphoma. Filming had to be temporarily halted after delays already caused by the coronavirus. And, now that the second season is underway, he has communicated good news: the tumor is the size of "a marble" and, after suffering from the covid, he has recovered.

Harrison Ford was one of the few actors who had neither worked on television nor was he expected. But, while he had the script for Indiana Jones on the table and a shoot that was complicated because filming adventures at 80 years old is not an easy task, he said yes to two series in parallel: Unfiltered Therapy on Apple TV and 1932 on SkyShowtime.

In the case of Unfiltered Therapy by Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein, writers for Ted Lasso, Ford has a supporting role in an ensemble comedy: Dr. Paul Rhoades, a psychiatrist with his own family problems who gets nervous whenever his workers They enter personal territory. In 1932, he said yes to Taylor Sheridan to enter the fictional universe of Yellowstone: a western where he shares the lead with Helen Mirren. The critics? outstanding.

For Al Pacino, another Oscar-winning actor, Hunters could be interpreted as entertainment: with a comic book mentality, the series offered a sadistic thriller where he played a Jewish millionaire who financed Nazi hunters while spouting monologues all over the place. The creator David Weil adapted to the way of working of Pacino, who had never done television and asked him for everything he had written to date: "I wanted to read at least the first season." After shooting two seasons, the Amazon Prime Video series has already ended.

And, leading the way, Kevin Costner. The performance of the western Hatfields and McCoys in 2012, a miniseries that was a phenomenon on cable television in the United States, demonstrated the interest there was in seeing the author of Dances with Wolves on the small screen. Taylor Sheridan, after signing Comanchería, convinced him to star in a neowestern: Yellowstone, which has been on the air for four seasons.

As John Dutton, Kevin Costner stars as the owner of the largest ranch in the country, who fights against political, financial, electrical and Native American elites to keep his territory intact. Undisputed audience leader on cable television, Yellowstone has already given two prequels (1883 and 1932, which has already been discussed) but it has also earned it a reputation for being complicated. Tired of the workdays, he asked to shoot a maximum of three weeks, to which Sheridan responded by planning his death. But for now, Costner refuses to start shooting the fifth season until he knows exactly the fate of his character.