Longmire interview: Adam Bartley on The Ferg’s evolution, final season, and potential movies


Adam BartleyLongmire season 6 premieres on Netflix today, and whether you’ve binge watched half of the season already or are watching one a day, there are a lot of great stories to dive into.

To help set everything up for or you — or to help reflect on the series (depending on where you are in your viewing) — we had a wonderful chance to interview the man behind Deputy Ferguson a.k.a. The Ferg in Adam Bartley. Despite being extremely busy — and just catching a flight to Minnesota — he gave us some of his time this morning to talk about the show, the friendships that he made during it, and especially amusing story that happened earlier in this morning. (You may have seen him discussing it already on Instagram).

CarterMatt – Before jumping into everything else, let’s talk about what happened on the flight this morning.

Adam Bartley: I woke up [during the flight] and my neighbor next to me was watching the show. I go ‘dude, that’s me.’ He was like, ‘are you kidding me,’ and I was like ‘I haven’t even gotten to watch it.’ I had the biggest Longmire fan ever just sitting right next to me.

It was so funny — we had the greatest talk, and he was one of these guys who has been a part of the show since it was on A&E. He was saying it was his favorite show and that he’d watched it from the beginning, and it was so cool. He was such a nice guy.

That’s the thing about Longmire fans — it’s really a community and much more than just a show. The fans feel that they are part of something special and a part of something bigger than themselves. It’s their social meet-up. It’s brought friends together who had never met and then met at Longmire Days. It’s incredible and so heartwarming. I have yet to meet a Longmire fan that I didn’t love immediately. They’re just good people.

I haven’t been able to watch it yet because I’ve been traveling for a wedding. Just been heading home for that and I’m starting a movie on Monday. I’m not going to have a time to watch the show until Thanksgiving, so I’m going to try to shut it out until then. It is weird to watch yourself work and it’s so charged. We all saw each other at a party recently and it was warm and wonderful to see this awesome family. There was a lot of gratitude and a touch of sadness — I’m not scheduled to see these people anymore. Life moves on, friendships grow and evolve. We’ll always be connected and it’s a hard transition. When I used to do theater we would do this every three or four months — you make all of these friends and think they’ll be your best friend forever, but then the next day you’re like ‘I’ll never speak to that person again.’

With seven years, most of us will speak to each other and reconnect. We all miss each other. I’m already getting messages from the crew talking about how much they miss us and we’re talking about a reunion. I hope we get a chance to make some movies — it would be so special to get the band back together. We’ll see how all of that plays out.

Knowing that this was going to be your final season, did you approach anything differently during filming? Was it nice to know in advance?

It’s the perfect scenario and it just sets you up for endless gratitude. That was the mantra of [Robert and I] — we were going to savor every minute of it. We did that all the way through – savored every moment of this run. Friendships thrived and we had hilarious, wild times. It was really special – best time in my life. The greatest part of Longmire for me is the relationships and the wonderful story that keeps getting better. This last season has been pretty incredible.

When you first appeared on the show, did you have any expectations for what your story would look like? You’ve gotten to do so many things on the show in between being in danger, being the hero, being in love, and so much more. Did you expect any of that?

Honestly, I was so grateful just to be on the show, but early on because of the 42 minute [limit per episode] there were things that were edited out to make time. Often, the pieces that they would write for me would get cut. That’s just how it had to break down, unfortunately. When we went to Netflix and we were granted a little more time, it opened up a lot more — especially for me and my character. Season 4 had a lot of really cool things happen because they could tell those stories.

The first three seasons did help me learn about always having an active life, even if you’re in the background, and always justifying and making a story even if the camera isn’t on you. It was a great way to fill up the story of Ferg with things like ‘why am I filing this paperwork?’ — it’s fun! Even if you don’t have any lines, it’s fun to think it up and put it together. That was a lot of my first few years, and the last few I’ve been so blessed to have such great material and writing for me to play and to watch Ferg grow into the man he’s become. It’s wild.

I feel like Ferg will always be with me, and me with him. It’s pretty wonderful that way how characters can make you a better human. I’ve never been a part of something like that for so long and it was fun to be a part of the creative process.

It’s already out there on social media that Barry Sloane was coming back, and my favorite story of yours was with Zachary back in season 4. I feel like male friendship isn’t something that’s explored extremely well on some other shows and it is here. What was it like to revisit that?

First and foremost, Barry is one of the greatest guys. He’s been the star of several shows — he could be so high and mighty sitting up in his house, but he’s not. He was like ‘I love that show; yeah, I’ll come back.’ He’s so humble and is such a good human. We’re buddies off-screen. Just being around him is awesome.

I think you touched on something there — it is cool to see friendships between men. It’s not something you see all of the time and this is a great one. How it all plays out will surprise some people.

What have you come to appreciate about The Ferg over your time on the show?

I would say his dedication and his faith in people, plus his burgeoning self-confidence. It’s been really fun to slowly allow that to grow.

I love the fact that you and Robert [Taylor] seem to have a great friendship.

He’s really one of a kind. He’s a brilliant actor and an awesome guy. We were close buddies from the very first day — we knew that we were going to be friends.

Did you get to keep anything from the set?

I took a few little things, things that there were doubles of. Ferg’s nameplate, things like that.

What are you looking to do now? You’ve been busy in between this show, NCIS: Los Angeles, and This Is Us as of late.

I want to do films. Over the past several years I’ve wanted to do films and I’ve been doing mostly TV and stuff like that. This year, since I’ve finished Longmire I’ve done two films and a motion-capture job, a David Fincher – Netflix untitled short. I’m moving onto my third film. Since July 1 I’ve done two films. The [first film is] Adam McKay’s Backseat, which follows the life of Dick Cheney played by Christian Bale with Amy Adams playing Lynne [Cheney]. It’s a great cast and Adam McKay is one of the great directors in Hollywood right now. Folks are going to be just absolutely shocked when they see Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. He’s just captivating and brilliant.

I did a film called Donnybrook and the new film I’m working on called Honesty Weekend has a great script and cool people making it. This business is job to job and being a working actor is a great thing to be. I’m very blessed.

Is there any one thing you’re excited for people to see this season?

Ferg gets a chance at a little hard-earned revenge, but at the same time Ferg wouldn’t look at it that way. Objectively I would, but Ferg would always look at doing the right thing, always doing the job and being a good cop. He wouldn’t classify it that way.

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We want to give a very special thanks to Adam for talking with us. We have loved watching his character grow on Longmire over the years and can’t wait to see how it all ties together in the end for him.

More Longmire news

We’ve got more interviews for you all about the show, including one with executive producer Greer Shephard, at the link here! Check those out, and like us on Facebook for even more TV news. (Photo: Netflix.)

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