‘Bonnie & Clyde’: Lane Garrison on playing Buck Barrow, friendship with Emile Hirsch

Buck Barrow -Sunday night is going to be turning into a big one for those of you looking for one of the next great miniseries on TV. Whether you are in the United States or Canada, “Bonnie & Clyde” will premiere on Sunday, December 8 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on your country’s version of History as well as Lifetime and A&E. (The second part airs the following day at the same time.) It’s an epic look into what was a crime spree that really captured America’s attention, and is a story so well-known that it could end up being a ratings smash the same exact way that “Hatfields & McCoys” were a while back.

One of the more intriguing players in the Bonnie & Clyde saga was Buck Barrow, Clyde’s older brother who teamed up with him along with his wife Blanche. He was one of the few who knew and understood Clyde for most of his life, and for actor Lane Garrison (“Prison Break”), this was an opportunity to take on a role that he was already a little familiar with thanks to his upbringing.

In a conference call with reporters today, Garrison told us a little bit about his familiarity with the story going in, and what sort of preparation he and his co-star Emile Hirsch (Clyde) had to go through in order to make the miniseries feel authentic:

“I grew up in Dallas, Texas, which is where Bonnie & Clyde and Buck are from. In fact my grandfather used to take me by the Barrow Filling Station when I was six, and the barn outside of my elementary school was supposed to have been a Bonnie & Clyde hideout. So this is a story that I have been very familiar with, areas and locations I’m very familiar with.

“In that aspect, I sort of already knew the story and who these people were and where they came from. Before we got started, we had to read a book called ‘Go Down Together‘ by Jeff Guinn, and it’s a phenomenal book that took at look at what times were like for the Barrow family. This was a young man dealing with living in the depression era, and he didn’t have anything. He had no money, and Buck lacked an education, so of course he took to a life of crime.

“For me, stepping into that character was really all about understanding what motivated him, and that was family first and foremost. And with his relationship with Clyde, they weren’t just brothers, but best friends … Emile and I spent two weeks before the shoot, we literally hung out 24 / 7. We did everything together, like stupid things like gator watching, working out together, and we [even] watched movies together like they did. In doing this stuff together we’re now really tight. We talk all the time now, and we’re really good friends. That was the main part of stepping into who this person was and how he was willing to go to these extra limits for his brother. I needed to feel that connection with Emile, and I was so fortunate to work with a great talent like him.”

Garrison also opened up about why he personally felt like the story continues to have the sort of public fascination that it does today, a full 80 years or so after the crime spree first began:

“There’s a fascination with it because I don’t think that it could happen in modern times, and I think that’s what intrigues people … how far these two people were willing to go for each other. You have that whole romantic aspect of these two people madly in love, and something so powerful, but doing these heinous acts of crime. They are totally diametric emotions, and I think that is totally what fuels people’s intrigue about it. It’s about the mystery and the romance and the crime spree that went along with it. So I think that’s why it’s still relevant today.”

Are you planning to watch the “Bonnie & Clyde” miniseries? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Lifetime

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