Even good men are tempted by darkness. No one knows that better than deputy sheriff Branch Connally, one of the major antagonists on A&E’s original series Longmire. Since audiences first met the young deputy with dreams of becoming sheriff it was clear that he would do anything to achieve that dream. Connally is played expertly by actor Bailey Chase.
Born in Chicago and raised in Florida, Chase has been a regular presence on television for over two decades. With reoccurring roles in cult classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer,Damages and Saving Grace his diverse background makes him perfect for A&E’s groundbreaking show. Press Pass LA had the chance to sit down with Chase to discuss his love of Westerns and where he sees the show going in season two.
PPLA: You’ve been a part of everything from science fiction to dramas. What is it like shooting a Western? Does your acting style change?
BC: Shooting a Western is a lot of fun. A boyhood dream really. My acting style doesn’t change for any genre per se but wearing a Stetson and boots puts you in a different mindset.
PPLA: Are you a fan of Westerns? What are your favorites?
BC: I grew up watching Clint Eastwood. If I had to choose one it would be Unforgiven. It’s a perfect Western.
PPLA: Is it challenging filming on location in New Mexico?
BC: Filming on location brings certain challenges but I prefer it. It lends to a more authentic experience. I love that we shoot up in the mountains of Pecos and small towns like Las Vegas, New Mexico.
PPLA: What can we expect from your character in the second season?
BC: Branch started to go down a dark path at the end of Season one. Expect him to continue down that path. He felt betrayed by Walt and Cady. He’s becoming more of a man.
PPLA: I understand you’re filming a movie called The Tao of Surfing with your co-star Lou Diamond Phillips. How did you get involved in that? Are you a surfer?
BC: Lou approached me about The Tao of Surfing early this year. He fought to get me an offer as there were “bigger names” that wanted it. It’s a beautiful story about two best friends who transcend life’s obstacles with surfing as the vehicle. I surfed a lot in my twenties but now golf has become my main hobby. I love how both sports take you away from life’s headaches and use the same Zen philosophy of letting things happen.
Straight off our interview, Chase is headed to start filming on Season 2 airing this summer on A & E.