(CBS Local)– Wyatt Russell has had a couple of very interesting chapters in his life.
He grew up while his parents Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn were incredibly famous, he played professional hockey overseas, and now has his own show on AMC called “Lodge 49.” Russell has always been aware of things going on around him and that’s helped him shape his identity over the years.
“I was a pretty aware kid and I can remember being four and five years old and being aware of how people acted around my parents,” said Russell in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I didn’t like it and it didn’t make me feel good. It’s an odd thing. I understood it, but I didn’t like it. When I found hockey, it was something difficult to do. That was my first identity shift… from being different from my parents. I liked being part of a team. I ended up playing college hockey and went to play professional hockey in Europe. The transition from hockey to the film industry was easier for me because I knew how to do things on my own terms and I didn’t need to prove to anyone that I was my own person.”
Russell has made a name for himself thanks to his performances in “22 Jump Street,” “Black Mirror,” and now “Lodge 49.” The show is executive produced by Paul Giamatti and Russell’s character Dud has given him the opportunity to learn new things as an actor.
“I wasn’t actually pitched this show, I just read it,” said Russell. “This show has many different things to say and plays on a variety of different emotions. I’ve learned a lot. One thing I’ve learned specifically is the specificity of being non-specific. That was a challenge I was ready to take on and have a lot of fun with it. We don’t improv a ton, the words are the words. This provides a lot of room to play in different areas.”
In addition to “Lodge 49,” Russell will also appear alongside Ethan Hawke next year in the new Showtime limited series “Good Lord Bird” about the pre-Civil War era. The former hockey player has had the opportunity to work with some of the best in Hollywood, but his time with Hawke stands out.
“It’s the very first period piece I’ve gotten to do. Just doing one scene of that with him is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done,” said Russell. “You are dealing with themes that are important and you want to do justice to do the story. When we did it together… Ethan is the best. He is an artist that has fun with his art. That’s a dude I look at and say you’re totally doing it right.”