Bill Paxton is co-starring in the upcoming miniseries "Hatfields and McCoys" (premieres Mon., May 28 at 9 p.m. ET on HIST) opposite Kevin Costner, a project that marks the actor's return to TV after HBO's "Big Love" ended in March 2011.
In the wake of the controversial finale that saw Paxton's character Bill Henrickson gunned down in the street, "Big Love" creators Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer told NPR's "Fresh Air" that Paxton initially "had a big problem" with the ending, and that Bill's death "was not how he had envisioned the end of his character's journey or the end of the series."
In an interview with HuffPost TV while promoting "Hatfields and McCoys," Paxton reflected on his evolving reaction to the "Big Love" finale. He conceded that he was still "a little unreconciled" to how the series ended, partly because he'd like to "think of the Henricksons still out there fighting, and fucking, and praying." But by the end of the interview, Paxton came around. "I have to be objective and say they ended it right," he said.
Read more of his thoughts below.
The "Big Love" ending was a great ending, I thought. It was really a dramatic and a memorable TV finale.
God, I guess. I'm still a little unreconciled, but maybe it's because I was very fond of Bill Henrickson. And I think he would've gotten the drop on that neighbor Carlos.
So you felt ambivalent about the ending?
Well, a little bit ... The guy was really a revolutionary like Jesus Christ was in some ways. I don't know, I guess society can't reward that guy, because he is really living outside of society. You know, Mark and Will, it was their series, they oversaw it, so I don't question their good judgment. They shepherded the series very well and I thought the writing overall was fantastic, and they're great writers.
I just wanted to think of Henricksons still out there fighting, and fucking, and praying. But really, I gotta say, they did a tremendous job, and I think there was a great symmetry to the ending, absolutely. It was a hell of a hero's journey, that's for sure. And I think at the end of the day, the series really was about the women. I was kind of a fiduciary character in many ways. It was really, how do these women relate to each other, sharing this guy and this religion and this whole thing?
And how are they going to carry on now that he's gone probably was a more interesting dynamic. I guess I was just really fond of the guy and I thought that after all that he had gone through, he deserved to find a quiet place in the sun.
It was tragic in that way.
It was tragic. But you know what, usually Hollywood is a place that likes their tragedy with a happy face at the end. And in a way, I liked that it was true to its form. You know, there was a similarity in "Big Love" that is in "Hatfield and the McCoys," and that's the gothic nature of both of the series. There was something kind of haunted about the compound, and Bill Henrickson had come from a haunted place. And so do these people in this story. That's a similarity I hadn't thought of, but I think in talking about it, I can draw a parallel there.
Mark and Will had a great sense of dark pathos all running through "Big Love." It's a dark series in a lot of ways. For a series that had as much humor in it, it's very dark, and that's what I loved about it. So you know what? I think at the end of the day, I have to be objective and say they ended it right. Subjectively, as Bill Henrickson, I think I got a raw deal, but look, I'd sign up with them again if they came to me with another series. I would do it.
I have to say this about "Big Love," too: Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer were two of the most creative writers I've ever worked with, but also that cast was exemplary as well. Jeanne [Tripplehorn] and Chloe [Sevigny] and Ginnifer [Goodwin] were just unbelievably solid. They're just great actresses, and everybody else, too.
Check back with HuffPost TV later for more from Paxton and Kevin Costner on "Hatfields and McCoys," which premieres Mon., May 28 at 9 p.m. ET on History.