Antony Starr exacts justice with a hard punch and a whole lot of emotion in Banshee.
NEW Zealander Antony Starr arrived for the Banshee interview in Los Angeles with a cast around his wrist. He looked thinner than his character in the show and his hair was longer; Starr was a far cry from Sheriff Lucas Hood.
However, his blue-coloured cast was a dead giveaway for his work in the action-packed Banshee, which sees him getting into more fist fights per episode than possibly any other show on TV.
When asked if the cast was the result of filming Banshee, Starr deadpanned, “I was fighting sea monsters.”
He smiled and continued, “No. I just had an operation on it, something that I have been meaning to get fixed for a while. So I got that done, seeing that we are in the off-season.”
Banshee starts its second season in Malaysia today. It revolves around Starr’s character, who is released from prison after serving a 15-year sentence for robbery.
He tracks down the woman he loves, Carrie (played by Ivana Milicevic) – who also happens to be his partner-in-crime – to a small town named Banshee. However, she turns him away.
With neither love nor loot, the ex-convict’s luck changes when he gets the opportunity to assume a dead man’s identity – that of Sheriff Lucas Hood.
With this perfect cover, the thief, now known as Sheriff Hood, rejuvenates his criminal life on the side while pining for his love in Banshee.
He does some police work during the day, even if he doesn’t abide by a conventional set of rules or morality – which is how Hood ends up fighting the bad guys instead of slapping handcuffs on them.
Naturally, his tactics land him in more trouble with other bad guys, as well as with his deputies and the town mayor.
If that isn’t enough, his past refuses to let him go and, as at the end of Season One, it is threatening his new life.
So Starr was not kidding when he said that the show was physically demanding, even though the 38-year-old actor learned martial arts in his younger days.
“Any day there is a fight sequence, you know you are going to get some nicks and bruises. We have a great stunt team that keeps us – above all – safe.
“(But) I have never done (action) before and it has been a steep learning curve. The training regime is intense, but there is a masochist side in me that enjoys a bit of punishment, so it has been a lot of fun,” Starr said in the interview last week.
Action isn’t the only thing Banshee is known for.
It has plenty of family drama, romance and deep dark secrets thrown into the mix, along with exciting capers.
One of the burning mysteries of the show is Lucas’ real name.
Just what the heck is it?
“You never find out,” Starr said.
“When the show finishes, that is a secret that should go down with it.”
The series has been mapped out as a five-year show, with a clear ending in sight.
What happens between now and then is unclear, though.
What we do know from the first season is that Lucas learns he is the father of Carrie’s eldest daughter.
Also, at the end of the first season, Lucas’ old mob boss comes to town with an amazing amount of firepower, all ready to take Lucas down for betraying him.
Luckily for him, Carrie decides to help out.
Season Two continues with the repercussions of Carrie’s decision to save Lucas from being killed – a move that causes her to lose her anonymity and family.
“The story is an evolving thing. We see a lot more of Lucas’ and Carrie’s backgrounds. It’s a growing animal,” Starr revealed.
He added that the action cannot be
amplified any more in the new season as “it has been full on. But the anchorpoint for all the action is the drama. If you want to watch two guys you don’t know fighting, and not get emotionally invested, then watch the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), which I am a huge fan of. But with drama, you care about what happens to them.”
The self-confessed private guy, who would rather go back to his home in Auckland during his breaks, said that he is quite the opposite of Lucas Hood.
While he enjoys doing the physical work for Banshee, he said he would rather not pick a fight in real life just because he plays a tough guy on TV.
Has Starr been in a fight?
“Yeah. I think growing up in my early 20s, like most young men, I was an idiot. I have never been someone who goes looking for fights but I have been ready to defend my friends ... I have always been loyal, let’s put it that way.”
> Season Two of Banshee premieres tonight at 11pm on Cinemax (Astro Ch 413), with new episodes every Friday.