Anthony Boyle Discusses Masters of the Air and Manhunt

Mar 11, 2024

Anthony Boyle’s career is flying high—literally. As Lt. Harry Crosby in Apple TV+’s hit WWII drama, Masters of the Air, the actor is seen fending off unrelenting German fighters alongside other head turners like Austin Butler (Elvis, Dune: Part Two), Callum Turner (The Boys in the Boat), and Ben Radcliffe (Pandora, Anatomy of a Scandal). Boyle continues his streak of starring in historical dramas in yet another Apple TV+ hot ticket, Manhunt. The upcoming, seven-part true crime limited series premieres on Mar. 15 with two episodes and airs weekly on Fridays thereafter.

Based on The New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning non-fiction pageturner from author James L. Swanson, Manhunt is a gripping conspiracy thriller about one of the best-known but possibly least understood crimes in history. This is the story of the hunt for John Wilkes Booth in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Fans of conspiracy and manhunt dramas will appreciate creator/showrunner Monica Beletsky’s (Fargo, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) inventive take here. The series also stars Tobias Menzies in a powerful turn as Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War, who led the manhunt for Booth in April 1865. Hamish Linklater (The Big Short) morphs into the president, Abraham Lincoln, and Lovie Simone (Greenleaf), Will Harrison (Daisy Jones & The Six), and Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio) are among the all-star cast. In this candid conversation with MovieWeb, Anthony Boyle opened up about prepping for the role, which leaped from intensely studying John Wilkes Booth to wild days in cowboy camp. He also teases his next project—something “dark” for—what’s this?—Disney.

Exploring John Wilkes Booth’s Psyche
Manhunt (2024) Release Date March 15, 2024 Cast Tobias Menzies , Anthony Boyle , Lovie Simone , Matt Walsh , Brandon Flynn , Betty Gabriel , Will Harrison , Hamish Linklater , Damian O’Hare , Patton Oswalt , Lili Taylor Seasons 1 Studio 3 Arts Entertainment, Apple Studios, Lions Gate Films Creator Monica Beletsky Streaming Service(s) Apple TV+

James L. Swanson’s book, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, was a deeply researched tome. In Manhunt, showrunner Monica Beletsky opts to hone in on Edward Stanton, Lincoln’s trusted aid, here. Ultimately, the story becomes a captivating cat-and-mouse endeavor as Stanton and his men race against the clock to locate Booth, who, at the time, was a popular theater actor.

For Anthony Boyle, playing Booth was an all-consuming experience that required a great deal of research. The actor previously starred in Tolkien, Tetris, and The Plot Against America. Reflecting on his current hit, Masters of the Air, he goes on to explain his entry into the fold on Manhunt.

1:18 Related Masters of the Air Clip Teases Part 6 and the Introduction of Bel Powley This exclusive clip of Masters of the Air introduces Bel Powley into the Apple TV+ show as a British Officer.

“It was an interesting experience doing Masters of the Air. We were filming in these sort of replica B-17s, and we shot it for almost a year in an air base that they had rebuilt just outside of Oxford in England,” Boyle shared. “Then going from that… to a couple of months later, playing John Wilkes Booth in Savannah, Georgia, in the sweltering heat in the middle of the summer, on the back of a horse wearing black cotton. It was a very different thing.”

Preparing With Letters, Alcohol & Chewing Tobacco

Anthony Boyle’s other co-stars include Lili Taylor (American Crime) as Mary Todd Lincoln, Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), Damian O’Hare (Hatfields & McCoys), Glenn Morshower (The Resident), and Matt Walsh (Veep). The actor shares the unique way he prepared for the role, which involved slipping back in time and reading John Wilkes Booth’s personal accounts of his life.

“I would read Booth’s letters most days when we were filming. I had all the letters he had written from when he was 15 till he was 26. And they were a really good insight into sort of where he was mentally. He starts off… quite a rambunctious young man. He’s quite funny. And then when he gets to about 17, 18, you see a real racist ideology take hold and it begins to rot his brain. And slowly, slowly, until he’s about 26, he becomes a real person.”

Related 8 Bizarre Things an Actor Did to Prepare for a Role Every actor has their own personal method of preparing for a role. Fascinating and outrageous, here are eight bizarre things an actor did for a role.

When asked about one of the most interesting things he experienced playing Booth, Boyle said:

“Horse riding. I’d never ridden a horse before. And I showed up three weeks before we started filming, and we’d done a cowboy camp. Where it was me and seven cowboys taught me how to ride horses, and we drank whiskey and chewed tobacco and just it was unbelievable. It was such an amazing period of time for me. I couldn’t believe I was doing that for a job. I just loved it and I’ve been riding horses ever since.”

Being an Actor & Upcoming Disney Project Shardlake

“I can never really remember the moment where I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what I’m going to do,’” Boyle shared when discussing what sparked his desire to become an actor. “I always just thought I was going to do it. I wasn’t very good at school. I wasn’t very good at academia.” He continued:

“So, acting felt like a place where, you know, I would go into a rehearsal room and whereas in the street, if I was told not to do something, I would just do it immediately, and I would get chastised for it. But in a rehearsal room, my impulses, just, you know, pushing the red button, throwing a chair, doing something like that, was celebrated. And it was like, ‘Oh God, that really works for the scene, or what a brave choice.’ And I just thought, ‘Well, I’m just messing around, so this is cool.’”

Meanwhile, the creative horizon looks promising. Beyond Manhunt, Boyle has several projects in the queue, including Shardlake, another historical drama, this time for Disney. The 16th-century Tudor murder mystery series, based on the best-selling novels by British author C.J. Sansom, stars Arthur Hughes (The Innocents, Then Barbara Met Alan). Boyle, who plays Jack Barak in the show, says:

“Yeah, it’s cool. I watched it all recently. It’s a really good show. It’s got Sean Bean. It’s got Arthur Hughes. He’s a phenomenal actor. And it’s great, it’s like a buddy movie/buddy TV show about two guys trying to shut down a monastery, which doesn’t sound that exciting, but I promise you it is. It’s a brilliant director, a brilliant script. It’s dark, it’s for Disney. It’s a really cool drama, only four parts. I’m really excited for people to see it.”

In the meantime, there’s Manhunt. Stream it on Apple TV+ beginning Mar. 15.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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