LONGMIRE: Craig Johnson on who is who for the pilot.

I recently posted Craig’s thoughts on Robert Taylor playing Sheriff Walt Longmire, now comes his thoughts on the rest of the main cast. Any comments of my own will come at the end, so all of this is from Craig:

Lou Diamond Phillips (YOUNG GUNS, LA BAMBA) is Henry Standing Bear. There’s been a lot of buzz about the casting out there in Hollywood, and a lot of it about the Native roles so we knew we had to have somebody of Indian heritage. All I can think of when they cast Lou was that I forwarded the photo to Marcus Red Thunder and his response was, ‘Aaaalright, he even looks Cheyenne’. We knew the man chosen for Henry was going to have to be a strong performer who would match up well with Robert, and nobody in Hollywood has a stronger and better reputation than LDP, as he’s referred to in the blogs. He is Henry.

Katee Sackhoff (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, 24) is Vic Moretti. My webmaster says we just got the geek-boy demographic with this one–I think we got the rancher one as well. I went back through a few of her performances as Starbuck and more importantly her interviews online and about died laughing—she’s got quite a mouth on her and a Vic attitude. She IS Vic. The executive crew had a hard time with this one; trying to find a young woman who was sexy but still looked like she could put you in a reverse-wristlock and plant your face on the hood of your car. I truly think they did it.

Cassidy Freeman (SMALLVILLE, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION) is Cady Longmire. She looks like Robert’s daughter, huh? She gave an incredible audition, and unless I’m mistaken had dyed her hair red for it. She’s smart, sassy and with an underlying vulnerability that’s trademark Longmire. The scene between her and Walt talking about Martha’s ashes just about broke my heart. I had to laugh as my Philadelphia lawyer, stepdaughter, Jessica (the prototype for Cady), as she watched Cassidy’s audition with a kind of funny look on her face. Welcome to my world.

Baily Chase (SAVING GRACE, DAMAGES) plays the role of Turk/Branch Connally. This was the biggest character change from the books to the pilot. Turk is now Branch, still Lucian Connally’s nephew, but he has become a regular foil as opposed to a one-time character. By the way, he doesn’t get his teeth punched out by Walt, just FYI. He’s handsome, smart, built like a brick privy, got a great smile, and from all indications has a great sense of humor. I hate him; I wonder why?

I only have one personal comment to make: I am thrilled to see the casting of Lou. I thought he was fantastic in his recurring role as Edgerton on NUMB3RS. While that character would not have worked as a regular, I was surprised that no other show picked Lou up to be a regular.