Michael Raymond-James has played everything from a serial killer in HBO’s True Blood to Rumpelstiltskin’s son in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. He takes on a very real role as Paul Revere in the History Channel’s three-part mini-series Sons of Liberty. As Boston’s own famed midnight rider, he joins fellow revolutionaries Sam Adams, John Adams, John Hancock and Joseph Warren as they make history. We checked in with the actor before the Jan. 25 premiere.
I think Revere was sort of a badass—is that how you decided to play him? Revere was a badass. So that wasn’t a decision for me to make; it was there in the writing, as well as the annals of our history. Most of Revere’s life, however, is overshadowed by the single event of his ride to Lexington, which is unfortunate.
History can be a bit dry. Sons of Liberty looks anything but… I personally love history. To me, math is dry and boring. These were incredibly tense times, with so much at stake, and we tried to capture the tension, the dangers and the passion of those times as best we could. The result is a pretty wild ride.
The Finest Hours I haven’t yet had the chance … but that’s something I absolutely will be doing at some point. I did take a day to visit Lexington. I wanted to stand there on Lexington Green and try to imagine what those men and boys must have been feeling there, waiting while the sounds of the British drums and the marching of the British boots approached. It must have been absolutely harrowing. Same for the wives, mothers and sisters in town—an excruciating sense of dread. But … it was more important to take that stand. It gives me chills.
The complete list would be too long to print—long enough to fill the old Boston Garden. I would love to hang with Paul Revere at The Green Dragon and discuss operations over a few pints of lager.