Timothy stars as "Seth Bullock" on HBO's series "Deadwood." Bearing the kind of sharp-eyed, vaguely sinister good looks that often get actors cast as charismatic drug dealers or murder suspects, Timothy Olyphant first impressed film audiences playing none other than the resident charismatic drug dealer of Doug Liman's Go (1999). Born in Hawaii on May 20, 1968, Olyphant grew up in California. After attending the University of California, where he swam competitively, the actor made his professional debut in the Playwrights Horizons' production of The Monogamist, for which he won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance. Olyphant's first film appearance came courtesy of a miniscule role in The First Wives Club (1996); somewhat more substantial work followed in 1997's Scream 2, in which the actor was cast as one of Neve Campbell's friends. After a turn in When Trumpets Fade (1998), a critically acclaimed made-for-TV WWII drama, and a memorable guest-shot on an episode of Sex and the City, Olyphant gave a scene-stealing performance in Go, managing to stand out in an ensemble cast that included Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes, Taye Diggs, and Scott Wolf. His work caught the notice of more than one industry observer, and by the following year, the actor had a number of projects in the works. Included among them were The Broken Hearts Club, a comedy that cast Olyphant as a gay photographer; Gone in Sixty Seconds, which featured him as a detective on the trail of a car thief (Nicolas Cage); and Auggie Rose, a drama about assumed identity in which Olyphant played the ex-cellmate of a dead con man. In 2001, Olyphant would turn up in the tale of an aspiring singer who gets to live a dream, Rock Star.
Once touted as "the next big thing," Olyphant's stock seemed to drop after attaching himself to a string of duds, most notably the aforementioned Rock Star, Dreamcatcher, and A Man Apart, the latter two both released in 2003. Fortunately, the following year saw things looking up for the actor, with a starring role on the latest critically acclaimed weekly series from HBO, the Western Deadwood. Just a handful of weeks following the premiere of Deadwood, Olyphant could be seen on the big screen again with a supporting role in the teen sex comedy The Girl Next Door.
Timothy Olyphant Talks About "Dreamcatcher"
Timothy Olyphant's been busy with dramatic roles, and isn't necessarily known for his work in special effects films. Nonetheless, when it came to casting the role of Pete, director Lawrence Kasdan needed an actor who could play the more introspective of the four main characters, while still being an integral part of the group.
"I'd seen Timothy Olyphant in 'Go.' Tim is a very typically American actor - he's very instinctive and very much in the vernacular. I wanted him to play Pete, who in some ways is the saddest of the friends," explained Kasdan.
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT ('Pete')
What was your experience like working on “Dreamcatcher?”
It was just fantastic. I don't think I've ever been paid so much to do such good material. Larry Kasdan has made some of my favorite movies of all time so just to be working with him was a pleasure. Now that I have, I not only respect his work but I just love and respect him as a person. And then Morgan Freeman, just being around 'that.' Any of those two guys rub off on me, I'm a better man for it.
You play one of four buddies who grew up together. How would you describe your character?
I'm so terrible at this (laughing). He's got psychic abilities, yet he's selling cars and having a hard time picking up on women. This led to a bit of a drinking problem...and I run out of things after that.
Your character doesn't work much with the alien special effects. What did they use in place of the worm in your snow scene?
They actually had something. They actually had these puppets, a number of different ones, that could all do different things. Some of them were just big, loose, rubber worms and you felt like Ed Wood trying to make it move. Others actually could be manipulated. Their eyes - little details - could be [moved]. They are pretty good at what they do, those guys.
I know you said you didn't read the book prior to filming the movie. Did you read it when you were done with the shoot?
You know, after filming the movie the book was still just as big. I think it was actually bigger. I think Stephen King went back and wrote extra pages. He's fantastic.
Why do you think audiences love horror movies?
I don't know. People love to be scared. I guess it's a primal deal.