On the Fly with… HAPPY TOWN Star Sam Neill

Wondering why we’re shining the spotlight on actor Sam Neill mere hours after sharing a roundup of some slightly less than kind reviews of HAPPY TOWN, his latest project which premiers tonight on ABC at 10PM? (“A” Channel in Canada). Turns out, that we have a soft spot for actors who have played a pivotal role in our formative years. And Neill, having starred in Jurassic Park — a film that to this day we look back fondly as one of our seminal childhood favorites — certainly classifies as having done just that.

On what brought him back to television.
After tiring of reading predictable film scripts in which he could predict the ending after two pages if dialogue, Neil started looking to the small screen for projects that he could really sink his teeth into. “I started getting caught up with some interesting television shows like THE WIRE and MAD MEN,” explained the actor. “I picked up this script [for HAPPY TOWN] and thought it was very bizarre, mysterious and scary. Plus it was funny as hell which is always appealing.”

On the identity of the Magic Man.
Although it came as little surprise that Neill was keeping “mum” on the identity of Haplin Minnesota’s mysterious Magic Man, whose scariest trick is making inhabitant disappear, the actor was kind enough to guarantee that fans won’t be left hanging. “You will became aware of the identity of the Magic Man before the end of the first series of episodes,” promised Neill. “Of course things being the way they are, as soon as we become aware of who the Magic Man is, it opens up at least three or four other questions. HAPPY TOWN is a pretty elaborate and the identify of the Magic Man is just one of the mysteries.”

On what’s next.
“Hopefully more HAPPY TOWN,” joked Neill who was only to happy to remain in one place having just shot five movies back-to-back. “You’re never quite sure what’s going to work or not from reading the script, but I can tell you from day one whether or not I’m going to enjoy it. And it was clear from when we started shooting that I was going to enjoy this immensely and we’re very much looking forward to doing some more.”

For all the latest TV news and reviews