Stacy Keach, Desolation Canyon
is in familiar territory — in a couple of ways — with the Hallmark Channel Western Desolation Canyon
(premiering Saturday, July 1, at 9 pm/ET), as his retired bounty hunter, together with Patrick Duffy
's town sheriff and a nerdy banker, hunt down the bandits who robbed a bank, killed the teller in the process and then galloped off with a local youth in tow. TVGuide.com spoke with Keach about getting back in the saddle, as he has done numerous times in his colorful career, as well as his outlook for Prison Break
's Season 2.
TVGuide.com: You have to love a movie where you get lines like, "This ol' rifle of mine ain't choosy about who she shoots," right?
Stacy Keach: [Laughs] Yeah. You know you're doing a traditional Western when you have lines like that!
TVGuide.com: As an actor, are Westerns simply the most fun projects to do?
Keach: Absolutely. They're total extensions of all the childhood fantasies we ever had. Being an actor and doing movies is like being able to ensure that your childhood will never abandon you.
TVGuide.com: What's the most enjoyable aspect — getting to stay grungy/scruffy, the gunplay, being in the outdoors, the horse riding?
Keach: For me, it's the horses. My dad put me on a horse when I was 4 years old, god bless him, and all during my youth I rode. In fact, I participated in a couple of junior rodeos when I was 12 or 13, up at a dude ranch in Wyoming. Also, it's that ethos of being part of the Old West and that section of our history that really formed our country in many ways. It certainly formed our images of good and bad in very clear terms. Westerns, in some ways, are like little morality plays.
TVGuide.com: Did filming Desolation Canyon take you back 20-odd years to The Long Riders, with the Carradines and director Walter Hill?
Keach: Sometimes, yeah. But I tell you, it was synchronicity that Patrick Duffy and I found ourselves doing this together because some 12 years ago we did James Michener's Texas for Aaron Spelling, god bless him. [Duffy] played Steven Austin and I played Sam Houston. So the "riding together again" part [of Desolation Canyon's story] was absolutely accurate.
TVGuide.com: How long were you, Patrick Duffy and David Rees Snell out there shooting, and where?
Keach: We shot most of it at Vazquez Rocks and Santa Clarita, where they shoot Deadwood, and at the Disney Ranch. We found an old ghost town right next to the Disney Ranch that I had never seen in any Western I can recall, and it was right here in Southern California. Generally speaking, when you do Westerns you go to Arizona or Spain or Utah or Montana, so it was great to be able to do it right here in our own backyard.
TVGuide.com: You know, I'm surprised Deadwood never snatched you up.
Keach: Well, I've been doing Prison Break, so I wasn't available. But that's a great show, Deadwood. I love it and I have many friends in it. I love the acting in it.
TVGuide.com: What is your all-time favorite Western?
Keach: The Long Riders, of course.
TVGuide.com: Of course. Speaking of cowboys, are you in Dallas right now shooting Prison Break?
Keach: No, but I was [this past Monday]. I'm back in Los Angeles now. I'm off to New York [on June 29], and then I'm back to Dallas next week [to film the second episode of the new season].
TVGuide.com: I understand you've been working with William Fichtner, who has joined the show as a federal agent?
Keach: I worked with him yesterday, and he's a wonderful young actor, just great. He's going to be perfect in this part.
TVGuide.com: Since Wentworth Miller was your primary scene partner during Season 1, were you sad to realize you'd never work together again once Michael escaped?
Keach: Absolutely. Wentworth is a terrific young actor and I just loved working with him. But even more so, the warden was very upset, betrayed, humiliated, embarrassed and angered by Scofield's betrayal of trust, so that has to be resolved.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, it'd be great if they could get one last scene that offers some sort of closure to their relationship.
Keach: Yeah. It will be down the line somewhere, probably.
TVGuide.com: What will become of the matchstick Taj Mahal?
Keach: I think the Taj Mahal is going to see its final days..... A little misplaced aggression of the warden's is going to emerge. [Laughs]
For the scoop on just how much more Prison Break is in Stacy Keach's future, watch for the new TV Guide, on newsstands next week.