Lawmen: Bass Reeves Star Reveals Biggest Challenge of Playing the Iconic Figure

Paramount+’s Lawmen: Bass Reeves concluded this week with the finale leaving the titular Reeves in an optimistic place, back at home with his family after a harrowing encounter with the sinister Mr. Sundown, aka Texas Ranger Esau Pierce. Now, series star and executive producer David Oyelowo is opening up about the series, revealing what was the biggest challenge he faced in bringing the legendary lawman to life and, according to Oyelowo, it wasn’t just one thing but “telling the truth” was a major part of things.

“He means a lot to a lot of people. Doing some of my research in Texas, to Black cowboys, he is their Michael Jackson. He is what Sidney Poitier is to me, he is their guy,” Oyelowo told Entertainment Weekly. “You recognize the bar for doing it justice is high, so that can be intimidating. There’s [also] a physical component. He was an amazing horseman. I rode horses for over a year in preparation for this, in lots of different terrain. Just being true to the history and not shying away from the darkness within the history. I believe the light shines brightest in the dark. So, you have to contextualize what it was like to be an enslaved person, what it was like to be under those incredibly dangerous circumstances, but also how amazing it was that he had the level of success he did [and a] robust family life. These things coexisting are extraordinary. Telling the truth of all those things was intimidating.”

Will There Be a Season 2 of Lawmen: Bass Reeves?

While there hasn’t been any official word yet as to what is next, Oyelowo previously noted that the plan is to go forward telling the stories of “other lawmen in history”. Oyelowo said that the idea is that Lawmen will tell additional stories if they go forward with more seasons, specifically of other figures whose stories have fallen out of history.

“The idea, going forward, is to have other lawmen in history whose story should be told, who haven’t been told, to have the opportunity to tell those stories,” Oyelowo said. “I think there is a feeling, which I very much resonate with, that there is real potency and interest in telling stories of this nature about those who, for whatever reason, fell out of history unjustly. I’m a producer on those going forward; so, the idea is to keep the good work going.”

What is Lawmen: Bass Reeves About?

Lawmen: Bass Reeves tells “the untold story of the most legendary lawman in the Old West” and “follows the journey of Reeves (Oyelowo) and his rise from enslavement to law enforcement as the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. Despite arresting over 3,000 outlaws during the course of his career, the weight of the badge was heavy, and he wrestled with its moral and spiritual cost to his beloved family. Lawmen: Bass Reeves is an all-new, standalone anthology series and future iterations will follow other iconic lawmen and outlaws who have impacted history.”

The series stars Oyelowo, who also serves as an executive producer on the series, Lauren E. Banks, Demi Singleton, Forrest Goodluck, Emmy Award winner Barry Pepper, Honorary Oscar recipient Donald Sutherland, Emmy Award nominee Dennis Quaid, Shea Whigham, and Garrett Hedlund as guest stars, and, in recurring roles, Joaquina Kalukango, Lonnie Chavis, Grantham Coleman, Tosin Morohunfola, Dale Dickey, Rob Morgan, Ryan O’Nan, Margot Bingham, Mo Brings Plenty, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, and Bill Dawes.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves is now streaming on Paramount+.