HISTORY CHANNEL: 'Hatfields & McCoys' Six-Hour Mini-Series Airs Beginning Monday, May 28

By David M. Kinchen
HISTORY CHANNEL: 'Hatfields & McCoys' Six-Hour Mini-Series Airs Beginning Monday, May 28

The hills are alive with the sound of feuding -- but the hills are in Romania -- not Kentucky and West Virginia

"Hatfields & McCoys", a three-part, six-hour mini-series about the famous feud broadcasts beginning Monday evening, May 28 (9 p.m., 8 central time) on History Channel. It was filmed in Romania, better known for Count Dracula than Devil Anse Hatfield and Ran'l McCoy and their feuding clans, but that's how movie making is these days. A look at the cast list on Internet Movie Data Base (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1985443/) shows that many of the feuding West Virginians and Kentuckians are played by Romanian actors and actresses.

Apparently It was less expensive to film in Romania than in West Virginia and Kentucky.


"Hatfields & McCoys" stars Kevin Costner as William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy and was directed by Kevin Reynolds, who directed Costner in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Tom Berenger plays Jim Vance; Powers Boothe plays Judge Valentine "Wall" Hatfield and Lindsay Pulsipher plays Roseanna McCoy, Johnse Hatfield's (Matt Barr) love interest. Jena Malone plays Nancy Hatfield, wife of William "Cap" Hatfield, who ended the feud; Sarah Parrish plays Devil Anse's wife and the matriarch of the Hatfields, Levicy Chafin Hatfield.


HISTORY CHANNEL: 'Hatfields & McCoys' Six-Hour Mini-Series Airs Beginning Monday, May 28

According to a press release from History Channel: "Hatfields & McCoys" is the story of a clash of clans that evoked great passion, vengeance, courage, sacrifice, crimes and accusations, and includes a cast of characters that changed the families and the history of the region forever. The Hatfield-McCoy saga begins with 'Devil' Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades until near the end of the Civil War, they return to their neighboring homes - Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky - to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon explode into all-out warfare between the families. As hostilities grow, friends, neighbors and outside forces join the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.


In an interview published in a New Orleans newspaper (http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/hatfields-mccoys-feud-again-but-in-romania-not-appalachia/8e90ad523dcda44ebd127f8b7db30f26}, Costner said:
"I think we all would have preferred to be close to home, and on the Appalachian mountains, but we weren't."

In the same story, Paxton said he took a side trip to Kentucky on the way to work in Eastern Europe. "I thought, 'Gee, if I'm going over to Romania to shoot this thing, I better go take a look to see what it looks like for real.' And I was kind of amazed there were so many similarities."

The hills made the region somewhat claustrophobic, leading Paxton to observe: "You can see how that part geographically was just so isolated so long. And how something like a feud like this could go on for a long time."

"In researching the story, I guess I gathered as much as I possibly could, so I didn't come to it thinking it was a fairy tale," Costner said in the advance story on the series, referenced above: "I knew it was a real story with real participants, set against an era, a time, coming out of the Civil War, so I knew how deep the feelings were running just over that war."

And yet, Costner continues, the offspring of the feuding heads of family "didn't know what the Civil War was about, and they didn't know what some of these old scars were about, and a combination of drinking and unemployment and all this stuff just led to these kind of murders, and then, of course, the patriarchs had to stand up."

Costner says he sees Hatfield as an honorable man, an entrepreneur who hired McCoys in his lumberyard.

For his part, Paxton says, he had a hard time relating to McCoy. "But my job's not to relate to him, but to try to give conviction of character."

For all of its history, there is something resonant in the Hatfield-McCoy feud that continues today, the actors said in the above referenced story:

"There has certainly been revenge killing happening in this century. Based on what's happening in Libya and Serbia-Croatia and Afghanistan and Iraq, there's going to be honor killings for the next 50 to 60 years there," Costner says. "So what's really changed?"

"The theme is timeless," Paxton says. "Revenge and obsession and reprisals — these things are going on all over the place, all over the world. A lot of the conflicts we're in, we're dealing with people who have been killing each other for hundreds of years, and it's not going to stop: I kill your mother, and you kill my brother. And somebody comes along, it's just violence begets violence. It's a Biblical theme. It's been around since the beginning of man."


Here's a cast list from History Channel's website:

Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy
Joe Absolom as Selkirk McCoy
Matt Barr as Johnse Hatfield
Tom Berenger as Jim Vance
Powers Boothe as Wall Hatfield
Ben Cartwright as Parris McCoy
Max Deacon as Calvin McCoy
Noel Fisher as Cotton Top Mounts
Jeremy Fredrick as Jeffeson McCoy
Jilon VanOver Ghai as Ransom Bray
Michael Greco as Bill Staton
Katie Griffiths as Alifair McCoy
Boyd Holbrook as William “Cap” Hatfield
Andrew Howard as Bad Frank Phillips
Lloyd Hutchinson as Floyd Hatfield
Tyler Jackson as Bud McCoy
Michael Jibson as Phamer McCoy
Jack Laskey as Sam McCoy
Jena Malone as Nancy McCoy
Tom McKay as Jim McCoy
Damian O’Hare as Ellison Hatfield
Sarah Parish as Levicy Hatfield
Greg Patmore as Good ‘Lias Hatfield
Lindsay Pulsipher as Roseanna McCoy
Sam Reid as Tolbert McCoy
Ronan Vibert as Perry Cline
Mare Winningham as Sally McCoy