Wyatt and Kurt Russell sat down for a wide-ranging convo at 92NY on Wednesday, where the father and son duo dove into their collaboration on the Apple TV+ series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
First, though, Wyatt broke a little news when moderator Josh Horowitz asked about his role in the upcoming Marvel movie Thunderbolts, which the actor said has not started shooting (“We have almost started shooting that about 14 times,” with strike-related delays) and he has not read a finished script.
Despite that, “I have confidence it’s gonna be good,” Wyatt told the New York crowd. “I know everybody is sort of on this Marvel train right now of things not going so well” but commended the film’s team, listing off co-stars Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour and director Jake Schreier.
“I know Jake so well and I know how smart Jake is and how much he cares about making something interesting and different and utilizing everyone’s talents to the best of their ability. And the story that I think they’ve come up with is really interesting — I know parts of the story and how the story works, I can’t talk about it. But it’s not a straightforward Marvel movie as you’ve seen in the past,” he continued. “I think that it’s gonna be a lot of fun but I think it will be something that hopefully Marvel fans will look at and go, ‘Oh OK, this is a little different, let’s go hard at it.’ And as far as how we are approaching it, it’s time to go to work a little bit, it’s time to make a good Marvel movie so let’s do that and work hard at it and don’t take things for granted.”
In the meantime, Wyatt is focused on the Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, where he and his father play the same character half a century apart, in a series based on Legendary’s Monsterverse and set after the battle between Godzilla and the Titans.
The two revealed they had been offered father-son roles for years, but “if we were gonna do that, it was gonna be something that was going to be special and cool and we were gonna be able to work on together and make a difference to the movie, and when this came along it was like, ‘Well that is really different, that is unique,’” Wyatt said as Kurt added, “You’ve never seen this. You’ve never seen a father and son play the same character.”
Because the two were playing the same part they had limited time on set together, but Kurt would go watch Wyatt’s scenes at times “to see what he was doing, because what we always kept in our mind was this is not a father and son, it’s the same person. And for me to be able to watch what he was doing was very, very, very helpful for me because I was going to make sure some of the same idiosyncrasies — certainly not a cartoonish fashion but in a subtle way — were followed and so we were the same person.”
Wyatt also recalled growing up on Kurt and mother Goldie Hawn’s sets, playing hockey with Kurt’s makeup artist and driver, but noted “when [Kurt] would come home or my mom would come home, no one ever talked about acting or the day. They came home to their kids and we had hockey and baseball and watching Kings games and doing stuff with your family; they had an amazing ability to turn off the switch and so I never grew up with some sort of regard for film because it just wasn’t what we had fun doing. We had fun playing sports and catch and hockey and all that stuff.”
“He never missed a hockey game, took me to hockey practice all the time,” Wyatt, a former pro hockey player, said of his dad. “He in one movie negotiated in his contract that he would fly home every night from the desert to come home and be with us and be at home. And so that was how important it was to my parents and that’s how important it is to me.”
Kurt added that even in their star-studded family, it was clear Wyatt was always a standout. “We had Goldie Hawn. Kate [Hudson], I think was at that time recently nominated for an Academy Award. Oliver Hudson has done more work than any of us probably combined, done over I don’t know how many hundreds of television shows and series and stuff like that. But I used to say, not jokingly, ‘Well, the best actor in the family is a hockey player.’ Now, you all know I was right.”