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Billy Bob Thornton, Demi Moore Star in Taylor Sheridan's New Western, Landman

Billy Bob Thornton, Demi Moore Star in Taylor Sheridan’s New Western, Landman

Taylor Sheridan’s latest Western drama, Landman, has unveiled a first look at its lead actors Billy Bob Thornton, Demi Moore, Jon Hamm, and Ali Larter through Vanity Fair.

Sheridan has crafted the series Landman based on Christian Wallace’s podcast Boomtown, which delves into the vast oil production in the Permian Basin located in western Texas, the most prolific oil field in the United States.

Billy Bob Thornton takes on the role of Tommy Norris, a crisis executive at an oil company. His responsibilities include identifying potential threats, developing crisis management plans, and ensuring their smooth execution—an essential function in the oil industry. Jon Hamm portrays Monty Miller, a powerful figure in the oil industry with a longstanding personal and professional relationship with Tommy. Demi Moore plays Cami, Monty’s strategically influential wife, while Ali Larter stars as Tommy’s ex-wife.

Landman reunites Thornton with Sheridan, who previously collaborated on the Yellowstone prequel miniseries 1883, where Thornton appeared as Marshal Jim Courtright. The production of Landman was notably grueling, pushing both cast and crew to their limits.

“There were days when it seemed like everybody might pass out—it was incredibly hot, and we were filming near these oil pumpjacks. We were on caliche roads filled with rocks, and I was running in cowboy boots. It reached 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity. At my age, I wondered how I made it through. It was probably the hardest job I ever did,” Thornton shared with the publication.

Despite the challenging conditions, the Academy Award winner found the experience of working with Sheridan rewarding. Sheridan, a prolific writer with high-intensity dialogue and memorable characters, has managed to attract A-list talent for his projects.

Moore joined the series for multiple seasons, mainly due to Sheridan’s successful track record with critically acclaimed shows like the Yellowstone franchise and its spinoffs 1883 and 1923, as well as other series including Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, and Lioness.

“Taylor works in a unique way. When he meets actors, he discusses his vision and direction without presenting a script. He plans ahead not just for one season but for an epic story,” Moore explained.

While the oil industry, especially fieldwork, remains dominated by men, Moore’s character Cami highlights the significant roles women play elsewhere. Cami, described as the power behind Monty’s power, has helped build their empire and family together.

Contrary to the typical portrayal of oil men as antagonists like J.R. Ewing from Dallas, Hamm’s character, Monty Miller, is depicted as a good guy. Hamm found this role notably different from his morally ambiguous character Don Draper in Mad Men.

“Jon mentioned that this might be the first time he’s playing a character in a genuinely good relationship with real love and commitment,” Moore added.

Thornton’s character Tommy is a down-on-his-luck hero trying to support his billionaire friend’s empire. “Taylor once told me, ‘When you go over to Monty’s house, think about how you could have had that life but went in a different direction,’” Thornton shared.

He described Tommy’s job as a fixer and foreman, managing field operations, checking wells, communicating with landowners, and addressing accidents. “It’s often hard and dirty work,” Thornton said.

Ali Larter’s character Angela, Tommy’s ex-wife, lives a very different life. Although divorced and remarried, she reconnects with Tommy when their adult son Cooper starts working in the oil fields. “Angela is trying to reconnect with her son who has pulled away from her, and she blames the oil business and Tommy’s dedication to it for their marriage’s failure,” Larter explained.

Comparing their characters, Larter noted that Angela and Cami are polar opposites. “Demi’s character is an oil heiress with elegance, while Angela is a flashy, jet-setting socialite,” she said.

Moore elaborated on their characters, “Cami and Monty have achieved their dreams, but maintaining it is the challenge. Billy’s character has to do the dirty work, and the dynamic between Billy and Ali’s characters will be exciting and dramatic.”

Landman does not have an official release date yet but is expected to premiere on Paramount+ in 2025. As Sheridan’s eighth series for the streaming platform, it promises to be a compelling addition to his Western drama repertoire.

While Yellowstone prepares to end with part two of its fifth season on November 10, its legacy continues with three planned spinoffs, including a series for Jefferson White’s character Jimmy, a continuation of the Dutton children’s story, and a potential new prequel possibly starring Matthew McConaughey.

Landman promises to be another hit in Sheridan’s Western drama empire, featuring an intriguing interplay between Thornton’s and Hamm’s characters and the dynamic relationship between Moore’s and Larter’s roles.

Source: Vanity Fair