Clancy Brown Fan Club Weblog

Monday, September 08, 2003

Brown to co-star in HBO series
Actor portrays preacher in 'Carnivale' set in 1930s Dust Bowl
Clancy Brown plays "Brother Justin Crowe" in the new HBO series 'Carnivale."

By Steve Stout/for the Sidney Daily News

On Urbana native Clancy Brown's last television series "Breaking News," he played a hard-working, good-natured TV news producer. Brown, the son of Bud and Joyce Brown of Urbana, is the chairman of the board of Brown Publishing Co., the owner of The Sidney Daily News.

His latest TV role is quite a departure from the character he played on "Breaking News."

In HBO's "Carnivale," which debuts on Sept. 14 at 9:30 p.m., Brown plays Brother Justin Crowe, a preacher in the Central Valley of California circa 1934.

"Carnivale," according to the HBO Web site, "follows a traveling carnival as it wends its way across the Dust Bowl, focusing on a mysterious young fugitive with hidden talents who is taken in by the carnival and on the charismatic, shadowy evangelist (played by Brown) who will ultimately cross his path."

According to the Web site, Crowe is "a good man, devoted not only to his flock, but to helping the poor Okies pouring in from the Dust Bowl, which puts him at loggerheads against many of his racist congregation and townsfolk."

In the Sept. 14 pilot episode, according to the Web site, "Justin also begins to have dreams and visions. Terrible things, portending great misery, not for him, necessarily, but perhaps all he touches. Which, as he becomes famous, might well include the world."

"It's an interesting show because of the period it's set in, the 1930s, which is an overlooked time in American history," said Brown from his home in California. "The show cuts right to the heart of good vs. evil. Revelations is source material, and the Dust Bowl is the perfect backdrop for this kind of a story."

Urbana native Randy Wilkins, a set designer, also worked on "Carnivale," which will run for 12 episodes this season.

"They called me just after I had finished working on 'Seabiscuit,' and they asked me to design a battlefield trench," said Wilkins. "It's a scene that recurs in five of the first six episodes as a nightmare.

"It was great to work with Clancy," Wilkins added. "It's an unusual show. I hope it's a big hit."

"Randy did a great job building a World War I battlefield set," said Brown. "It's incredibly authentic, just like everything else that has to do with this show. The production values are stunning. This show should sweep the Emmys for art, costume design and makeup. It's very meticulous. The sets feel like being in grandma's house because it really feels like 1934."

Brown stars in "Carnivale" along with Nick Stahl, Adrienne Barbeau, Amy Madigan and others in the large ensemble cast.

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