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The Young Riders

19 March 2010 One Comment

Brett Cullen in The Young RidersBrett Cullen played Marshal Sam Cain in the western television series “The Young Riders” from 1989-1990. The series chronicled the forming of the Pony Express shortly before the Civil War broke out and took place in the little town of Sweetwater, Nebraska. Brett starred in the series with Anthony Zerbe, Melissa Leo, Ty Miller, Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Gregg Rainwater, Travis Fine and Yvonne Suhor.

How he got the part…

I got the part by meeting with the producers, because they had already made the pilot for the series. They had decided they wanted to add, or they were actually eliminating, one character and creating another. They needed a town, and they wanted a marshal that was going to become the love interest to Emma. And I met with the guys and read for them and they offered me the role. So, I went down to Arizona, where we were going to shoot, in Tuscon, and met everybody and the more I talked to everyone, I created a background for my character.

Describe your character, Marshal Sam Cain…

The whole idea was that he was an ex-gunfighter who lost his wife to some bad guys and spent the rest of his life tracking everyone down and killing them. Until, finally, he realized he could not go on like that. Finally, Sam killed a guy and the guy’s son was standing right there and that made Sam realize that he was no better than the others, so he changed his ways and became a U. S. marshal. And that was the whole basis for the character.

On team roping…

Being in Arizona, I fell in love with Tuscon and really got to be good friends with a whole lot of guys down there, all the cowboys and wranglers that worked on the show. And that’s where I learned how to team rope.

Talk about your co-stars…

I had a great time with Anthony Zerbe. And Stephen Baldwin, Josh Brolin, Ty Miller and Gregg Rainwater, all those guys, we all got along. I think Ty and Yvonne and myself — we all hung out together a lot more. Steve’s fiance was there so they hung out together. But I went golfing a lot and I really liked Tuscon. I was very disappointed when I left the show.

On his favorite episode…

I think the episode I liked best was the one about my character — where you discover my history. It was also the second highest rated episode that year. The whole episode is about how this bad guy comes to town and he was the head of the bad guys that killed my wife, and that brings back all the memories of what happened. He was the one that I never killed.

On what changes he would have made…

I wish that when they got Emma and I off the show that they would have done that on screen. They didn’t. The next season showed up and we had just eloped and run off together. I thought that was very weak and I wished that they had finished off Sam and Emma’s characters and let them run off together, or maybe had a wedding episode or something. But that’s television. That’s Hollywood…

On why he left…

The direction of the show was moving more into the direction of “Young Guns” and I wanted the show to be a little bit more about the West and the Pony Express, and so it was just a parting of the ways. It was just time for me to move on.�

One Comment »

  • Nick and Edie said:

    Hi Bret!
    My husband and I are HUGE fans of Young Riders, and are watching the entire DVD series now while on vacation in Yellowstone (in our RV). We just got through season 1, and were absolutely SHOCKED not to see you and Emma anymore. We had to search for hours online to see what happened – maybe we were missing a DVD… it never said anything about you eloping… wasn’t that Ema’s house? Did she sell it? Did you ask her to marry you finally?

    To me, the producer REALLY screwed up an excellent episode. That was one that I would have paid GOOD MONEY to see.

    Wish things were different. Love you dearly Sam, your BIGGEST fans… Nick and Edie Williams

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