HFPA in Conversation: Wyatt Russell, Saving the Lodge

by Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros July 31, 2019
Actor Wyatt Russell

tommaso boddi/getty images

When you meet Wyatt Russell’s character Sean "Dud" Dudley for the first time on the TV series Lodge 49 he is at his lowest point, walking on the beach with a metal detector after the death of his father and the collapse of the family business. "At the beginning Dud is idealizing his father and trying to become an idealistic version of his father.  He is not really looking at his own life as a unique path.  And he finally does come to terms with that in a way at the end of the first season when he has a revelation on the beach that his dad is in a good place and that he doesn’t need to worry about him anymore and that he can move on with his life,” Wyatt Russell tells HFPA journalist Ana Maria Bahiana.

The modern fable is set in Long Beach.  It's a surreal story about an ex-surfer who finds himself on the doorstep of a rundown fraternal lodge, where a middle-aged plumbing salesman and "Luminous Knight" of the order, Ernie (Brent Jennings), welcomes him into a world of cheap beer, easy camaraderie and the promise of Alchemical mysteries.  In the second season, Dud is not seeking his father’s spiritual guidance anymore. “This year you notice that dad is not around.  Dud can either continue forward as a new person without dad on his back or go backwards and have this toxic energy that’s going to guide him through his life.”

His goal, now, is to restore the lodge. “They have saved the physical building but now the people inside need to be kept together and reminded that this place is sacred for the reasons that they have created.  It’s not just the building.  The metaphor, the allegory being; it’s not the materialistic things that you have that make you who you are in your life, it’s the people that are in your life that make those things important."

Dud and Ernie are also going on a journey to find the scrolls in Mexico. “They really do believe that they’re real.  They’re there and that with finding them they can solve all their problems.  So there’s a real adventure quality to the season where some crazy stuff happens.”

Listen to the podcast and hear how he got the role on Lodge 49; why he likes to work with a TV show; why playing hockey shaped his identity; how his attitude towards life changed when he got hurt; what kind of advice his parents, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, gave him and why he doesn’t talk about the auditioning process with them; why he was acting in his dad's movies when he was a kid; why baseball is an important sport in his family and why he decided to play hockey; why he liked to be goalie; why playing hockey was stressful and how he reacted when he heard he couldn’t play hockey anymore; when and how he understood that losing is not the end of the world; why he likes Robert Redford; and what kind of movies he likes.