Lodge 49: Dud looks for magic in California but Wyatt Russell finds it instead
Wyatt Russell is everything in the new quirky show - charming, flawed and maddeningly aimless. He makes the perfect Dud.
It isn't unusual for a person born into a famous family to be a superstar in Hollywood. Just look at Hailey Baldwin. She's a shining example of how things roll once you are surrounded by famous family members. Although uncommon, once in a blue moon, the stars don't align for some. Wyatt Russell, the son of actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn was that one off apple that fell far from the tree. Not in terms of talent, of course. He has almost always ended up chewing on the bones of every meaty show he was in - far away from the spotlight, lurking in the dark hallways by being the sidekick's friend.
Then came along 'Lodge 49'. The AMC show starring Russell, Brent Jennings, Sonya Cassidy, Linda Emond, David Pasquesi and Eric Allen Kramer was just the platform he needed. The series tries to show the other side of sunny California - the more realistic, day to day lives of people who cannot afford the dreamboat life. Russell fits like a glove to the character that is Dud, a burned out surfer who is a classic riches to rags story. One day he's living the million dollar life in a mansion and the next, he's on a beach with his trusty metal detector looking for things to pawn.
“It is difficult for people of advanced years to start remembering they must die. It is best to form the habit while young.”— Lodge 49 AMC (@Lodge49) August 13, 2018
- Muriel Spark pic.twitter.com/1ovHVn7RlT
While I'll admit the show is a bit too convoluted and slow for my taste, there is no denying it has some stellar performances. Dud's aimlessness and the 'surfer dude' look and feel is absolutely convincing. Especially if you're someone who likes swanky settings and sassier characters, Dud will enrage you with his lack of motivation. He's in denial at the beginning of the series and although he does find his place in the world, the in between is what makes everything so interesting. The baby steps towards some form of enlightenment are so difficult for Dud, you almost want to give him a hug. Russell has this role, bang on, to say the least. This is where he really shines.
Hungarian-Jewish, Russell is of German, English, Scottish and Irish descent. He has two half-siblings, both popular stars - Oliver and Kate Hudson - from his mother's previous marriage to actor and musician Bill Hudson. Oliver is known for his roles as Adam Rhodes in the CBS comedy series 'Rules of Engagement', Jeff Fordham on the ABC musical drama series 'Nashville' and Wes Gardner in the Fox horror comedy 'Scream Queens'. He is currently working on the ABC sitcom 'Splitting Up Together', produced by Ellen Degeneres. Kate Hudson has her own legacy - apart from being the face of more romantic comedies than I can count, she's won a Golden Globe for 'Almost Famous' and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same movie.
He has another half-brother, Boston Russell, from his father's previous marriage to actress and singer Season Hubley, who likes to keep a low profile and works behind the scenes in the industry.
Wyatt, who used to be an amateur ice hockey player found himself graduating towards acting after an unfortunate injury that cut his career short in March 2011. Broken hip and many groin injuries later, Wyatt decided to give acting a shot. Since then, he has appeared in numerous films such as 'Escape from L.A.', 'Soldier', 'Cowboys & Aliens', 'This Is 40', 'Love and Honor', 'We Are What We Are', and 'Goon: Last of the Enforcers'. He also made a cameo in '22 Jump Street' the teen drama starring Channing Tatum. He's also starred in an episode of 'Black Mirror' called 'Playtest'. With Wyatt though, it was unfortunate because even though he was in some good films, none of them established him as an actor. At least, not enough to be as famous as his family.
He had said in an interview "When the decision was made for me, I didn’t want to waste any time languishing in depression," he said referring to his unforgiving injury. "I literally called my agent on the day I got back from playing hockey and he sent me on a couple auditions. And I got my first audition and thought, “Hey, this is pretty cool. I can do this.” And then I went about a year and a half without getting any work and thought, “O.K., this isn’t as easy as I thought." And it hasn't been easy for him. One can imagine living in the shadow of such a famous family with pressure to perform.
His beginnings too set the expectations high. He was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Breakout star for '22 Jump Street'. Zook as a job may have been nominated but Wyatt Russell, the actor, was barely noticed. In the AMC show, however, one gets to see the various sides to his acting skills. There's a charming depth to the character that is conveyed. Even though most reviews have spoken about how strong everyone other than Dud's character is, I felt that Wyatt deserves the applause for this one.
Often, being too seamless is a curse in Hollywood - just take a look at Amy Adams' career. Just as Amy found her shining light in HBO's 'Sharp Objects' so did Wyatt. Just like Dud, he lost a career that he so loved. There's a sense of ease with Wyatt and it glides into the character of Dud. He clearly understood the character and did it justice. Dud looks for magic in 'Lodge 49' and it looks like Wyatt found it.