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Tom Blyth talks complex characters, President Snow and Billy the Kid

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Tom Blyth stars as the American outlaw in MGM+’s drama series Billy the Kid, which just returned for part two of its second season.

The role is another tortured character for the actor, who also portrayed young President Coriolanus Snow in last year’s Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Blyth told ABC Audio he’s drawn to such complex roles because of how different they are from himself.

“I think I generally move through the world with optimism and lightness. So, maybe I’m kind of looking for the opposite of how I feel in day-to-day life,” Blyth said. “I think people assume that you must be a dark, complex person yourself if you’re playing those people. But I don’t feel that way. I feel pretty simple.”

Blyth said his acting choices stem from his curiosity about understanding humanity better.

“I think I’m trying to understand all the aspects of humanity. Like, what we are when we’re our best self and our worst self and why we are capable of both,” Blyth said. “I think everybody is capable of both. Not everyone lives through both, but the people who do are incredible studies of humanity.”

Although the British actor was familiar with Western culture, he said it was a cowboy camp in Canada that fully prepared him to play the infamous outlaw.

“They just put us through our paces,” Blyth said. “We worked with real, real cowboys up there who live and breathe this stuff every day.”

So, what’s the toughest thing about preparing to play a cowboy?

“Honestly, the walk,” Blyth said. “The cowboys that I know through the show who I’ve met, they have a gravitas to them … it’s fascinating learning how your environment shapes the way you move, you know?”

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