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'Hatfields & McCoys' stars talk about the central love story

'Hatfields and McCoys' stars Lindsay Pulsipher and Matt Barr talk about the star-crossed lovers they portray.

By Tiffany VogtThe TV Addict / May 29, 2012

'Hatfields and McCoys' actor Kevin Costner also stars in the TV series about the legendary feuding families.

Bret Hartman/Reuters

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As a special dramatic presentation, History Channel is airing the 6-hour mini-series HATFIELDS & MCCOYS over three nights in order to tell the violent and labyrinthine story of two families whose personal feud led to one of the largest government-sanctioned manhunts in U.S. history.

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The love story of Roseanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield is one of the brightest and most heart-warming aspects to an otherwise dark tale of deceit, betrayal and burning hatred; and but for the entrenched and intractable animosity between their families, their love story could have healed the terrible wounds and perceived wrong-doings allowing future generations to live in peace. Instead, the terrifying tale of the HATFIELDS & MCCOYS marks a turning point in history when men were law unto themselves and family obligations came first, no matter how strong your love for another. It was a testament to how destiny struggled with the will of man — and it cost everyone dearly.

In exclusive interviews, stars Lindsay Pulsipher and Matt Barr shared what it was like bringing the story of the star-crossed lovers Roseanna and Johnse to life for this epic mini-series.

Roseanna had quite the love story threaded throughout the mini-series. What drew you to playing such a complicated character?
 LINDSAY: I really loved Roseanna’s character arc. She really has a full spectrum. She starts in one place and really ends up in a completely different place, mentally and physically. And it was really interesting for me to have this soft character amongst all this feuding and fighting and oppression. It was so nice to have that breath of fresh air with her character.

She was one of the few characters that was given a distinct beginning and ending. It allowed us to see the whole scope of her life in a way. What did you find to be the most fun aspect of playing such a character?
 LINDSAY: It was great because I got to play so many different aspects of her life. She really does have a beginning and an end, and it as so fun to play the different traits throughout her life. ‘Cause she’s the same person, but her mannerisms and everything that changes, it was fun as I changed her physicality throughout the series. That was really fun, to kind of play with those mannerisms and her different mental capacities. It was really fun.

Were you ever concerned how weathered and worn her look became towards the end of her journey?
 LINDSAY: [Laughs] No, funny enough, I actually enjoyed that part about playing characters. I kind of like it when it’s interesting. I like to play a character and I’m not afraid of getting dirty or being haggard looking. I prefer that. I think that’s more interesting for me anyway.

This series really showed the gritty side of things. It really made it feel like these were real people living through these circumstances. At times it was hard to remember that you were playing characters, which is a credit to the cast. So what was it like working with these big name actors as they became immersed in their roles?
 LINDSAY: Yeah, it was such an honor to work with Kevin Costner, Mare Winningham, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe — these actors who have done such incredible work. I felt like I learned so much from them just being around them. Mare Winningham became a dear friend of mine and I just learned so much from her. She’s so dedicated and incredible to watch. I was so honored to be amongst such great talent.

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