By: Gemma Dunn | February 17, 2020 | 1:00 PM
Shawshank Redemption star Tim Robbins is making a return to the world of Stephen King, this time in the second series of TV’s Castle Rock. We found out more about his role in the acclaimed show
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CHARACTER, POP?
HE’S kind of the crime boss of the town – a loan shark, morally complicated – who is hiding things from his past. He’s in his last days; he’s dying. And he is trying to make amends for some of the mistakes he’s made. I can relate to his struggle. I mean, who doesn’t want to take some things back, like actions they’ve taken in the past? But his sins are a lot more extreme than mine.
YOU SAID YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY A MOB BOSS, TOO.
Yeah, I grew up with mob bosses around me when I was a kid, and so I kind of know of this guy. At least I don’t really know him, but you know, I am aware of how they act and what it’s all about. I had a fun time; it’s fun to be the bad guy but he’s not quite the bad guy. He’s complicated, which is another good thing.
YOU HAVEN’T DONE MUCH HORROR. WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS?
As with everything I do, it’s all about the script and whether the character is something I haven’t done before. When I first became famous, I got a lot of offers to do roles based on the role I had become famous for, which was Bull Durham. So I got a lot of ignorant hunks and I was not interested in that at all. I think the first thing I did after that was Eric the Viking with the Monty Python crew; that seemed like a logical follow-up! I get bored easily. I like stuff that’s challenging and which offers new ground for me to till.
WHAT DO YOU THINK GIVES CASTLE ROCK ITS APPEAL?
You know when you’re looking for an apartment, you walk in and get a kind of chill and you say, ‘I can’t live here’? Whatever that unspoken thing is – the vibe or the feeling you have – just imagine that in an entire town. Castle Rock hasn’t dealt with its own sins and because of that then the ghosts and the demons reappear.
WHAT SCARES YOU IN REAL LIFE?
It’s pretty terrifying what’s happening with the environment. That’s a large-scale horror movie with consequences that will affect us all. Meanwhile, my president is saying that it’s all a hoax. Apparently, he’s smarter than every scientist in the world!
WHAT IS IT ABOUT STEPHEN KING’S WRITING THAT TRAVERSES GENERATIONS?
He’s able to write effectively in so many different genres. He can write a story that terrifies you and keeps you up at night, then he can write a story that reminds you of your humanity – such as, in the case of Shawshank, the story of a friendship between two men over a long period of time.
He knows human behavior in its extremes and in its subtleties at the same time, and he’s open to and aware of that human behavior. Most writers have to struggle to make a book every couple of years, three years, and Stephen just keeps churning them out.
IS SHAWSHANK THE FILM YOU STILL GET ASKED MOST ABOUT BY FANS?
People have different affinities, but Shawshank is the one that feels like it affects people the most profoundly. I’ve had people say that it shifted their perspective on life and that’s a pretty intense thing to hear – but also an honor. I don’t think a film like that would get made now, though. They don’t make big-budget dramas, at least not for the big screen.
:: Castle Rock is available on STARZPLAY now