Meet Lawmen: Bass Reeves – The New Taylor Sheridan-produced Show on Paramount+!
The new Taylor Sheridan-produced, Paramount+ show Lawmen: Bass Reeves is a hidden gem based on the true story of one of the first Black deputy U.S. marshals west of the Mississippi River. His life was full of twists and turns as he was born into slavery, served in the Civil War and later pursued a career in law enforcement. Surprisingly, his intriguing story is not well known to many.
Actor David Oyelowo not only stars in the series but also serves as its executive producer. Believing in the importance of bringing Reeves’s story to light, he found himself captivated by the project’s historical significance and decided to be part of the initiative to correct the injustice of an untold story.
The series recently premiered on CBS and has garnered significant attention. The first two episodes attracted 3.34 million viewers, slightly behind Sheridan’s hit Yellowstone. However, Bass Reeves is making history as part of a recent influx of stories about Black cowboys, showcasing the diversity and richness of untold stories in American history.
Lifted from the non-fiction books of author Sidney Thompson, the show presents a one-of-a-kind presentation that addresses an often-overlooked aspect of American history.
The Vision Behind Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Oyelowo shared his childhood love for westerns. However, as he grew older, he became more aware of the problematic portrayals of certain groups in traditional western films. Collaborating with Thompson, the two aimed to shed light on untold stories, appearing in the genre, eventually reexamining the cowboy narrative from fresh perspectives.
Oyelowo, who also has extensive experience portraying historical figures, finds it incredibly gratifying to see the series captivate audiences while shedding light on a lesser-known but essential part of American history.
The Challenging Role of David Oyelowo
Oyelowo undergoes extensive physical, linguistic, and emotional preparation as he steps into the complex character of Bass Reeves. He invested countless hours in rigorous training, horseback riding, and learning native American languages to fully immerse himself in the role.
The intense scenes filmed at an actual plantation greatly affected him, as he felt the weight of the historical and emotional significance within the role he was playing.
Living the Dream – On and Off Set
Oyelowo also cherished the opportunity to work alongside his wife, Jessica Oyelowo, who plays a challenging character in the series. Despite the nature of her character, the Oyelowos take pride in their continued professional partnership. The actor speaks fondly of the yearly opportunities they find to work together.
The Future of Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Although initially billed as an eight-part limited series, Oyelowo hints at the possibility of future seasons, citing the potential for further exploration of Reeves’s enduring legacy as a deputy. There is a glimmer of hope for more to come, given the overwhelming response the show has received.
New episodes of Lawmen: Bass Reeves premiere Sundays on Paramount+, promising to captivate audiences with its unwavering authenticity and captivating storytelling.