Trail Tales Cast Interview with Brett Cullen

Interview conducted on: June 22, 2001

First, Trail Tales would like to thank Brett and Marion for their time. Marion is the webmistress for Brett's site and was kind enough to conduct the interview with Brett over the phone. The interview was definately worth the wait and we hope that if Brett happens to remember anything else, he'll let us know! 


Questions asked by Trail Tales will be in Yellow
Questions added by Marion will be in Red
Answers by Brett in White!

What was the audition like? Single readings? Who else did you read with?

I read for the producers of the show and that was it. They had already made the pilot and they were adding the Marshal to the show. So, I went in and read just for them. And that was it.

What where you told about the character? What was your gut instinct about the character? Was SAM CAIN a combination of the two?

I was told the character was a U.S. Marshal and that he might have some sort of relationship with Emma, which both came true. And the background of my character was something they came up with, along with me. He used to be a gunfighter and became a vigilante who tried to kill all the people that killed his wife. And then he realized it was a mistake and he became a Marshal. 

What was the back-story behind Sam and Emma?

None that I know of, that I remember, actually, at this point, this early in the morning. (laughs) But basically he had a flirtation with her and that led into a romance.

The fans are fond of sayin’ that Sam Cain knows how to just ‘stand there and look cool’.. we want to know if that took practice or if it’s all just natural?

TONS of practice! (laughs)


Funniest moment during filming.

Uh...I'm expected to remember that long back? I can't remember. I have no idea. (laughs)

The scariest moment...

One day when we were doing a shootout, and the special effect guys were setting up the doorway where I was going to be by these wooden boxes, shooting it out with the bad guys...and the special effects coordinator's son was outside putting the glass on the doors that were going to be shot out around my head. His son asked him something and he stood up and kicked the little nail he uses to touch off the explosions, so all the explosions went off and I was standing right there. I actually was sick to my stomach all day, because it affected my inner ear. And unfortunately the guy lost his job. 

The biggest 'tearjerker' moment...

Honestly, the biggest tearjerker moment of the whole show was when they called and told me that Emma and I weren't coming back. That happened off set. 

They seemed to position Sam as a father figure to the boys. Who did you bond the most with?

I became closest with Travis Fine, who I hung out the most with. He reminded me of myself when I was younger. He was more apt to deal with things emotionally. He'd get upset about something and I would always try to say things like, "It's not that important." So, I felt a kinship with him.

Ty Miller and I were fairly close; we all lived in the same place.

Steve Baldwin and I got pretty close for a while. But probably Travis was the one I was closest with on the show.

Who do you think Sam bonded with? Why?

Well, he obviously bonded with Emma! (laughs) The character Josh Brolin played reminded him of himself, his character, who was basically a hothead with a gun.

For the final episode of the show... did they try to bring back Sam and Emma? Was that discussed?
(I think 99.9% of the fans can’t understand how LOU could’ve gotten married without at least some explanation over the absence of Sam and Emma (the sibs too.. but heck, they didn‘t let us write the episode, did they?))

No the final episode they did not try to bring Sam and Emma back. It was not discussed. We were basically told that the second season demographics...well, that it was a kid show and that they didn't need any adults. That's why they got rid of us.

Practical jokes?

I can't remember any practical jokes

The ‘butt and saddle battle’ as Travis Fine so eloquently put it.. Did you win.. or did the saddle?

I think I was, initially, the only actor on the show that could really ride very well. So, I won. (laughs)

Off camera.. who did you spend the most time with? Any ‘downtime’ hobbies that come to mind?

I spent a lot of time with Steve Baldwin, Travis Fine, and Ty Miller. But the most time I spent probably with anyone was with Melissa Leo.  We became very good friends. The downtime hobbies that I had were basically golfing. And team roping.

Where was the condo you all lived in?


Did you have a favorite location during filming. somewhere you felt was home?

Yeah, Mescal. The Marshal's office. That was my home! And Emma's cabin.

Where was that in relation to the set for your Marshal's office?

It was just down the road, about half a mile or a mile from where the town was.

When filming was over, did you get to keep anything? A prop you were fond of? Part of your costume? Do you know if anyone else kept anything?

Yes, I kept my Marshal's badge and I kept my hat, which I do on all my shows. I've always kept my hat from any Western I've done. And something that was given to me, by my dear friend Melissa Leo, was her boobs. (laughs sheepishly)

Her what?

You know, those little things they put in bras to make your breasts look bigger? She gave them to me as a present. I still have them! (laughs) My wife's like, "What is this?" "Those are Melissa Leo's boobs, honey." We had a lot of fun together.

Bloopers.with the cast of the Young Riders. there HAD to be bloopers.. anything you remember?

Not really. No bloopers that I can remember. I mean, there were tons of bloopers, obviously. Generally, whenever bloopers happened, the funniest moments were in regards to the horses.

I’m sure there are tons of other questions that I could bombard you with.. but I’ll leave off here. Was there a scene or an episode that you thought needed some revisions.. or a complete rewrite? which one/ones.. and what would you have changed..?

The only thing I felt about the show was that I would get a script and someone would get shot in my town and all of a sudden you'd have the Young Riders going off to chase the bad guys and I would turn to the writers and go, "I'm the U.S. Marshal, right?" And they would go, "Yeah." And I would say, "So if there's a murder in my town, I'd be involved, right?" And they'd go, "Yeah." And I would say, "So wouldn't I be chasing the bad guys too?" And they'd say, "Ah, yeah, sure, right, yeah. We forgot about that, okay!" Then I'd get the revision and it would basically be the same scene except they would add, "And Marshal Sam Cain rides with the boys." (laughs)

Is there anything else you want to add about The Young Riders?

(Long pause) ...Sam Cain never wore underwear. (laughs)


(Another long pause) ...And I still wear Emma's boobs! (laughs) But no, Sam never wore underwear. 

Only when it was necessary.

I really appreciate the commitment that the Young Riders fans have shown for the show. It was a very long time ago for me and it's hard for me to remember and I'm sorry I haven't been more forthcoming with some answers, but I just can't remember so many things. So, I appreciate the fervor in which they appreciate the show and I wish I could be of more help but that's pretty much all I can remember at this point. Have fun in Mescal and have a shot of Tequila on me! Don't send me the bill though! (laughs)


Please go and visit Brett's Site... Marion's done an amazing job on it!