‘Monarch’ Finally Made Wyatt Russell Work with Dad Kurt After Years of Refusing: ‘I’ve Avoided It My Whole Life Because of Comparisons’

Having Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as your parents might sound like a dream to some, and Wyatt Russell certainly loves his folks, but acting with them has always been something he’s been hesitant to do — especially once his dad’s return to the screen coincided with his own rise. Sure, he played a younger version of his Kurt’s character in the 1998 sci-fi thriller “Soldier,” but doing the same for the Apple TV+ television adventure series “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” involved an entirely different level of commitment. In the show, they play a rough, but reliable U.S. Army Colonel at two contrasting points in his life, yet in both time periods, he’s similarly tasked with facing down the Titans who threaten to destroy the world. In creating this dichotomy, Kurt and Wyatt didn’t really feel the need to prepare together, but in a recent interview with Variety, said they both preferred to operate off instinct.

“It’s something that’s in your head,” Kurt said to Variety. “Back in my baseball days, you would study a pitcher, you would learn everything about him. As my dad used to say, understanding the situation and the count and the inning and what everyone is thinking and doing, all goes into your head. But when you step into the batter’s box, you just look for something white.”

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For Wyatt, it seems the stress of looking for “something white” and hitting it out of the park has been on his mind since starting his own career as an actor, so he was always hesitant to add his father to that anxiety.

“The stress was from wanting it to be good and thinking that my dad and I are actually going to do this thing together,” said Wyatt. “I’ve avoided it my whole life because of comparisons. But now it’s 14 years in, and I’m positioned well in my own life and in my career. This could work pretty well. But it didn’t take away the stress of like, ‘This has to be really fucking good, otherwise, what’s the point of doing it?’”

Kurt and Wyatt would often discuss the character, but when it came to how they would play him, they let each other go about it in their own way — a way that, Kurt found from watching Wyatt film, was not too dissimilar between them.

“What was really funny was I would watch the scene, and it was 95 percent what I would expect and five percent what I would have never thought of,” he said. “But what was more fun for me was to watch him after and in between takes. That was fascinating because we are almost identical in the way we work. I couldn’t believe that. I’d watch his concentration turn on and turn off and watch him be inside himself thinking after something and then watch what he did next. I would assume what he was thinking and then watch what he would do with it. In that regard, that was pretty spooky. It was like looking in a mirror.”

Though Wyatt and Kurt have gotten to share time doing publicity for “Monarch,” acting opposite one another is still something they have to check off the list.

“I didn’t really get to work with my dad,” Wyatt said. “I would still like to do that. This wets the whistle. It would be so much fun to be in a scene together.”

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