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Before 'Crossbones,' 'CSI' was the only series John Malkovich considered -- LISTEN

John Malkovich has done TV movies and miniseries, but the May 30 premiere of NBC’s Crossbones marks his first role as a series regular. As Malkovich, who stars as the pirate Blackbeard in the drama from Luther creator Neil Cross, tells Entertainment Weekly Radio, he’d only ever been approached about starring in one other show: CSI, when William Peterson left the CBS procedural. “I had a conversation with Billy. I had a conversation with Gary Sinise, who’s also an old friend and does the other CSI. Sort of about what that was, what it meant, what the life was, etc.,” he says.

In the end, he couldn’t imagine losing his freedom to do other projects for nine months of the year. “I really had to think about it because I was doing two operas, I still direct plays all the time, doing other little films that interested me — I mean, that, okay, nobody saw and you don’t get paid for and blah, blah, blah, but that interested me. I didn’t know if I could see myself doing that. And both Billy and Gary thought they could not see me doing that, but go ahead if you want,” he adds with a laugh. READ FULL STORY

'Crossbones' EP sheds light on John Malkovich's NBC pirate drama -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Is there room on the high seas for two elaborate pirate shows? We’ll find out this spring, when NBC premieres the swashbuckling series Crossbones — months after Starz brings its own salty tale, Black Sails to the small screen. There are, however, plenty of differences between the two programs… and not just because one’s on pay cable (read: nudity!) and the other isn’t.

To wit: While both shows are set in the same year (1715) and place (the pirate paradise of New Providence, an island in the Bahamas), Black Sails is a gritty prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Crossbones, by contrast, is a fact-based drama that focuses on one of the world’s most notorious real-life pirates: Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard (played by John Malkovich. Yes, that John Malkovich). The action begins when the British government has assassin Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle of Covert Affairs) go undercover to bring Blackbeard down. But like many a clandestine agent, Lowe soon finds himself being drawn deeper and deeper into Teach’s world — and even becoming sympathetic to the scoundrel’s political ideals.

Want to know even more? Check out our Q&A with Oscar-nominated producer Walter F. Parkes, who’s executive producing Crossbones alongside Laurie MacDonald, his wife and business partner, and series creator Neil Cross, whom you may know as the mastermind behind the BBC’s Luther. READ FULL STORY


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