Big Love's Bill Paxton Promises a Series Finale That 'People Are Going to Want to Talk About'

Big Love‘s extraordinary five-year run comes to a close this Sunday night on HBO (at 9/8c), and Henrickson patriarch Bill Paxton is here with some intriguing series-ending input: How will it all end? Was all that “Season 4 brouhaha” to blame for the show’s rapid wrap-up? And what won’t you see in the finale? Find out now.

TVLINE | Congratulations on such an incredible run with Big Love.
It was a landmark show — it certainly was for all of us. We hung together for five seasons, particularly me, Jeanne [Tripplehorn], Ginnifer [Goodwin] and Chloe [Sevigny], as well as the rest of the cast. It was quite an acting company, a real ensemble of great actors.

Big Love Star Previews the Show’s ‘Shocking, Outrageous’ Finish: ‘Everything Will Be Tied Up’

TVLINE | The series was critically acclaimed from Day One, but did you sense Big Love would be something so special when you signed on?
From before I even shot it, I thought that this had potential to be a really unforgettable series. And when we shot the first season, I was completely confident in it and never had a doubt because it was so original. How many more police procedurals or hospital dramas or forensics shows can we take before we want to poke our eyes out? [Laughs] Big Love was the only reason I did a TV series. I have a very comfortable, wonderful career making movies and I would have never even considered trading that in for anything less than something I thought was going to be great. The other thing is that Big Love had better writing than feature scripts I was reading.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about the finale: Fans are a little concerned that with so much at stake heading into this last hour, everything won’t be addressed or wrapped up. Any words of wisdom?
It’s quite a finale. It definitely has a resolution; it’s not ambiguous. For the audience, it’s going to be like the end of a Russian novel. I hope it will be satisfying, but I don’t know. I’m as curious as everyone else to see what the reaction is. I do know that a lot of people are going to want to talk about the show after the finale Sunday night.

Big Love Series Finale Spoilers Revealed!

TVLINE | Is there anything in particular that you’ll miss about playing Bill Henrickson?
Not really. [Laughs] I’ll miss the people I worked with, but I found the character was more and more constrained, in a way. I was always hoping the creators would give Bill a chance to let his hair down a little bit. I felt like each year got a little bit constricted — but that’s not to say I’m not proud of the work. I think they did a great job, I just would have liked to see a character who becomes a little more empowered by his life choices, as opposed to constantly in a crisis. I had been hoping to get through this whole senate thing, and then the gals and I could go do something fun. That said, it’s been a great show. It became much more of a drama and suspense show. When I originally signed up for it, there was a little more comedy in it. And it got more and more operatic, more of a life-and-death struggle kind of a thing.

TVLINE | It sounds like you may have had hopes for another season.
I would have been glad to come back for a sixth season, but I wasn’t privy to those decisions. You have to remember, I really wasn’t a producer on the show; I was a hired gun. Mark V. Olson and Will Scheffer were the creators and they did a great job on the show. But after five seasons and a great run, in all honesty, I’m ready to do something else. I don’t know what that is, but I’m prepared to go direct and produce and act in other things.

Big Love Bosses Tease the Shocking Series-Ending Twist

TVLINE | I’m not sure if or how much you’ve spoken out about the backlash that followed Season 4, but what are your thoughts looking back at it now, with another season already come and gone?
Everyone bemoaned last season, and you know what’s weird? Last season was one of my best seasons on the show, in terms of what I got to do. To be taken to task for being overambitious is something I’ll never understand. I grant you that last season may have tried to put too big a foot in too big a shoe, but they were cramming those episodes chock full of great stuff. I was surprised that we were so taken to task for it. And it did not help us keep the show going. If [people] would just watch it again, they’d realize that we put too many ingredients in the stew, but the show’s always been so ambitious and so well written and so full of stuff. I personally grew to resent that whole brouhaha and I think that it ultimately killed the show. Again, I don’t know the political ins and outs of that, but I know that it didn’t help us going into Season 5.

TVLINE | So, what’s next for you? Can your devoted fans look forward to a TV series, or are you headed back to movies?
I got a good taste of TV. I feel like it’s a Herculean responsibility to be the lead in a television series and for right now I’m being offered a lot of stuff, but I’m taking a back seat for awhile. I’m not going to even consider anything like that for at least a year. I would consider it, though. At the moment I’m hoping to get back into some feature work — I started directing films before Big Love, and would like to get back to doing that as well. I’ve got a few irons in the fire, every kind of movie you could imagine, and I’m going to see if I can get one of these things going.

TVLINE | Any parting thoughts for Big Love‘s longtime fans?
I don’t want to sound bitter. [Laughs] I’m very proud of the show and I always will be. I’m proud of HBO, I’m proud of the creators. We did five great seasons and we’re going to give them a great finale.

Don’t miss Big Love‘s series finale Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO.



Comments (20)

  • I get that he kind of has to put a positive spin on season 4 but please don’t insult us by claiming we didn’t get it. I actually apprecited Chloe Sevigny’s honesty about it last year. It was a huge mess and it hasn’t really gotten all that much better this season. I don’t know what it is but the shifts from scene to scene seem to be so disjointed. They go to all the trouble of recasting Teeni and realize they botched it so they ship her off to live with Sarah.

    So many scenes the past two seasons just made no sense, most recently the big confrontation with Albie at the Senate building. After Bill’s big lecture to the family about staying close to home and not going out unless absoluely necessary all three wives go off at night to eat subs in Bill’s office, leaving the kids home alone with who, Ben?

    Then there were the stories nobody cared about like Ben’s romance with Tina Majorino’s character…I cared so little that I can’t evebn remember the character’s name. There was no real reason for Rhonda’s return other than to break Ben and his girlfriend. Yeah it also provided Albie with a pawn but there really wasn’t much of a payoff there either. Anybody who didn’t see Albie killing him coming from a mile away hasn’t watched much TV.

    It’s too bad because the first three seasons, especially season 3, were just amazing. I hope things wrap up plausibly and entertainingly but I have my doubts.

    Comment by Buffy Freak – March 20, 2011 09:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He sounds like a total douche.

    Comment by LA – March 20, 2011 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Glad I’m not the only one who thought that. He sounds so pretentious and uppity

      Comment by Micheal – March 20, 2011 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly. He sounds so arrogant, and he’s like “I’m a great actor, thank God this show is over, now I can go back to being a huge movie star”. Ugh. I don’t think he’s a good actor at all.

      Comment by Maddie – March 20, 2011 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts, too.

      Comment by Bob – March 21, 2011 06:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watch a lot of shows, and quite often I pick a show to watch based on the buzz surrounding it. I was looking for a new show to watch and when I heard about Big Love, I decided to check out what people were saying about it. At that point, people were still complaining about season 4, so all the forums and news articles talked about how much that season sucked. All the negativity made me decide to go with another show instead, and so till date I haven’t watched Big Love. I’m sure if I had come across the show a few months before season 4 began or something, I’d still be watching it and would have been a fan. I am one of those people who stick with once-awesome shows even after they start to not be as awesome.

    So yeah, the backlash for season 4 affected my decision to watch it, and from the forums, I know that it wasn’t only me.

    Comment by Sourabh – March 20, 2011 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @ Sourabh – you shouldn’t let a bad review of season 4 stop you from watching this otherwise interesting, compelling and pretty well written show. You will be glad you did. It is so different from anything else on TV.

      Regarding Bill Paxton – I liked him all the way up till when at either the Emmys or Golden Globes (can’t remember which) he and Michael C. Hall were up for best actor and MCH won for Dexter, the camera panned to Paxton and you could read his lips when he said something to the effect about MCH playing the “cancer card.” I was completely disgusted.

      Comment by melly – March 20, 2011 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How ridiculous. You believe everything you read or hear on the internet? You didn’t read his lips you heard that and are now repeating it as fact. That stupid rumor floated around the internet for a while perpetuated by people like you.

        Comment by Lana – March 21, 2011 04:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I saw it. Live. Sure looked like that’s what he said to me… people want s to believe he said, “I worked my ass off” but it clearly looked like he made a P sound. This was almost as bad a Faith hill freaking out while the camera was still on her that Carrie Underwood won Female Vocalist of the Year over here at the 2006 VMA’s!

          Comment by Nick – September 24, 2011 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s to blame. I find him unbearable. From his two lines in “Terminator” through yesterday, his doofus/hipster things makes me ill. If James Cameron didn’t FORCE us to endure him in every single film, he’d have had little career. I blame.Paxton. An awful, awful actor who kept me from Big £ove.

    Comment by Kessiemind – March 20, 2011 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He may be right about season 4, but the backlash wasn’t the problem – the problem was the writers decisions that crammed too many weird plots, too much unlikable behavior from Bill, just too much crap into one season.

    Comment by Derek – March 20, 2011 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watched and really like Big Love S1 but it went downhill after that. It became too political for it’s own good. S1 was more about the relationships and character development which I loved, but then it was like bill let his ego get too big for his britches and he we too busy for the family. I never got to s3 or the rest because I just lost interest. What was a good series, turned into a suspenseful soap opera that didn’t make sense.

    Comment by Liza – March 20, 2011 11:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Without a doubt the backlash lead to this being the last season. However you feel about Big Love, it was always the stepchild HBO wasn’t really committed to. Yes we got five seasons, but I feel HBO renewed Big Love half the time begrudgingly. I’m glad there were five seasons, no one thought a show like this would last past one. I think we’ll never get another show like Big Love again.

    Comment by Terry – March 20, 2011 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does Bill think it is still 1997. Sorry Bill, but James Cameron replaced you with Sam Worthington.

    Goodbye Big Love hello Game of Thrones!

    Comment by Apple – March 20, 2011 04:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked the finale and how it ended. Season 4 was not my favorite either but I liked how it all ended. I hope Jeanne Tripplehorn gets an Emmy. I will miss the dynamic among the 3 wives and the finale did them justice – they were the center of the show.

    Comment by K – March 20, 2011 07:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Still not sure how I feel about the finale. Everything felt so rushed. Perhaps they should have stretched it to a 2 hour show. I agree with the comment about Ben’s love life. They could have left that out. It wasn’t essential to the story. I did like the emphasis on the bond amongst the wives in the end. I’m sad to see this show end, as I felt with the Sopranos, The Wire, Sex & the City, Six Feet Under, Oz, …

    Comment by kirs – March 20, 2011 09:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think they were trying to highlight the father’s influences on the son. Will he or won’t he be a polygamist? Will Heather accept that or turn away? Etc., etc.

      Comment by Bob – March 21, 2011 06:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • we were very surprised and sad that big love went off when it did. It was a show we really looked forward to every week. I thought the story line held my interest, really developed the characters personalities and possibly helped the people watching to understand maybe a little bit more about “the principle” we thought the acting was very good. sorry to see “Big Love go.

    Comment by shirley – March 20, 2011 11:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I found the entire series to be fantastic. There’s never been a show out there like this since Six Feet Under started it for everyone. Six Feet Under really pushed the boundaries in TV and was brilliantly written. I did not find Bill Paxton arrogant at all, and I think he is a very talented actor. The only negative for myself is that I didn’t know much about the Mormon religion, so a lot of references made throughout the show regarding their religious rites or Mormon terminology left me a bit confused. Aside from that, the cast is amazingly talented. I wish nothing but success for all of them and look forward to seeing Bill Paxton in something else.

    Comment by Bella – March 23, 2011 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Paxton is a great actor (I don’t get the claims that he’s arrogant). His co-stars (Jeanne Tripplehorn,Ginnifer Goodwin, and Chloe Sevigny)were equally excellent. I’m going to miss watching the Henrickson’s dealing with Bill’s relentless ambitions and the family’s struggle to be united. I agree the series lost some of its fun and levity towards the end and took a dark turn. I believe that the loss of Bill Henrickson would have shattered the family and that Barb becoming the priesthood leader would not have been enough to hold them together. I enjoyed the series and look forward to following them in their new endeavors.

    Comment by Rick – March 28, 2011 04:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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