Clayne Crawford Lethal Weapon

He’s well-known in certain households for his role as Teddy in the intense drama Rectify. But this year Clayne Crawford will go global as the new face of the Lethal Weapon franchise, taking over the role of Martin Riggs from Mel Gibson.

Whilst interviewing him about Rectify, we couldn’t resist asking him about his new series. As you’ll see the answers he gave were refreshingly honest…!

I can’t let you go without talking about a very different sort of character you’re about to play, in Lethal Weapon…

I was quite set, ready to go to Rectify for my final season and spending time with my family on my farm in Alabama when they called. I laughed in their face at the idea of even turning Lethal Weapon into a TV show, I said ‘You need to leave the fucking franchise alone, it’s great and Mel Gibson did such a wonderful job, I want no part of it.’ And that went on for about three weeks before I finally read the script…

In my heart I’m still just a kid, who wants to play cowboys. I love playing dress up, I’m a kid at heart and I love using that platform as a therapy for myself. So when I read a character who was broken and had lost everything and he channelled that through stopping bad guys.. y’know for lack of a better word he saves the day and he’s just this damaged guy, and he’s funny… I thought ‘You know what? Fuck it, if you guys really want me to do this let’s just go and do the best we can and if we fail miserably that’s okay, we’ll go do something else.’

Look man, I jumped into it. It may fucking suck. But I enjoyed the material, and I tried to bring honesty to everything that I did and I tried to forget the original film. I tried to bring Martin Riggs into the twenty-first century and here I am. We’ll see what happens man.

I think a lot of people are looking forward to it.

I think you’re wrong, I don’t think anybody’s fucking looking forward to it. (Laughs) Which is kind of a good thing because they’re going to think it’s such shit, that they’ve set the bar so low we can only succeed, right?

Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson Danny Glover

The most important question for me is will you be keeping the hair?

(Laughs) I’m going to be a little different than Mel. Part of me agreeing to this was… we all had to shed our preconceived ideas of this relationship between these two men and who Mel Gibson was playing Riggs in 1987. It’s 2016 and he’s quite a different guy. There’s a little bit of a different backstory… look man, it’s not Rectify. I hope that I brought… I hope Mel’s not pissed off. That’s my hope, that if he watches this thing, if anyone watches this fucking thing, they’ll be entertained, and go on a fun ride for an hour.

Lethal Weapon is hitting Fox this Christmas. Read our full interview with Clayne Crawford on the site next week.