Documenting History: Special guest post by Stephen Root

As a character actor, the chance to work on a historical drama with such a high pedigree, from Mr. Redford through an amazing list of actors on down, is why I got into the business in the first place. In researching the piece, one of the first things to strike me was how the event was so well documented. The photograph had just come into its own, so an amazing number of people involved in the conspiracy are there for you to see. In fact, probably one of the only people we don’t have an actual photograph of is the character I play, tavern proprietor John Lloyd. Fortunately, he is well described in newspaper and trial accounts of the day, and his “troubled” character is fairly well drawn.¬† The stark reality of the hanging and the forlorn faces of the accused speak volumes, so to be able to live in that world for a while was as about interesting as it gets. The film is beautifully designed and lit, and shooting in and around Savannah was important in setting the tone and feel of the film. It just felt right to be there. I hope audiences will find out something they didn’t know and maybe want to dive in and find out even more. There’s lots of stories, and I think this is a pretty good one.

- Stephen Root
Stephen Root as John Lloyd in THE CONSPIRATOR

Stephen Root

About Stephen Root

Stephen Root is one of today's most prolific character actors. He recently was featured in THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, with George Clooney, Ewan Mcgregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey; Joe Wright's THE SOLOIST, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. He can seen be seen in CEDAR RAPIDS with Ed Helms, Anne Heche, and John C. Reilly.
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5 Responses to Documenting History: Special guest post by Stephen Root

  1. Laurie Verge says:

    Mr. Root,

    As director of the Surratt House Museum, where both the Surratts and later John Lloyd resided, and knowing the entire story very, very well, I have to tell you that I was very impressed with your portrayal of Mr. Lloyd. Several other scholars who have seen the production all said the same thing. While we don’t know what he looked like, we do know much of his personality. You could not have gotten any closer to his true character. Congratulations on a small but critical part of the whole proceedings.

    • Divyam says:

      Thanks for posting this video Kate relaly interesting. I think I might have seen her at the screening actually! Hope you have an amazing time in Uganda. Nara did you manage to go to any screenings? I relaly wanted to see Handsworth Songs on Friday but I couldn’t make it.

  2. Leroy Becker, Executive Director, Historical Figures Foundation says:

    For fifty years artist and historian George Stuart of Ojai, CA has been entertaining audiences with his monologs and Historical Figures of Lincoln, Booth, Stanton and many other Civil War Era players. His depiction of Lincoln and Booth at the Ford Theater is particularly moving.

    Please visit our
    Civil War Gallery on line.

    Many of these Historical Figures are currently on exhibit at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center Library in Little Rock.

    We are look forward to seeing “Conspirator.”

  3. Daniel A. Martinez, Historian & Host of Unsolved History says:

    I found Robert Redford’s film an intriguing exercise of examing history with fresh approach in scripting a unique re-telling of the events surrounding the Lincoln assasination. His cast was steller. They defined and strengthened the drama of Mary Surratt. Hollywood has a long history of distorting America’s past….The Conspirator gives me hope that accuracy and entertainment can be a successful partnership.

  4. Doug says:

    Mr. Root,

    My family and I have always enjoyed your performaces. In fact, as we were watching this very serious movie, I my daughter exclaimed when she saw you on screen “Oh, I love him!” and, as the discussion on screen turned what was in the box, my son leaned over to me and said “I think it is his red stapler.” I heard a number of the folks around us chuckle.

    Thank you for your work.

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