On October 30, PBS’ American Masters will premiere the new biopic of author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. Known for his morbid and frightening tales, his poem “The Raven” is one of his most recognized and acclaimed works.
“What will surprise the viewer is what a trailblazer he was,” says actor Denis O’Hare in the video above. “He created the murder mystery.” O’Hare takes on the role of Poe in the film.
“I’ve always liked complicated characters, and I’ve always liked characters who are tragic,” O'Hare says of his attraction to the part. “He was an alcoholic. He was never out of financial ruin. He was abandoned and the women he always chose to fall in love with died.”
O’Hare has a track record for dark roles. Having made his Broadway debut in Racing Demon, O’Hare played Ernst Ludwig in the 1998 revival of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, set in Nazi Germany. Though he won his Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award in 2003 for the dramedy Take Me Out, he was also Tony-nominated for his role as Charles Guiteau in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. He won his second Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Oscar in the 2005 Broadway revival of Sweet Charity and starred in Inherit the Wind in 2007 and Elling in 2010. A three-time Golden Globe nominee, two of his nominations came for work in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story.
Written and directed by Eric Stange, the movie mixes feature film and documentary storytelling. “It would be hard to figure out how to do it best,” says O’Hare, “and I think American Masters has the literary credentials to approach it.”
Tune in to Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive October 30 at 9 PM ET, and click here to check out behind-the-scenes exclusives and more.