This week, Salon sits in on a roundtable interview with actor Ian McShane, who was in New York to promote the new Woody Allen comedy-slash-mystery "Scoop," out July 28. Appearing alongside Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman and Allen himself, McShane plays a recently deceased newspaper reporter who gets the scoop of a lifetime while crossing the river Styx. (Look for a Conversation with Johansson about the film here in the next few weeks.) But "Deadwood" fans, don't despair: McShane also discusses the challenges of playing Al Swearengen (The last-minute script changes! The cursing fans! The career-derailing facial hair!) and shares his thoughts on the beloved HBO series' imminent demise. "Whatever happened at the end, whatever happened at HBO, you'll never know the true story. It's like Rashomon," he says of the decision to end the show after this season with two two-hour episodes. "But I think what we've come down to ... will enable [show creator David Milch] to play with time and space more." And there's also a personal silver lining for him. "Actually, it's a blessing ... in a way," he says. "The agents, who are the most sympathetic people, say, 'We're sorry about "Deadwood," but we've got other projects we'd like you to do.'"
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-- Amy Reiter