Billy the Kid is "stuck between a rock and a hard place" teases Tom Blyth ahead of season 2 part 2 (Interview)

Show Snob had the opportunity to speak with the actor about what's coming up next in the story with Billy as a leader, as well as his relationship with Jesse.
Courtesy: MGM+
Courtesy: MGM+ /

It's almost time fellow Billy the Kid fans! It's been a while since we've gotten new episodes of the Western drama, starring Tom Blyth. Almost seven months to be exact. But, this week has brought with it some great premieres, and Billy the Kid season 2 part 2 is officially making its way to our screens Sunday, June 2, 2024 on MGM+.

Episode 5 drops at 9 p.m. ET, with episodes 6-8 premiering at the same time weekly until the finale on June 23, 2024. And trust me as someone he's seen it (the episodes were made available to press), it's a good one! The first half of the second season also left us with quite the cliffhanger - Pat Garrett is now the new sheriff in town, and he's tasked with hunting Billy down. Dun, dun, dun.

There's so much to come in this emotional action-filled but emotional story, and that's why we asked the lead actor and Billy himself our questions! Show Snob had the opportunity to speak with Blyth about his musical abilities (spoiler alert: yes, it's him singing and playing the instruments!), what's next for Billy and Jesse's relationship, and what it means for Billy to be a leader. Check out the video interview we shared above, or keep on scrolling to read what the actor had to say!

Billy The Kid Season 1 Episode 106: Fate
Courtesy: MGM+ /

Show Snob: First is an easy question - Are you the one who's actually singing on the show, and playing the guitar in season 2 part 2?

Tom Blyth: Oh, yeah. That is me.

SS: Did you have to learn these skills for Billy the Kid or did you already know how to sing and play the guitar?

Blyth: I already play a little bit of guitar. I'm by no means a master and I've played on and off for a few years. But I can learn a tune. I can strum a tune and I do a little bit of singing too. So that was very much me. When we have a song on the show, we have musical advisors that we get help from. [Showrunner] Michael Hirst will write [in the script], 'Billy sits by the fire and he thinks of Barbara, or he thinks of his mom and begins to strum a tune.' And then we have to kind of find a song that feels correct. So we go through the period archives and we find a period appropriate song.

And sometimes it's a Western folk song that's very American and Americana. Or sometimes it's more like an Irish folk song that's been around for hundreds of years, hundreds of years before Billy even. And it's really fun to learn an old folk song from England in the 1700s or something that has made its way all the way through to the West, and that some of them are still even around now. So it's a cool little deep dive into history. 

SS: That's awesome how music can be interwoven into Billy's story. And, you sound so good. So if it was you, I wanted to make sure to give you the praise.

Blyth: I don't think most people notice [that], so that's really nice. Thank you.

Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 202
Courtesy: MGM+ /

SS: Of course! So, Billy and Jesse's relationship is complicated to say the least. They've had multiple chances to kill each other, but there's always something stopping them. Can you talk about their journey and where we see them in the second half of the season?

Blyth: Yeah, I think it's really just like an exploration of brotherhood, you know? They're not brothers by blood, but they are brothers by experience. Billy met Jesse in the series when he was very young and kind of naive. And Jesse taught him everything he knows about gunslinging and cattle rustling and how to survive basically. And I think because of that, they're kind of bonded by experience, right? It's like players on the same team, even if they grow apart or they go on different teams. It's like they'll have always had that experience together. 

Or you hear about people who have served in the military as well. They might drift apart, but if they see them again there's a camaraderie there. And so that's kind of how Daniel [Webber] and I play and talk about it is like, it's almost as if they were in the military together and they've been through some stuff. And now when they see each other, even though they're supposed to be on opposite sides, it's like they can't pull the trigger. They can't do that to each other.

There's almost more respect for each other than they could ever have for their bosses or for their different factions. But yeah, it's fun to play. It's a kind of a relationship that I don't think I've seen that much onscreen before, and it's fun to to play with Daniel especially because he's such a great actor. He's such a physical actor so it really feels like we're going head to head sometimes. 

Billy The Kid Season 2 Episode 205
Courtesy: MGM+ /

Show Snob: Speaking of old friends, we were left with the cliffhanger that Pat Garrett is the new sheriff. I feel like that's a dilemma for Billy. Old friends vs. the cause he's fighting for. How is he navigating that in these episodes?

Blyth: I think this part 2 of season 2 is basically between Jesse, Pat, all the people in the house that he used to ride with. He is basically kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place because he's met these new people, these new friends, George and Charlie, and all these people, the Tunstall faction, who he really knows are good people. They mean well, they're trying to bring peace to Lincoln. And he believes in it. But he also has these old compadres who he used to ride with who [he's] now finding himself on the opposite side of. And I think when we catch up at the beginning of part 2, he still has hope that maybe they could come to his side, or maybe at the very least they'll see the error of of their bosses ways and cut ties. It might not go the way he's hoping.

SS: We can all see Billy's a natural leader, Jesse sees it as well.

Blyth: I think Jesse is quite jealous that he's a natural leader too because I think Jesse is not a natural leader, but he wants to be. So it's kind of great watching Jesse - you can tell he's kind of envious that people want to follow Billy and they don't want to follow Jesse as much.

Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 206
Courtesy: MGM+ /

SS: What do you think makes Billy a good leader, and why do you think men choose to follow him?

Blyth: Often they say that the best leaders are the people who didn't seek out being a leader. [They're] the kind of people who other people tell them that they should be leaders. And I think people are always distrustful of the person who really believes that they should be the leader. Because usually that comes from ego and comes from pride and hunger for power and all that stuff. Whereas Billy doesn't really have any of that. He doesn't really lead with his ego. He doesn't really lead with pride. 

He kind of leads with his nose. He's got instinct. He leads with his instinct. And I think other people around him see that, and they see that their instinct is then backed up with a specific set of skills that he has. And he becomes the natural leader even though maybe it's the last thing he wants to do. I think that when he meets Tunstall, he's so glad that someone else is in charge. I think he's so glad that he can be a follower and not a leader. And then when he loses Tunstall, he kind of doesn't have a choice. 

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity

Billy the Kid season 2 part 2 premieres Sunday, June 2, 2024 on MGM and streams on MGM+.

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