A Conversation with Skeet Ulrich
Jethro Wheeler



Q: What drew you to INTO THE WEST?
A: Even before I read the script, I was given a brief synopsis of the epic story, and, not to mention Steven's vision of INTO THE WEST appearing in history classes for the next 50 years, this was very enticing. So after reading the script, I wanted to jump right in.

Q: Why is this story so different from the generic cowboy-and-Indian Western?
A: It's the first time you really see the truth about the injustices we forced upon them. We kicked them off their land, and this series ultimately is about the genocide of the Indians, which is something that's largely been glossed over. Steven understood the truth, and that's what INTO THE WEST represents. Another facet of this epic story that differentiates it from other Westerns is that it's not a Western. Yes, we travel to the West. However, much more is involved in this chronicle: There's love and romance, tragedy and despair, and a lot more than just a Western.

Q: Tell me about your character and the journey he takes.
A: My character is a confused adolescent who doesn't have a great relationship with his brother. Being jealous of his brother and his adventures, he contemplates taking the journey with him. My character is faced with challenges, and it's how he overcomes them that creates a narrative that is purely inconceivable.

Q: How is entertainment balanced with history in this story?
A: It's not unusual in an epic tale like this for the history aspect to overshadow the story. INTO THE WEST is an exception. With the use of intricate relationships and emotional characters, this story paints a picture that leaves viewers empathetic, which, in our industry, is a big accomplishment.

Q: What does Steven Spielberg bring to this project?
A: Undeniable truth. By truth I mean the honesty found in the relationships between the characters along with the candor of the storyline.

Q: From where does the drama in this epic tale stem?
A: I think it's how we all deal with balancing family and work and finding the acceptable equilibrium between them. The main theme that creates drama in this story is staying true to oneself despite circumstances and people pulling you into a crossroads.