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Tobias Menzies, Hamish Linklater and Anthony Boyle Take Us Inside Manhunt’s Lincoln Assassination Scene — Plus, Grade the Premiere

We had one burning question for Tobias Menzies at the start of an interview to promote Apple TV+’s Manhunt: When did his character, Edwin Stanton, sleep?!

The reason behind our query becomes clear in the very first episode of the historical drama, which premieres today and which depicts Stanton’s exhaustive (and exhausted) search to track down Abraham Lincoln’s killer in the wake of the 16th president’s murder.

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Menzies (The Crown, Outlander) points out that though Stanton, the secretary of war, and Lincoln (played by Midnight Mass‘ Hamish Linklater) originally held opposing political views, they came to be great friends and co-workers — which left Stanton and the rest of the country adrift and afraid when John Wilkes Booth fatally shot Lincoln during a performance of Our American Cousin.

“We find a man jumping on a lot of different fronts, trying to get in some justice for his friend but also mourn his friend and also hold this country together and stop it from sliding back into Civil War,” he says in the video above, chuckling. “I think you’re right, there’s probably not a huge amount of sleep.”

Elsewhere in the video, we chat with Linklater about his playful, deeply human take on Honest Abe, who is woven throughout the limited series thanks to a series of flashbacks. “He told a lot of really bad jokes, and I think told them really well,” he says. “He was a real beautiful raconteur and beautiful, folksy friend, and I think that’s what drew people close to him, as well.”

While Menzies’ Stanton is on the hunt for Booth, Booth is on the lam, hiding out from his pursuers and dreaming of Confederate glory. Anthony Boyle (Masters of the Air, The Plot Against America), who plays the actor-turned-assassin, says Booth was able to evade capture for quite some time by trading on his theatrical fame and his natural charisma.

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“This is a likable guy, and in a way — like these cult leaders, the people that get people to do things for them — they’re very charming,” Boyle says. “You know? People follow them for a reason.”

Manhunt, which hails from Monica Beletsky (FargoThe Leftovers), released its first two episodes today. One new episode will begin streaming each Friday through the April 19 finale.

Press PLAY on the video above to hear Menzies, Linklater and Boyle talk about shooting the assassination scene and much more, grade the premiere episode via the poll below, then hit the comments with all of your thoughts!

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