Aussie Daniel Webber On Playing A Yeehawing Gunslinger In Stan’s Cowboy Drama Billy The Kid

stan billy the kid daniel webber

Daniel Webber might not be a household name. But he’s worked with a fair lot of them. 

The Gosford-born actor has worked with the likes of Lena Headey, Daniel Radcliffe, John Bernthal, Eliza Taylor and J.J Abrams. He portrayed Lee Harvey, the man who murdered US President John F. Kennedy, in 11.23.63. He starred in the Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt as the band’s frontman Vince Neil. And he was a US military veteran suffering from PTSD in Marvel’s Punisher series.

“I got to fly back from Sundance [Film Festival] with [Abrams] on the Warner Brothers jet which was quite a bizarre, wonderful experience,” Webber told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“I just got to sit there and chat with him about Star Wars and architecture for a couple of hours.”

And now he’s clicking his cowboy boots together and yeehawing his way into another project: Vikings and The Tudors creator Michael Hirst‘s western drama Billy The Kid. The series premiered this week on Stan.

The show follows the life of the infamous American cowboy and outlaw William H. Bonney (Tom Blyth), also known as Billy the Kid. He was a baby-faced outlaw who killed nine people before he died in a shootout at 21. Webber plays Jesse Evans, a leader of an outlaw gang Billy was involved with.

Webber described his character as someone who “takes opportunities rather than sides”. He’s “charismatic”, “bombastic” and “very confident”.

When we first meet Jesse in Billy The Kid, he’s in prison. He was born into a life of crime. Webber said his character is driven by a desire to advance in the world rather than change it.

“He sort of sees society as corrupt and [believes] we are part of a society which we can’t change. There’s no need to try to change it,” Webber said.

“But in some ways, he’s very relatable. I think we are all in our own way trying to climb that ladder. We have our own lines which we want to cross but it’s a very human thing to want to have a better life for yourself.”

Billy The Kid is as much a story about immigration as it is a gritty story about gunslinging cowboys. Billy’s family were Irish immigrants searching for a better life.  The show opens with a young Billy and his family struggling to afford to book a cart to travel across America’s mid-west.

Webber said it was something he could relate to because he moved to Hollywood to make it in the film industry.

“I have been working there and striving to have my own version of the American dream in the same way as Billy and his family when they came from New York [or] Jesse trying to come up out of the muck and violence of the streets.”

Webber was acting in local films and stage productions before he made it big in Hollywood. But he said producers overseas didn’t care about his credentials until he briefly appeared on Home and Away in 2015. He told PEDESTRIAN.TV he didn’t originally want to be on the classic Aussie soap, but he needed some quick cash before he went overseas.

“I actually avoided it for years and years. I didn’t really want to be a part of it,” he said.

“And then the chance came up and a big part of it was about money. I knew I was going to be probably skinny for a little while in Hollywood.

“It has been the rite of passage for a lot of actors. And what I didn’t appreciate when I got on it which I did later was how much currency there is in a name like Home and Away overseas.

“I had done quite a bit of work before that. And out of everything on a resume, that would be the one thing that any casting director or producer or whatever would actually comment on. So it definitely does have a certain currency over there.”

Billy the Kid is streaming now, only on Stan.