'Longmire' Actor A. Martinez Praises Crime Drama's Legacy and 'Depth of Backstory' (Exclusive)

Longmire concluded its 63-episode run in 2017, but the modern Western crime drama continues to find a new audience five years later. Recently, series actor A. Martinez — who played Cheyenne businessman Jacob Nighthorse — sat down with PopCulture for a virtual interview, in which he praised the show's legacy and "depth of backstory." Most recently Martinex appeared in the Michael Bay film Ambulance, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Offering his thoughts on what's led to Longmire consistently finding new viewers in the years since its ending, Martinez explained, "I think probably at the get, it's based on a series of novels, so it has a depth of backstory behind it. The showrunners were able to draw on this wealth of information. And I just think that the character of Walt to have a hero in this day and age that is not... he's not cynical. He's not an antihero. There's no question about what side of the fence he's really on, he's a flat-out hero and, of course, his best friend is this Indian dude. And that mirrors the experience of the writer, Craig Johnson, who's whose real-life friend Marcus Red Thunder was the template for Henry Standing Bear. So, it comes from a real thing."

Martinez then went on to praise the work of actor Robert Taylor, who starred as Walt Longmire. "He was down there in Australia and there's all these big name American actors who wanted that part and were sort of likely favored to get it," he explained. "But every time they kept culling the field, they couldn't get rid of Robert Taylor, because he just was so great. He made choice after choice after choice that set him apart."

Continuing, Martinez added, "And then you see him do the role and you go, 'Yeah, this guy was born to play that character.' And it's always a cause of celebration. I mean, as an actor, you just feel this so intensely. 'Please let me find a part that I actually am better suited to do than anybody else.' It's so hard to find that." Paraphrasing Taylor, Martinez then shared, "And he says that, he says this character 'really makes my career makes sense.'"

Interestingly, Martinez joked that he actually had no idea Taylor was from Down Under after working with I'm for nearly two seasons. "I didn't realize he had an Aussie accent until the middle of the second year," he confessed. "He would drive onto the lot, and he would talk like Walt Longmire, there's this Wyoming accent, and I go on YouTube and it says, 'Robert Taylor helps establish the public gardens in Melbourne' and say, 'Oh, look at Rob helping in his community.' And I go, 'He's an Aussie. It's a shrimp on the barbie' and all this. I'm just thinking, 'How did he do that?' It's a miracle of just brilliant acting, brilliant acting."

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Finally, Martinez revealed that he's not just an alumnus of the show, he's also a big Longmire fan. "And I know it becomes an addiction and I'll confess, there are times where if I'm sort of a little bit sideways on any level, I can think of like seven or eight or nine episodes of Longmire that I can just like fire up," he admitted. "You know, there it is on Netflix, and I'll look at it, and by the end of the hour, I feel better." All six seasons of Longmire are available to stream on Netflix.