You never know quite what you're going to get with Ian McShane, interview-wise. Sometimes he's playfully grumpy, as he was with some journalists who visited the set of The Seeker: The Dark is Rising earlier this year. "What made you want to do this film?" they asked. "The check," he replied. Other times, he's relaxed and jovial, as he was back in 2006 when I sat in on his roundtables for Woody Allen's Scoop. He always comes across as a straight-shooter, and I don't think it would be tough to get him to go off-message, but mostly he just wants to be in and out of press situations with little fuss, it seems. That was the case when he agreed to speak with Cinematical late last week about his role as Merriman Lyon in Seeker. When the time came for our appointment, I got a call from McShane's handler, telling me the big guy had decided to put off our call in favor of a quick lunch, so when he finally called a half-hour later, it seemed like the place to start.

Cinematical: So, how was lunch? What'd you have?

IM: Ha! I don't know what it was. I ordered some artichoke and it came up ... it's very good if you put it across pasta ... and buffalo wings, which were so hot I must have put a pound of vinegar on them, God knows what. Anyway! Enough of lunch. I'm fine. I've just had some melon and I'm having a coffee and I'm talking to you. How are you?

Cinematical: I'm good, thanks. So it's all press for you today, then?

IM: Yeah, I've done the junket. So far, we've done all the TV stuff. Now I'm doing the online, and some telephone stuff, and I'll be through by about five.

Cinematical: I have to start by asking you about the status of the Deadwood movies. I wish I could think of a fresh way to ask, but there it is. Has that ship sailed?

IM: You might be onto a thing there. I just got a call on Friday from ... a dear friend of mine, who told me that they're packing up the ranch. They're dismantling the ranch and taking the stuff out. That ship is gonna sail. I think with the uncertainty of the future, because of this possible strike next year, the writers and the actors, there was no chance of doing it before next May or June anyway, because I'm committed to other things. So I think it's ... Bonsoir, Deadwood.