Deadwood’s Ian McShane Swears He Doesn’t Normally Curse So Much

Ian McShane. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

In Deadwood: The Movie, Ian McShane returns to his most well-known role as gangster-pimp Al Swearengen and, at the behest of David Milch’s script, to cursing like a motherfucker. McShane tells the Daily Beast that fans beg him to call them a “cocksucker” or write Fuck off, you cocksucker! in autographs. “I mean, seriously, c’mon. It’s very strange. But they love it!” he says. “It’s not the normal way I speak. But it just happened to catch on.”

Being associated with the word, McShane guesses, caught on because of a scene with his character and Mr. Wu (Keone Young) in the first season of Deadwood. “That one-minute comic scene,” he says. “And I swear, that was exactly written down as it was on the page. People say, ‘Oh, you must have had a ball improvising swearing.’ And I think, improvising swearing? No. Every cocksucker and motherfucker was in the script to begin with. Any cocksucker out of place and you’d know it! It’d upset the rhythm and the poetry of the writing.”

Deadwood’s Ian McShane Doesn’t Normally Curse So Much