Eden Prairie native Adam Bartley as "Ferg" in Longmire. Photo Courtesy: Adam Bartley
(KMSP) - I've been asked by my managers to share some thoughts and some stories you may not have heard in a daily column as I continue recuperating from a broken hip just over 3 weeks ago. (Get it? "From the Hip"!)
Recently I wrote about limited TV options when you're recovering at home. I'm now in week 4 of rehabbing my broken hip. There are a couple good things that come from being stuck at home on a couch (between Physical Therapy sessions.) One is being able to "binge-watch" TV series you've been waiting to catch-up on. The other is having the time to read and respond to voluminous subjects and people on social media.
I enjoy many TV shows covering the full gamut of entertainment options -- comedy, drama, some reality and sports and recreation. My latest "binge-watching" involves a show I stumbled upon about 5 years ago. "Longmire" on Netflix is a modern day crime thriller based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by author Craig Johnson. Sheriff Longmire solves crimes and oversees a county in Wyoming with the help of his deputies "Vic" (Katee Sackhoff) and "Ferg" (Adam Bartley) and his friend "Henry" (Lou Diamond Phillips.) The constant give and take between Longmire and the nearby Cheyenne Reservation provides for all kinds of twists and turns. The show has also received numerous kudos for it's respectful approach to Native American life.
After watching a few of the shows I tweeted out how much my wife and I enjoy the series. Much to my surprise I received a response from actor Adam Bartley who just happens to be from Eden Prairie! So Adam and I hooked up on the phone to talk about how a Minnesota kid winds up being a Hollywood actor.
"Growing up in Eden Prairie I played football and baseball," Adam told me, "but by 8th grade I realized I loved being in plays and musicals too."
Before long, Adam focused on his stage talents and by the time he graduated from high school he received an Acting Scholarship from the prestigious Drama Department at Southern Methodist University. Upon leaving SMU he spent several years teaching acting, directing and producing in Aspen, Colorado. Then, 7 years ago he headed for Hollywood.
"I was out here working my tail off for 8-9 months and I got the Longmire part," he said. "It's been a blessing to be part of such a special show."
Fans of the series most likely have noticed the beautiful vistas that serve as a backdrop to the well crafted story lines. "Unlike most TV shows," Adam notes, "We're outside 80-percent of the time. We shoot on location in New Mexico, which shares many features with Wyoming, so we're all out their cast and crew." Those natural elements and incredible photography add to every episode.
Bartley also credits his close relationship with the other cast members for the show's success. "We've all become such good friends." Fans may also recognize him from recurring roles on "NCIS-LA," and most recently his quirky portrayal of "Duke" on "This Is Us".
Adam's parents and brothers still call Minnesota home and if you follow Twitter you know his other passion. "I'm a die-hard Vikings Fan and I follow everything about them.. even the NFL combine for their draft needs. Especially with Chad Greenway and Adrian Peterson being gone now. This last year was tough." He even became a Viking season ticket holder this past year at US Bank Stadium. "When I was a kid we never had money for Viking tickets, so it's pretty cool I get to do this now."
In 2 weeks Adam Bartley and the rest of the crew start shooting "Longmire-Season 6" which will premiere in September on Netflix. Sadly for us fans, it's the end of the road for the show. But as Adam admits, "It's going to be a wild ride, because the writers get to decide how to wrap it up.. and then I get to be a free agent and hopefully that will lead to some movies along with more TV work."
July 7th through the 9th the city of Buffalo, Wyoming will hold "Longmire Days" attracting over 10,000 fans of the show, including Adam's family. A chance for cast and crew to do their final goodbyes.
Then on July 20th he's back in Minnesota. "I can't believe it but it's already my 20th reunion for Eden Prairie High School!" And when told Eden Prairie High School was headed to this week's State High School Hockey Tournament he said what any proud grad would say. "Go Eagles!"
A great guy we Minnesotans can all be proud of, and I can't wait for "Longmire-Season 6" on Netflix, and what's next for Adam Bartley!
READ THIS NEXT - From the Hip: Go jump in a lake!