Everyone remembers the Alamo. (If you don’t, we recommend not visiting Texas.) But what happened next? The answer can be found in the History miniseries Texas Rising, beginning May 25. The eight-hour epic details how Sam Houston and his ragtag army battled the forces of Mexican general Santa Anna following the siege at the Alamo Mission.

The cast includes Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olivier Martinez, Thomas Jane, Crispin Glover, Kris Kristofferson, and Bill Paxton, who plays Houston. “He’s so much bigger than life,” says the Big Love actor and Lone Star State native—though his enthusiasm for the hero is rooted in more than just Texan pride. “He’s kind of my second cousin, three times removed. So it’s personal as well!

You can see an exclusive First Look shot of Paxton and Fraser in Texas Rising, above.