One Mississippi, a semi-autobiographical show from comedian Tig Notaro, dropped its first six episodes Sept. 9 on Amazon. To guide us through our binging, the cast and crew will be taking EW behind the scenes. They’ll take turns sharing their thoughts on what went into making each episode. Here, actor Noah Harpster (he plays Tig’s brother, Remy, and also writes for Transparent) takes us through episode 4, “Let the Good Times Roll.”
Civil War! And the king of the small event:
We filmed the Mardi Gras and Civil War reenactment scenes near Galveston, Texas, in the middle of summer. It was surface-of-the-sun hot. Upwards of 100 degrees and 90 percent humidity.
Real Civil War reenactors drove in from states nearby to populate the parade and battle scenes. Their experience ranged from genius-level Civil War savants to sketchy dudes who just like guns and sashes. One fella brought his own canon.
Anyway, it was hot and we all wore authentic costumes that felt like 14 layers of thick wool, but were actually only 12 layers of thick wool. Lucky for us, the producers rented a nearby air-conditioned restaurant to keep us refrigerated between takes — but it wasn’t for everyone. A handful of hardcore reenactors refused, insisting on staying in the heat, hour after hour. Why would any sane person do this, I asked. Well, “If you were a real reenactor, you’d know you got to stay in the heat to properly assimilate. Silly actor boy.” I’m all three of those things, btw. “Also, they didn’t have AC in 1864.”
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So, I’d walk by these guys, scene after scene, with my umbrella and a handheld fan, and I’d beg these guys, some well into their 70s, to use the restaurant to stay cool. They’d laugh at me, and smoke their hand-rolled-Union-issued-tobacco-ration cigarettes, and laugh some more. “Not all of us get our own parasol, actor boy,” zinged the fella with the cannon. An hour later he was in the restaurant lying face-up in front of the AC, being treated for heat exhaustion by the medic. Shortly after that, he was hitching his cannon back up to his truck, off to the next “battle.”
In this episode Remy consumes:
Be sure to return to EW.com on Tuesday for a dive into episode 5, “How ‘Bout Now, How ‘Bout Right Now” by John Rothman, who plays Tig’s step-father, Bill.