Martin Henderson is seeing red on Sundance’s ‘The Red Road’

Martin Henderson plays Harold Jensen on Sundance's "The Red Road," premiering Feb. 27 at 9 p.m.
Martin Henderson plays Harold Jensen on Sundance’s “The Red Road,” premiering Feb. 27 at 9 p.m.

Martin Henderson calls us from northern Italy to chat about his new Sundance drama, “The Red Road” — a far cry from the dark and moody New Jersey setting where his new show takes place.

The New Zealand-born actor stars as Harold Jensen, a police officer in the fictional town of Walpole, New Jersey, where there’s a cultural clash taking place between the indigenous Lenape tribe members and the town’s white residents. A local college student’s disappearance sets into motion a story of secrets, lies and questionable allegiances.

Henderson says that now’s an “exciting time” to be joining a TV show, especially on cable.

“You can develop these characters that people really love,” he says. “You can follow them on their journey and see what’s going to happen to them in a myriad of different situations that you couldn’t explore in a film.”

Sundance has gained critical acclaim with original series like “Top of the Lake” and “Rectify.” Henderson says he hadn’t yet seen “Rectify” when he got the pilot script for “The Red Road,” but that signing on was “a no-brainer.” “I read it and it had an unique voice,” he says. “It [has a] very haunting series quality to it.”

The actor was also drawn to the fact that his character is a real person with flaws.

“I can’t say that I’m playing the good or the bad guy. I play a man with faults and who has secrets he wants and needs to protect. … He’s juggling two, three or four balls in the air and it’s interesting to see if it’s all going to come tumbling down.”

Henderson is coy when we ask him more about how his character’s actions are going to play out.

“[Showrunner Aaron Guzikowski] is leaving the characters on the opposite end of where they began. … It’s left very open-ended. By the end of the season you’re not really sure who is who.”

Where else you’ve seen him

Opposite Naomi Watts in “The Ring”

The actor still gets recognized for his role in the 2002 flick.

“Among horror fans this film is really popular. I’m really proud of it. It’s one of the first movies I made in America.”

As Britney Spears’ love interest in her “Toxic” music video

Maybe he’ll catch her show in Vegas?

“I’ve never seen her live, I’m sure it’s a good show. I should give her a call.”


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