Brandon Stacy
A picture of Brandon Stacy, who is a cast member of the 2016 "Roots" miniseries on the History channel. Brandon Stacy

“Roots” first aired as a miniseries way back in 1977 and is based on a novel by Alex Haley. The story is about how a man in Africa named Kunta Kinte was captured, brought to the US and sold into slavery, and how his descendants lived till slavery was abolished. A remake of the miniseries will now premiere on the History channel on May 30.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Australia, cast member Brandon Stacy spoke about the new TV series and his role in it. The actor plays a character named Clingman and will appear in one of the four episodes of the show.

International Business Times: What can you tell our readers about your character in 'Roots'?

Brandon Stacy: My character, CLINGMAN, is product of his environment. A product of a specific time in the American South in the mid to late 1800’s. He’s a product of tradition, and a product of War. As a man of strong principals and convictions he does what he thinks is just without really understanding humanity. Clingman serves as counsel to a key character, while he himself is disillusioned about what is right and wrong.

IBTimes: How did you prepare for the role? Have you watched the 1970s version of 'Roots'?

Stacy: Of course I’ve seen the original ‘ROOTS.’ It was groundbreaking.

In preparation, it’s always important to take account of history when building a character. Physically, the look I wanted was a very hungry, war beaten, man. This required a specific diet and gym routine. During the process of that transformation, the director Bruce Beresford, decided he wanted me in a different, larger role, so I embraced another character’s history and build from there. In this I had the opportunity to prepare with my well-trained set Horse, Asher. Studying our history allowed me get into the mentality of the Man living in the environment of that time.

IBTimes: Where did you film your scenes? What was the atmosphere like on the set with all the other cast members?

Stacy: The talent I witnessed on set and who is attached ‘ROOTS’ blows me away. Even the smallest of roles are extremely powerful. We shot in rural Louisiana. The atmosphere of the state, the weather, the locations all played into the energy on set and general vibe between actors. Some phenomenal performances occurred out of everyone’s exertion into the material and setting.

IBTimes: What other new project are you excited about? Why?

Stacy: It’s exciting to be a part of another film that might get some Oscar buzz. The Crime Thriller, ‘MENA,’ stars Tom Cruise, Directed by Doug Limon. Those guys are great. I enjoy exploring new ground, new lives, and new characters. I’m having fun right now working on ‘Blade of Honour,’ set in space in the future dealing with issues relevant to our society today.

IBTimes: What kind of roles would you like to play in the future?

Stacy: I aim to embrace roles that allow me to explore myself and take risks. Constantly exploring new ground, taking on very different things is extremely appealing to me. To be a leading man as well someone who embraces strong character roles. I think that embodies who I am as an actor, and I’d like my roles to reflect that.