Tim Blake Nelson is a singing, murderous cowboy in his newest role in Netflix’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
“[Scruggs] lives by a certain code,” Nelson told ABC News. “He never kills unprovoked. And don’t call him a Tinhorn.”
Nelson has teamed up again with film directors Joel and Ethan Coen for the first time since 2000, when he won a Grammy for his performance in the Coen Brothers film, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Nelson said he was thrilled to work with the Coens again.
“Luckily Joel and Ethan, who are manifestly unconventional, cast unconventional roles that they write in their unconventional stories and somehow they get them made beautifully,” Nelson said.
He added, “I was given this script in 2002, if you can believe it. They’d written mine. And they’d written this other one about a legless, armless thespian. So yeah, I waited 15 years and they said, 'OK we have the other ones and we’re gonna make it.'”
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is a compilation of six different stories all set in the Old West.
“It’s about mortality told in six different subgenres of the western genre,” Nelson said. “And then in the final episode, there’s this little speech that this character gives and he talks about stories as being around in life to distract us from our mortality. And suddenly you say wow, all of these vignettes about mortality are ultimately a distraction from our mortality.”
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is in select theaters and on Netflix.
Watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Tim Blake Nelson in the video above.