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Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell on Playing the Same Character and the Monarch Scene You'll Never See
Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt play the same person on Monarch: Legacy of Monsters—and their one scene together was cut, they told Seth Meyers.
Hollywood icon Kurt Russell and his son with Goldie Hawn, Wyatt Russell, bear a strong family resemblance—one that's leveraged to maximum effect on the Apple TV+ series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
In the series, which switches between two time periods to trace the rise and possible fall of the Godzilla-tracking Monarch organization, the Russells both play Monarch co-founder Lee Shaw. And, as they shared in a January 10 visit to Late Night with Seth Meyers, they even shot a scene together as the two Lee Shaws (or is it "Lees Shaw"?). Sadly, we won't get to see it.
"We shot one, but it wasn't used," the elder Russell shared, as both Kurt and Wyatt dissolved into nearly-identical laughter.
"No chemistry?" joked Seth Meyers. "'They just don't seem like they like each other!'"
As for how they came to portray the same person onscreen, Wyatt explained that Monarch's casting director shared the idea with the Russells' agent.
"We sort of thought, 'I don't know, maybe. It could be the worst idea of all time, too,'" he said. "As we went down the rabbit hole, we started thinking might be a good idea."
"We'd had the opportunity to play a father and son before," Kurt Russell chimed in. Until Monarch, "nothing really struck our fancy. In our family, a lot of us are in the same business, and we just kind of go down our own paths. But yet, I think everybody in the family, we'd all like to work with each other at some time or another."
Kurt and Wyatt Russell on playing the same person
While playing the same character was a special opportunity, it also presented more of a challenge, Kurt Russell told Meyers. So he based his own performance off of observing his son in scenes.
"I found myself going down to Wyatt's set, watching him. And I realized, 'yeah, this is interesting.' I stopped watching Wyatt and I started just watching the actor and I said, 'This guy is good, man.'"
"Thanks, Dad," joked Wyatt.
The Russells were happy to see their performances stand up to the enormous CGI monsters, or kaiju, on the series. "It was very exciting and also very just affirming—because in my head, I was always going, 'Well, if I suck, the monsters are going to be sick,'" Wyatt Russell joked. The two promise the season ends with "a great last shot."
Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell's famous family
A project starring the extended Russell family would be a killer lineup. Kurt Russell's longtime partner is movie star Goldie Hawn. Their son, Wyatt Russell, stars in the 2024 horror film Night Swim, and his other credits include The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Under the Banner of Heaven.
Wyatt Russell's wife, Meredith Hagner, stars in the Vacation Friends movies and the series Search Party, while Wyatt Russell's half-siblings are Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson, an actor who's appeared in ...And Just Like That, Nashville, and more.
Like King St. vodka founder Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell are also both in the beverage business as well: Kurt has a winery, GoGi, while Wyatt Russell co-founded sparkling cocktail company called Lake Hour.
The father and son even brought some drinks to share with Meyers as he interviewed them—between this and doing luge shots off a Barbie Dream House with Dua Lipa, Meyers has had a wild year on Late Night so far.