Paramount’s new drama “Waco” takes a closer look at the real-life siege on a Waco compound in 1993, where cult leader David Koresh lived with his followers.
The mini-series has an impressive cast, with Taylor Kitsch in the lead role as Koresh, Michael Shannon as the FBI’s negotiator, Melissa Benoist as Koresh’s first wife, and Paul Sparks as one of Koresh’s friends and converts.
The “House of Cards” alum stopped by TheWrap studios ahead of the show’s premiere to discuss his character, who he describes as representative of how he might react in the same situation.
“Steve Schneider was a really smart guy,” Sparks said of his “Waco” character, whose wife marries David Koresh. “He was the friend–sometimes enemy–of David Koresh. David created a scenario where people felt like what they were doing was important, and maybe in this case the most important thing there was.”
“I think people really bought into that,” he said. “In a way, the fact that David was sort of a manipulative… a kind of pain in the a–, almost reinforced the fact that what he was saying was true.”
Koresh in fact predicted–in his words, prophesied–the way that the government would come into his compound, where he had a stash of illegal weapons and engaged in polygamy. Some of his wives were underage, as played in the show by Julia Garner. Schneider’s own wife was also wed to Koresh, and we see him struggle when his wife gets pregnant with Koresh’s baby after they previously tried and failed to have kids.
“I think that Steve is very representative of who I would think I might be in this situation, were I to be in this situation,” Sparks said. “He wasn’t just resolute always, consistently on [Koresh’s] side… and I think it’s a really interesting story to tell.”
Watch the full clip above.
You can watch “Waco” on The Paramount Network Wednesdays at 10 p.m.