Sean Bridgers

Sean Bridgers Biography

Sean MacKenzie Bridgers (born March 15, 1968) is an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, known for his role as Johnny Burns on the HBO series Deadwood and on the SundanceTV original series Rectify as Trey Willis. Additional to many roles in television and film since 1991, Bridgers received acclaim and awards for the independent film Paradise Falls, which he wrote and produced.

He received praise for his lead role in Lucky McKee's horror film The Woman and another Moderncine film, Jug Face, as well as notable roles in Sweet Home Alabama and Nell. He played Old Nick in the 2015 film Room.

Personal life

Bridgers was born in 1968 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to Ben and Sue Ellen Bridgers. Ben was the tribal attorney for the Cherokee Indian tribe and published a memoir and books of poetry. Sue Ellen Bridgers is a novelist with seven published novels.

He graduated from St. Andrew's-Sewanee School and Western Carolina University. In interviews, Bridgers has mentioned that as a screenwriter he is influenced by his favorite author Mark Twain and developed an interest in acting after seeing Robert Duvall in Tender Mercies when he was 14 years old. Bridgers started watching everything by Tender Mercies screenwriter Horton Foote, and Duvall and Foote became his biggest creative influences.

Sean Bridger's children are also actors. His son, Jackson, has acted in roles on Justified and Deadwood, as well as his daughter, Kate, who starred in Bridgers' 2012 short, The Birthday Present.

Recent productions


Bridgers has received praise for a diversity of roles in both film and television, including his role as Johnny Burns on HBO's Deadwood, and his role as the father in Lucky McKee's feature film The Woman. His co-starring role in the southern-horror film, from writer/director Chad Crawford Kinkle's Slamdance award-winning screenplay, Jug Face, released by the studio Moderncine, was another performance in the horror genre. Bridgers received praise for his performance from FEARnet, Dread Central, Birth.Movies.Death, and Starburst Magazine critics, among others.

Bridgers has also received acclaim for his role as Trey Willis on Rectify, notably in one of the series' most talked about episodes in Season 3. Reviewer Nick Hogan, on wrote, "this was one of the most gut-wrenching episodes of Rectify in some time. Mostly because Sean Bridgers does a masterful job portraying Trey..." Mark Walker wrote in The Copenhagen Post that Bridgers' performance as Old Nick in Room was "brilliantly restrained".


Bridgers, along with his producing and directing partner, Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot, have been developing a dark western, noted as a "Faustian western" that takes place in the South during the Civil War titled Arkansas Traveler. Bridgers wrote the original screenplay and is partners in the production company Travelin' Productions with Hemschoot, producing and shooting a trailer of the film featuring a cast including Garret Dillahunt and Angela Bettis. The resulting production was also released online as a Web series of the same name in June 2017.

Actor and filmmaker Ray McKinnon commented on Bridgers' screenplay:
Arkansas Traveler is one of the best un-produced scripts I have read in the last decade, it's not just the complex, larger narrative of the end of the Civil War and the amazing backdrop of the protagonist's travels, but Arkansas Traveler offers the continual smaller surprises of behavior and plot - of man's inhumanity to man [and woman and child and beast] and his infinite humanity. It's universal and timeless and must get made.
Bridgers and Hemschoot, under their production companies Travelin' Productions and Colorado animation studio Worker Studio are also developing an animated documentary about decorated World War II pilot John H. Ross.



Year Film Role Notes
1992 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice Jedediah
1993 Road-Kill U.S.A. Josh
1994 Getting In Dumpster Hunter Credited as Sean Bridges
1994 Nell Mike Ibarra
1995 Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored Mr. Bob
1997 Paradise Falls Henry Bancroft Producer and co-wrote with mother Sue Ellen Bridgers; won Best Feature at Hollywood Film Festival
2002 Clover Bend Tyler
2002 Lullaby Diesel
2002 Sweet Home Alabama Eldon
2003 Apple Jack Les Danyou Short film; the short won awards at L.A. Shorts Fest and Deep Ellum Film Festival
2007 Jake's Closet Peter
2008 A Night at the Zoo Donny Short film; producer, writer and co-director with Michael "Ffish" Hemschoot
2008 Witless Protection Norm
2009 Cold Storage Unnamed
2011 The Woman Chris Cleek
2011 Blood on My Name Thomas Short film
2012 The Birthday Present Dad Short film; co-director with Michael Hemschoot. Bridgers' daughter Kate starred as Joey
2012 The Graveyard Feeder Burke Sawyer Short film
2013 Jug Face Dawai
2014 The Best of Me Tommy Cole
2015 Dark Places Runner Day
2015 Room Old Nick
2015 Trumbo Jeff Krandall
2015 Blue Sheriff Hawkes
2015 Legs Ford
2016 Midnight Special Fredrick
2016 Free State of Jones Will Sumrall
2016 The Magnificent Seven Fanning
2016 The Whole Truth Arthur Westin
2017 And Then I Go Little Kid's Dad
2017 Thank You for Your Service Sergeant Mozer


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story Ralph Welch TV movie; credited as Sean Bridges
1995 Death in Small Doses Mr. Carter TV movie
1995-1998 American Gothic Policeman / Deputy 2 episodes
1995 Murderous Intent Dennis TV movie
1996 Stolen Memories: Secrets from the Rose Garden Jeff (Teen #1) TV movie
1997 The Secret Aaron Clemens TV movie
1997 Close to Danger Donna's Date TV movie
1998-1999 Legacy William Winters
1999 A.T.F. Smitty TV movie
2000 After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped Robert TV movie
2000 Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family Brian Credited as Sean Bridges in Episode 9: "Turtle Soup"
2004 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story Neil Bonnett TV movie
2004-2006 Deadwood Johnny Burns 36 episodes
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2006 Criminal Minds James Charles Season 2, Episode 28: "The Boogeyman"
2006 Cold Case Ty Sugar Season 4, Episode 11: "The Red and the Blue"
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Art Schuster Season 7, Episode 24: "Living Doll"
2008 12 Miles of Bad Road Lyle Hartsong Season 1, 6 episodes
2008-2009 Private Practice Frank 2 episodes
2009 House Rules Cameron Drummer TV movie
2009 Saving Grace Carl Lafong Season 2, Episode 9: "Do You Believe in Second Chances?"
2009 Bones John Collins Season 5, Episode 6: "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken"
2009 Lie to Me Harold Clark Season 2, Episode 10: "Tractor Man"
2010 The Mentalist Ranger Tisdale Season 2, Episode 18: "Aingavite Baa"
2010 Justified Virgil Corum Season 1, Episode 10: "The Hammer"
2010 True Blood Big Bobby Season 3, Episode 7: "Hitting the Ground"
2011 Hart of Dixie Leon Mercy Season 1, Episode 6: "The Undead & The Unsaid"
2011-2012 Raising Hope Jack 2 episodes
2013-2016 Rectify Trey Willis 17 episodes; Seasons 1-4
2017 Arkansas Traveler John Bones 3 episodes; written by, co-director with Michael Hemschoot
2017-present Get Shorty Louis Darnell Main cast; 10 episodes
2017 Midnight, Texas Sheriff Livingstone 2 episodes
2018 The Alienist Sheriff Early Episode 9: "Psychopathia Sexualis"


Year Title Role Notes
2011 L.A. Noire Motion capture
Rockstar Games

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