Killing Lincoln Actor Earns Top Director At Idyllwild Jan24


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Killing Lincoln Actor Earns Top Director At Idyllwild

Rising star actor, Josh Murray, portrays political assassin in both Ridley Scott production and his award-winning short film, The Soliloquy.



Actor/Director Josh Murray
Photo: Jonathan Taylor

Actor Josh Murray is turning political assassination into a career. In the upcoming National Geographic production of Killing Lincoln, he plays co-conspirator Lewis Powell, a Confederate soldier who was part of John Wilkes Booth’s conspiracy to assassinate the president and key members of his staff. But Powell is not the first killer Murray has played on film. He plays a brooding modern-day Macbeth who walks the halls of Washington DC in his award-winning, self-directed short film, The Soliloquy.

In Murray’s dense and tense adaptation, Macbeth, the infamous fictional assassin, is a soldier who turns on his friend and king. “Murder as a means of striving for power is a theme that never expires,” said Murray. “That’s why Macbeth adapts to film so well today.” Murray’s film uses the columns and architecture of Washington DC as a backdrop of political power for his contemporary retelling of the Bard’s tale.

Already a film festival darling, The Soliloquy was recently nominated in multiple categories at the prestigious Idyllwild CinemaFest, including Best Film (Short), Best Actor (Short) and Best Director (Short). Last week Murray walked away with the festival’s signature Tahquitz Award for Best Director and also received Honorable Mention for his role in the Best Actor category.

“Winning at Idyllwild was a special honor because of the caliber of the company we were with,” Murray says. “Winning in the Director category is particularly meaningful, because it establishes you on equal terms with other filmmakers at the festival.”

Coming up next for Murray is the world premiere of Killing Lincoln, also happening in Washington, DC. The film is set to debut on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel.

Josh Murray as conspirator Lewis Powell in "Killing Lincoln."

Josh Murray as conspirator Lewis Powell in “Killing Lincoln.”
Photo courtesy National Geographic Channel

“The historical accuracy of Killing Lincoln is one of its most important aspects,” Murray said. “This is a great story, and a completely true story.”

Ironically, President Abraham Lincoln was an avid Shakespeare fan, and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was no stranger to performing it, which lends a certain poignancy to Murray’s appearance in the upcoming TV film, Killing Lincoln, which is based on the Bill O’Reilly book of the same name. Murray joins a stellar cast which includes Billy Campbell as Lincoln and Jesse Johnson as Booth. Other key figures in the production are Sir Ridley Scott, and the narrator of the film, Tom Hanks.

Murray was not the only Killing Lincoln actor to appear at the Idyllwild CinemaFest, which took place in Idyllwild, Calif., between January 8 and 13.. Billy Campbell, who plays Lincoln, narrated Red, White, Black & Blue, a feature-length documentary about teens from South Los Angeles who join an inner-city rugby league.

Murray is currently working on an episode of NBC’s hit television show, Revolution, from J.J. Abrams, and plays another well-known American military and political figure, Col. George Washington, in the upcoming theatrical release of Alone, Yet Not Alone. “I don’t always play a bad guy,” Murray quips.