Where has Sturgill Simpson been? He’s been participating in the production for Season 3 of the over-the-top black comedy series The Righteous Gemstones on HBO. The trailer for the upcoming series was released on Wednesday (5-31) ahead of the June 18th premier, and many people immediately recognized Sturgill Simpson’s mug making a brief appearance in a scene with members of a militia.
In the series, Simpson plays one of two brothers who operate a Christian militia, and his character will appear in nine episodes of the upcoming series. He joins a primary cast that includes John Goodman, Edi Patterson, Adam Devine, Walton Goggins, and the show’s creator Danny McBride, who is apparently a big fan of Sturgill Simpson’s music.
Speaking to Pitchfork in 2019, Danny McBride said, “I love Sturgill Simpson. I’ve gotten to know him over the last few years, too, and he’s a buddy of mine. I just respect his journey. I respect that he’s been doing what he’s doing and found success not when he was 19 years old. He kind of lived a whole life before he became a rock star. And he actively wants to shed people’s perceptions of him. He leads the charge in his career, and not in a way that people expect. I think that’s admirable.”
The Righteous Gemstones is about a family of televangelists and megachurch pastors who live extravagant lifestyles and fleece their congregations. They’re led by family patriarch Eli Gemstone played by John Goodman.
Sturgill Simpson has appeared in numerous film projects in the past, including the 2011 film Orca Park, the 2019 horror-comedy Jim Jarmusch film The Dead Don’t Die, Queen & Slim also in 2019, and in 2020 Sturgill appeared in the controversial film The Hunt. Simpson is also scheduled to appear in the new Martin Scorsese epic Western film Killers of the Flower Moon, which premiers in theaters on October 6th.
After releasing his last album The Ballad of Dood & Juanita in 2021, Sturgill Simpson said he was retiring as a solo artist, but left open the possibility of playing in a band and production work for others. Simpson was rumored to be in consideration to produce the new album for the Turnpike Troubadours before it fell through and Shooter Jennings stepped into the position. He also recently made a rare appearance at Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday Party.