The AMC Network's Western pilot, Hell on Wheels, has recruited three actors to occupy the show's central roles. Among the new cast members is Common, the rapper-turned-actor known to comic book fans for his work in Wanted.
Common stars in the Western series as Elam, a freed slave who goes out west seeking work on the Transcontinental Railroad. AMC's senior vice president of programming Joel Stillerman described of Common: "This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that."
Additionally, Anson Mount and Dominique McElligott have landed the leading male and female roles of Cullen and Lily Bell. Cullen is a former slave owner and ex-Confederate soldier who moves out west to avenge the rape and murder of his beloved wife. Lily is an intelligent woman taking care of her ailing husband, a surveyor working on the railroad's construction.