“Manhunt” Stars Share How “The Simpsons” and “South Park” Played a Surprising Role in the Lincoln Assassination Show

Brandon Flynn told PEOPLE he and costar Tobias Menzies had a "pretty hilarious" time on set of the Apple TV+ historical drama

<p>Vivien Killilea/Getty </p>

Vivien Killilea/Getty

'Manhunt' stars (from left) Hamish Linklater, Will Harrison, Matt Walsh, creator Monica Beletsky, Lovie Simone, Anthony Boyle and Brandon Flynn at the 12th SCAD TVfest on Feb. 8 in Atlanta

Adult cartoons played a surprisingly significant role behind the scenes on the set of Manhunt, which follows the search for John Wilkes Booth in the wake of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Tobias Menzies and I, every time we rehearsed our lines, we would just do it in South Park voices, and it was pretty hilarious,” Brandon Flynn, who portrays Eddie Stanton Jr., told PEOPLE at SCAD TVfest in Atlanta.

Related: Brandon Flynn Reveals the Surprising Outfit That Makes Him Feel ‘Sparkly’ (Exclusive)

Anthony Boyle, the Apple TV+ show’s Booth, grew up in Ireland and learned about his character from another popular series.

“My first introduction to him was through an episode of The Simpsons,” Boyle, 29, admitted. “There's an episode where Bart is playing John Wilkes Booth and he shoots Milhouse as Abraham Lincoln, and he says, ‘Hasta la vista, Abey,’ which I thought was really funny.”

Accordingly, “I based my whole character on Bart Simpson,” the Masters of the Air star jested. “I used to tell Will [Harrison] before each scene, ‘Eat my shorts.’  ‘Ay, caramba,’ I tried to get in there. There was a lot of that sort of stuff going on. I don't know if it's in the final picture.”

<p>Apple TV+</p> Brandon Flynn (left) and Tobias Menzies on 'Manhunt'

Apple TV+

Brandon Flynn (left) and Tobias Menzies on 'Manhunt'

Hamish Linklater had a plethora of resources to reference when shaping his portray of Lincoln. “He's literally on the Mount Rushmore of people you would want to play as an actor,” Linklater, 47, said at SCAD TVfest. “I grabbed everything that was available for me to grab. It was a really humbling, terrifying and thrilling opportunity and responsibility.”

The father of three believes actors actually have more fun working on a drama than they do a comedy.

“I think most of the time you'll find that when you're making a comedy, people are miserable,” Linklater said. “And when you're making a drama, people tell a lot of jokes and you have a pretty good time, especially when you're wearing the kind of outfits we were wearing.”

Boyle jokingly added of Manhunt, “It's a laugh a minute.”

<p> Apple TV+</p> Anthony Boyle (left) and Will Harrison in 'Manhunt'

Apple TV+

Anthony Boyle (left) and Will Harrison in 'Manhunt'

In actuality, the historical drama filmed on plantations in Savannah, Georgia, where Boyle said he could feel the racial history. “It was quite intense,” he said. “It wasn't like we were in a studio. We were where this s--- happened, and it was a very dark period in your country's history. It was so divisive at that time that it was hard not to feel it on set.”

Still, working alongside Daisy Jones & The Six actor Harrison, 27, and Veep alum Matt Walsh made the experience a career highlight for Boyle.

“I've been a fan of Matt for years through his comedy work,” the Irish actor said. “And then working with him on a serious role, I was just so bowled over and really loved it and learned a lot from him.”

Related: Michael Douglas Has the Fate of the American Revolution in His Hands in the First Trailer for Franklin

Boyle called Harrison “the best actor I've ever worked with.”

“I built up such an amazing rapport with him,” he continued. “Will is a phenomenal talent. That feels like a 'pinch me' moment for me, getting to work with great artists.”

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The first two episode of Manhunt are streaming now on Apple TV+.

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