'Texas Rising' star Bill Paxton: I was destined to play Sam Houston

Actor Bill Paxton is no stranger to Westerns, having starred in "Hatfields and McCoys" and "Tombstone." But the Texas native said his role in the History Channel's new miniseries "Texas Rising" is one he had to take.

"I feel it was kind of a destined thing for me to get to do," Paxton told FOX411.

That's because Paxton is actually related to the late Sam Houston, the legendary Texas soldier and politician.

"When I was growing up, my dad said Sam Houston's mother was a Paxton and that I was related somehow. I never really found out precisely how I was related until I was researching the role and I came to find out that Sam Houston and I shared common grandparents going back six generations on my dad's side," Paxton said.

"Texas Rising," a 10-hour event series premiering Memorial Day on the History Channel, tells the story of the Texas revolution in the weeks immediately following the fall of The Alamo.

Paxton said the story of the Texas revolution and the Alamo is inspiring to people around the world including one unlikely fan: Phil Collins.

"It's interesting to note that the man who has just donated the biggest collection of Texas revolution artifacts is Phil Collins, who came down her eon his first tour with Genesis and was very steeped in the Alamo," Paxton said. "He started collecting memorabilia and now he's just given it to the state of Texas and to the Alamo and they're going to build a museum to house his collection."

Watch the full interview with Bill Paxton and "Texas Rising" co-star Cynthia Addai-Robbinson in the video above.