APOLLO 13 star Bill Paxton is bracing for an onslaught of criticism as he plays a polygamist in new TV series BIG LOVE.

The actor's character, BILL HENRICKSON, is married to three women, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and GINNIFER (corr) GOODWIN, in the new drama and he fears the show is set for controversy.

The show airs in the wake of the cancellation of religious drama BOOK OF DANIEL, which upset conservatives with its depiction of a pill-popping priest and his dysfunctional family.

But Paxton hopes religious Americans will give his new show a chance before passing judgement.

He says, "In a way this show talks about the freedom in this country. Well, how free are we? Are we free to choose who we want to live with? It becomes four people who are married to each other, four people who are adults who decided to form a family unit, and it becomes kind of us against them.

"There seems to be a lot of hypocrisy in some of our laws. It could be any secular group who has been persecuted all through the ages. Polygamy has been around since recorded time in every culture."