CMT’s Nashville may have left the Volunteer State for the Broadway stage, but Music City shows no signs of giving up its Hollywood connections. Recent entertainment headlines announced a new TV project from Dolly Parton, and Dierks Bentley is making his first foray into episodic television with a development deal at FOX. Plugging country music stars into movies and TV is by no means a new concept, but it’s one that moves in cycles, and success as a country star is no guarantee for silver screen stardom.
The challenge for country music artists is not a lack of opportunity, but the type of roles available within a given trend or cultural cycle. The 1980s set a benchmark, fueled by several pop culture influences that created nostalgia for a South that never existed in films like Smokey & The Bandit and CBS’ The Dukes of Hazzard. When Urban Cowboy hit theaters in 1980, it kicked opened the door for country music stars to find new audiences in Hollywood. The 1980 film 9 to 5 made Dolly Parton an internationally known actress, but Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) made her a movie star. Kenny Rogers extended his brand to made-for-TV movies adapted The Gambler (1980) and The Coward of the County (1982) before driving audiences to see Six Pack. Though no sequel followed, a TV series based on the film aired in 1983 featuring Don Johnson in the role of Brewster Baker and Joaquin Phoenix.
The big question marks for movie studios, producers, and artists: Will fans who follow the music follow the artist into the theater? Or can the artist create new fans who may not necessarily like the music?
The best example of this is Kris Kristofferson, whose career includes music and acting in equal doses. Whether starring in the critically acclaimed Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore or sharing the screen with Barbara Streisand in A Star Is Born, Kristofferson demonstrated a legitimate talent that could eclipse his music career. As an actor, Kristofferson would reach a different level of celebrity in the 1990s with the international success of the Blade vampire action films.
Without a franchise platform, even the most beloved talent can struggle at the box office. Even Dolly struggled with making the connection: Her 1984 film Rhinestone was a box office and critical disaster. Despite the film’s poor reception, her soundtrack contributions were embraced by fans and became Top 10 radio hits at the time.
The best example of this frustrating dichotomy may be George Strait and Pure Country: The soundtrack proved to be the highest selling of his career with more than six million units. It’s hard to find even a casual country music fan who doesn’t know “I Cross My Heart.” The movie, however, was far short of blockbuster material, returning $15 million against a $10 million budget in 1992. It wasn’t until the film reached rural markets through home video and near-continual airing on TNN and then CMT that it found a near-cult-level status amongst fans.
The cultural shift to home video is what saved so many artists’ performances for new generations of fans to find and explore. Today, the best way to find episodes of Shotgun Slade with Johnny Cash is to order them from Amazon. Fans of Conway Twitty can find his nearly forgotten performance in the 1960 comedy College Confidential starring TV icon Steve Allen. Home video is also where fans can explore more recent successes that may have passed unnoticed.
Roy Rogers is still the “reigning” king of singing cowboys with 118 credited roles. His TV appearances later in his career helped him surpass Gene Autry. Fans who visit the Cash Museum can see clips of a young Johnny Cash and movie posters, who made 26 appearances in film and TV shows. In the modern era, Billy Ray Cyrus and Trace Adkinswho lead country music artists who act with a combined 62 roles between them.
But the number of roles doesn’t really address the strength of the impression an artist can make on audiences. If the measure of crossover success for country music artists is durability and audience reach, there is only one atop the rankings.
Reba McEntire burst onto the movie scene in 1990 with the role of Heather Gummer in the monster thriller Tremors. The film performed well at the box office and, again thanks to home video, found a cult audience that propelled the film to five sequels, the most recent released in 2015. As if starting a second career, McEntire honed her skill with walk-on and guest roles and built her acting resume throughout the 1990s. In 2001, The WB network aired a pilot for a new show about a recently divorced mother and her pregnant teenage daughter. In the role of Reba Hart, McEntire would catapult to a different type of stardom.
With a total of 127 episodes across six seasons (2001 – 2007), Reba proved to be a solid ratings performer for The WB in its effort to challenge the “Alphabet Networks.” While the Nielsen ratings slotted the show in the bottom of its prime-time reporting, Reba regularly drew nearly 4 million weekly viewers. That was enough to ensure McEntire a contract worth more than $100,000 per episode. Syndication become a lucrative audience booster as fans in nations as far flung as the Czech Republic and Croatia connected with McEntire’s charm and the show’s comedic spin on family strength in challenging circumstances. In total, foreign syndication carried Reba to 30 different countries around the globe. The final episode reached more than 8 million international viewers.
Reba would return to TV in 2012 as Reba MacKenzie in Malibu Country, an ABC sitcom that offered a different spin on the same plot concept behind Reba. The show ran one season before being cancelled. McEntire continues to balance her career: Her new album, Stronger Than the Truth, will be released on April 5 and MCA Nashville is re-issuing a 25th anniversary edition of Read My Mind exclusively on vinyl. Meanwhile, McEntire is reportedly developing a TV project with super-producer Marc Cherry, best known for Desperate Housewives.
Dolly’s place as the Queen of Country is secure, but McEntire deserves her own accolade. While both artists were recognized with Kennedy Center Honors, McEntire carved a separate lane for her career that can’t be compared. Like Kristofferson before her, McEntire demonstrated a wholly separate set of artistic skills while continuing to thrive as a country music icon. With those accomplishments informing McEntire’s next steps, her third act may be the best yet.
At long last, Shania Twain’s acting debut, Trading Paint, will be released. After more than a year of anticipation, the film will make its debut on February 22. Starring both Twain and John Travolta, the movie tells the story of a racing veteran and his son, a fellow driver, overcoming both personal and professional conflicts and coming out stronger on the other side.
Filmed in Alabama in 2017, the movie allowed Twain to stretch outside of her comfort zone with the help of Travolta’s acting advice.
“I enjoyed it and I enjoyed getting to know John. He’s a very sweet person. I’ve known him for several years now just on short little chats, but now [working on] this movie, we got to know each other a little bit better. I’m just lucky to have this film experience because he’s been very nurturing. He coached me through it,” she told Sounds Like Nashville previously.
She continued, “I learned so much. It’s a whole new chapter of my life I wasn’t expecting because it was really last minute. I wasn’t expecting it at all, so I love the spontaneity of it. That’s why I dove into it because I didn’t have too much time to think about it.” As the movie gears up for its February release, filmmakers released the highly-anticipated trailer showcasing the character’s high stakes and massive tension. Check it out below!
Hollywood has had a festering problem for years. The ratings for their awards shows have been in steady decline. The industry made a bold move to combat the ratings problem, but their decision might backfire in a way that could severely damage Hollywood. Hollywood Doesn’t Follow Its Own Rules Some of the Tinseltown mantras that have become synonymous with good storytelling have been abandoned.
“Leave the audience wanting more…Get in late, and get out early…Less is more.”
Hollywood has mastered hypocrisy. While these rules apply to filmmakers, the producers of the annual awards shows continue to create bloated, boring, overly long broadcasts. To make matters worse, insipid political speeches espousing some basic left-wing principles have come to rule the day. It was once considered inappropriate to make political statements. Some Oscar winners were even jeered for their beliefs. The long-winded speeches and excess have pushed the Oscars close to three and a half hours. As one might imagine, the rating haven’t been good. A Terrible Solution.
In recent years, the Oscars started pre-recording ceremonies for some of the lesser known categories. Many believed this was a slap in the face to the award winners. It only seems fair they should be honored at the main event if the category exists. One solution the Oscars arrived at was limiting how much time the winners can speak. While that may speed things up, all of the fat around the actual presentation of the awards can go. But the Academy Awards’ latest grand idea to spice things up is truly terrible; they’ve added a new category for “popular” film. Inadvertent Admission Of A Big Problem Understandably many in the film industry found the idea of a popular film category a gross form of pandering.
Actor Rob Lowe chimed in on the ridiculous news with a tweet that went viral: The film business passed away today with the announcement of the “popular” film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.
The Oscars might soon resemble a cartoonish show like the MTV Awards, although to MTV’s credit, this year they avoided the endless parade of dull political speeches. Lowe’s tweet underscores a soft contempt Hollywood producers have for general audiences. The idea is Hollywood makes substandard movies because they’re popular. But Hollywood has forgotten that substantive movies can—and should—still be popular, make Better Movies.
The Oscars used to be dominated by popular films, a point Alex Griswold tweeted out: This is so pathetic from all angles. Create a babby Oscar so your precious superhero movies can actually win one. Create a ghetto so your indie movie about a trans disabled cowboy in Victorian England can get nominated for Best Picture ahead of action flicks. It’s embarrassing.
9 out of 10 of the biggest blockbusters of all time were nominated for Best Picture. 9 of them won Oscars. Maybe the reason modern blockbusters aren’t getting Best Picture nods is because, bluntly, they aren’t good enough.
The movies that have withstood the test of time were almost exclusively popular. A handful weren’t appreciated at the time and became classics years later, but those instances are rare. A big problem is Hollywood elitists—perhaps starting in the late 1960s—decided that being edgy and weird and counterculture was a requirement for a film to get awards love. The dark little secret is that many of those avant-garde films are just as formulaic, and sometimes even more formulaic, as “Hollywood” movies.
Hollywood simply needs to understand that popular films should have depth, and often do. Executives are too busy thumbing their noses at audiences to notice. If Hollywood snobs had been paying attention, they would’ve noticed that “The Dark Knight” was arguably far better than anything else that came out in 2008.In 50 years, will audiences remember Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal of the Joker or that “Slumdog Millionaire” actually won Best Picture that same year?
– OffTheWire 2018
Dolly Parton isn’t ready to quit her day job as she wants to work her way right back into 9 to 5, as long as her co-stars are up for the remake. The iconic film, which follows the lives of three women in the work place dealing with office harassment and sexist assumptions in career atmospheres, made such a lasting impression even more so now in the past few months of female empowerment. Parton thought there would be no better time than this moment to start remaking the musical for this generation to appreciate and grow with.
“All these years we’ve talked about doing a sequel to 9 to 5 and it never made any real sense until just recently,” Parton said to Entertainment Weekly. “We decided that we are going to do another one. We are trying to get the script and all that, everyone is very interested and we’ve all agreed that we’d love to do it if it’s right.”
Not only would the timing match the current culture so well, but Parton is also nervous about holding out for too long and getting past the age of being able to pull off such a character yet again.
“I told them we better get after it or it’s going to be 95 instead of 9 to 5,” she joked. Rumors have spread around Hollywood that a revised script for the updated film is somewhere in the makes, but no word on when production would be set to begin.
Meanwhile, Parton is rocking it in her own right working away on her time with the Imagination Library. The charitable organization just celebrated a massive milestone by giving away 100 million books to kids all across the globe. Hoping to expand the mind of children everywhere through the creativity of a book, Parton sends away books every month to anyone from newborns to 5-year-olds to add to their collection.
Kit Harington is reminiscing about his drama school days. “You think you know the world, and you’re so overly serious about what you’re doing, and how important it is, sitting on the steps, with coffee and a script, in black…”
He smiles, but his arms are folded defensively across his chest, and he occasionally brings a hand up to play with his moustache. He’s wearing take-me-seriously wire-framed specs and is dressed entirely in black. He looks down and has a moment of recognition, as if he’s just walked into a trap. “I am actually completely in black. And I’m talking about important things,” he smiles. “I haven’t changed at all, have I?”
He might not think so, but at 30 Harington is living a very different life from the one he led at 19. Shortly after leaving drama school, he signed up to shoot the pilot for a promising new television fantasy series, Game Of Thrones, playing a moody young northerner called Jon Snow. It was his first screen role. “We didn’t know if it was going to go, and we didn’t know if it was going to be any good,” he explains. “But it was HBO, and it was American TV, so it felt like a huge deal.”
Game of Thrones’ first incarnation wasn’t promising, however, and the pilot turned out to be a dud. “They made a lot of mistakes. It didn’t look right, didn’t feel right, had nothing different about it.” In it, the nascent Jon Snow was wearing a wig, was clean-shaven and made use of the baby face Harington hides under his beard. He claims that hardly anyone has seen that pilot, not even him, but that the show’s creators, DB Weiss and David Benioff, have a copy they use to keep him in line. “They say, if I ever piss them off too much, they’ll release it on YouTube. Every now and then, they send me a screengrab, just as a threat.”
Weiss and Benioff went back to the drawing board. Harington, then 23, grew his hair long, slapped some mud on his face and surprised himself by sprouting a beard for the first time. The whole show became dirtier, grittier and more grown up. By the end of the first season, millions of viewers who might have balked at the idea of swordfights and spells suddenly found that, when sex and violence were added to the mix, they could get behind a fantasy series, after all. As Game Of Thrones grew into the behemoth it is today, Snow was manoeuvred into the very heart of the story.
Harington is now about to go to work on the show’s eighth and final season. How is Snow going to feel when he finds out that the woman he’s in love with, Daenerys Targaryen, is also his aunt? “I really hope that he just nods slowly and goes, ‘Damned right’,” he says, doing a mock-leer. “Something really horribly inappropriate, and you find out Jon’s had a really sick mind the whole time. That’s the way I’d love to play it. I’ll try it for one take, anyway.”
He is close to Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, though owing to the series’ vast geography, the two did not film together until season seven. “But we were very good friends by the time we got to the sex scene,” Harington laughs and squirms. “Which is really weird. Usually, you’d turn up and you’d know the actor, but you’re not best mates. The main thing was trying not to laugh. It was like, OK, if we laugh, we’ll never get this scene done, so we’ve got to do minimal takes, then we can crack up about it afterwards.”
For reasons both personal and professional, Harington thinks the show is ending at the perfect time. He’s one of the few cast members who’s made it this far, though he did have to negotiate a gruesome death and resurrection to get here. “I wouldn’t have wanted to go on for another year, but if it had finished last year, it wouldn’t have felt long enough. Maybe the most special year was the first. We weren’t being recognised in the street, we didn’t know what we were doing, we were having a great time.”
Thronesmania is, he acknowledges, “bizarre and weird”. “Like, being in Spain and there being a crowd of 500, maybe 600 fans camped outside the hotel every day, and you have to get through them. It feels like being Bieber or something.” When Snow became the brooding heart-throb of the Thrones world, Harington became a kind of boyband pin-up, too. “Yeah,” he sighs. “I don’t particularly enjoy that.” He catches himself. He speaks of his “privilege” often and is acutely conscious of anything that sounds like he’s whining. “I don’t know. Do I? I’m glad I’ve experienced it, but that’s what I mean about it being eight years, then it’s done. You couldn’t go on for much longer. It’s a bit incessant.”
Fame of that kind makes him moody, he explains. He’s sceptical of all it brings, though he was thrilled he got to take his brother to the Italian Grand Prix recently. When he says the word “celebrity”, he makes air quotes. “It makes me snappy and it makes me uncomfortable, and I turn into a grumpy person.” It’s unfair on his friends, he says, who bear the brunt of it, but the main problem is selfies or, as he puts it, “the photo thing”. Now, he’ll set himself days where he won’t take pictures with people. He performs his rejection spiel, which is polite and apologetic, but can piss people off. “But you just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin. Especially me and Rose, we never do a photo together. Because then it makes our relationship feel like… puppets.” He feels around for the right word. “Like we’re a walking show.”
Rose is Rose Leslie, his one-time Game Of Thrones co-star, who played his love interest, the wildling Ygritte, from 2012 to 2014. The pair fell for each other in real life in the freezing Icelandic countryside, but were reluctant even to acknowledge that they were together for a long time. Recently, they’ve edged out on to the red carpet, holding hands. “We’re living together and we’re very much a couple,” he says, reading from the script. He’s nice enough to stumble over why he doesn’t want to talk about her, though he’s clearly smitten. “I just don’t – and I won’t say much about it now – but I don’t believe in talking about one’s relationship in the press because it’s… I strongly believe it’s her relationship and mine, and anything I say here, she may not want me to say. So I just don’t say it. I genuinely think it’s our private life.” Yet there are Buzzfeed lists dedicated to how cute their relationship is, whole YouTube compilations that show them being nice about each other in interviews. He grins a wide grin. “Are there?” It’s adorbs, I tease. “She’d approve of adorbs,” he smiles, but that’s all he’ll say. Two days after we speak, their engagement announcement is announced.
Harington is here to talk about Gunpowder, a grim new historical drama in which he plays Robert Catesby, the mastermind behind the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Harington’s middle name is Catesby; it’s his mother’s maiden name and Robert was an ancestor. “It’s always been a piece of family curiosity, really. ‘Do you know, if you go all the way back, your ancestor was the leader of the gunpowder plot, even though everyone thinks it was Guy Fawkes?’” He was so taken with the tale that it became the first project of the production company Thriker Films, which Harington set up with his best mate from drama school. It will appear in the blockbuster Saturday night slot on BBC1.
In 2014, Harington told his agent that, when he wasn’t playing Snow, he’d like to branch out: “No more swords, no more horses – and maybe I can cut my hair.” Yet in Gunpowder he’s a sword-wielding, horse-riding, long-haired hothead. “Yeah. Hahaha. I always say things and end up backing down on them. It was weird, though, because I walked right into it. I pitched a TV show where I have long hair and a beard, and it got made. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to play swords and horses.”
During his time off from Game Of Thrones, he squeezed in other roles. He was the lead in the feature-length Spooks spin-off MI-5, and the historical action romp Pompeii, though it’s the forthcoming Xavier Dolan movie The Death And Life Of John F Donovan that looks most promising. While Harington has got world-weariness down to a fine art in Game Of Thrones, he’s also very good at playing the clown: in HBO’s silly tennis spoof 7 Days In Hell, he pulled off the dizzy posh Brit player with gusto. “I love playing a thicko,” he says, then corrects himself, in case anyone is offended. “That’s probably an incredibly terrible term, thicko. But, you know, someone who is wonderfully well-meaning, but isn’t… I’ve always been the kind of person who’s well-meaning but slightly vacant at times.”
This vagueness has its drawbacks. “Because you don’t want to be defined like that. There’s an element that I can get, ‘Ahhh, sweet Kit, little Kit.’” He’s 5ft 6in, he says, and there’s that baby face, under the hair. “And I’ve worked very hard against that. I don’t want to be patronised.” Do people patronise him? “No, I don’t think so. If they do, you shut it down pretty quick.” He grows so quiet that it’s hard to hear him. “You have to stand up for yourself. But I won’t go into that.” He takes a deep breath, and shuts himself up. “Mmm.”
Harington is worried he doesn’t come across well in interviews. He frets that, in print, his dry sense of humour can sound “really fucking arrogant”. As a result, he’s a concertina of openness and caution. He comes across as more serious than I suspect he might be under normal circumstances. He’ll give an answer, and then say, “I don’t know” as if warning you not to take what he’s just said as gospel.
Last year, an interview he gave was picked apart over comments he made about being objectified, and how the film industry could be sexist towards men as well as women. “I was wrong there, though,” he shrugs. “Sexism against men is not something I should have really said. I think what I meant was, being objectified. At that time, I did feel objectified, and now I’ve learned how to control that.” How? “Just shutting it down. Look, I do think men can get objectified. I do feel I have been objectified in the past, sexually as well, in pieces that have been written about me.” I’ve seen a couple, I say, thinking of one article that highlighted the bulge under his loincloth with the aid of several arrows. “Has that made me feel uncomfortable in the past? Yes. Do I think my position is the same as a woman’s in society? No. They’re very different things, and I should have separated them. I was wrong.”
Harington was raised in Acton, west London, and has an older brother, who works in IT. His mother Deborah is a playwright; his dad, Sir David Harington, a businessman. They moved to Worcestershire when Harington was 11. “There was a very good comprehensive school there, and that’s why. It’s something I’d like to emulate with my kids – when I have kids.”
He’s already thought about how he wants to raise his children. “Um, they get brought up in London, hopefully, and see a very multicultural society, and hopefully go to a state primary school, and have the first 11 years of seeing the city I love. Then get the beauty of going to the country and being given space and air, and have the beautiful halcyon memories that I have. It’s the sense of space, the big open sky, that in those years can be good for thinking and emotions.”
The word “halcyon” makes me wonder. Did he, as a teenager, write bad poetry? “Oh yeah,” he says proudly, unfolding his arms. “Yeah, I did that. I was a horrible kind of romantic creative, and I had all sorts of ideas about what I wanted to do. Acting, journalism…” It was acting that stuck, in the end, and sent him back to London, to drama school. “Do you know what,” he suddenly announces, grinning. “I’m going to stick my neck out and say a couple of [the poems] were quite good. But I haven’t written poetry in ages.”
If any fans weren’t sufficiently convinced of Harington’s glossy-haired, woke-Byronic-boyfriend appeal, then the fact that he writes poetry may tip them over the edge. “I still read a lot of poetry. There’s one I read recently by Jack Underwood, called Happiness. I’d urge anyone to go and read it.” What’s it about? “Just the happiness he finds in his domestic life, and it’s beautifully written, and it’s profound in its exploration of happiness.” He looks as if he thinks he’s revealed too much. “I don’t know why I went into that.”
Harington’s dad is a baronet, and he’s descended not only from Robert Catesby, but also from Charles II, and John Harington, who invented the first flushing toilet for Elizabeth I: I’m surprised he went to a state school, I say. “Mum and Dad didn’t have the money to send us to private schools, first and foremost, but second, they wouldn’t have wanted to. They believe in the state system, they believe in the NHS, they believe in state education, and they’ve instilled that in me.” He says his upbringing was privileged – “I was very middle class: not loads of money, not no money” – but that he’s not quite what you might think he is. “One’s family history is one thing, and I’m very proud of my family history, but it doesn’t directly speak of who I am,” he says, which, really, is a polite response to being told by a stranger that you’re not as posh as they thought.
Harington is keenly aware that there’s an ongoing debate about working-class access to the arts, and to acting, but thinks we’re kicking the wrong target by criticising Etonian actors rather than drama cuts. “There has to be more effort put in at an educational level, to give people those opportunities. Let’s face it, Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, they are very good actors who deserve to be where they are, and they got there because their educational systems recognised their talent. That needs to happen [in state schools].”
What makes him stick up for the underdog? “I don’t know. What’s the point of sticking up for the guy at the top? I’m not an underdog. I’ve been given every opportunity and I’ve really ended up in a place of great privilege. I do believe it’s your duty to try to share that privilege.”
When Snow died at the end of season five, Harington spent months fibbing his locks off about how that was definitely it for him on Game Of Thrones; he was done with it, and that, no, he’d never return. At the start of season six, he was conjured back into existence, to live another day, and to have incestuous boat sex with his aunt. Since he lied so well then, how can I believe anything he’s just told me? “You can’t.” He gets up for a quick cigarette and grins. “I might change my mind about anything I’ve just said. But that’s my privilege, I guess.”
Kick up your boots and get ready to sing your heart out as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and WWE® Studios bring you a touching, tune-filled All-American tale of family in Pure Country: Pure Heart today, August 1. Featuring country music icon Willie Nelson, Tony Award nominee Laura Bell Bundy, WWE Legend Shawn Michaels in a feature-length film filled with both new and popular songs, Pure Country: Pure Heart is priced to own on DVD ($18.94 SRP), Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and Digital ($19.99 SRP). The DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack are available exclusively at Walmart.
Directed by Damon Santostefano (Another Cinderella Story, Three To Tango) from a script by New York Times best-selling author Holly Goldberg Sloan (Angels in the Outfield, Made in America), Pure Country: Pure Heart is the newest installment of the adored Pure Country franchise and also stars Kaitlyn Bausch (One Life To Live), Cozi Zuehlsdorff (Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale 2), Amanda Detmer (Final Destination), Dara Sisterhen (Dog with a Blog, Switched At Birth), Mathew Barnes (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Myra Turley (Flags of Our Fathers), famed singer-songwriter Ivan Neville, and Ronny Cox (Deliverance, Total Recall, Robocop). Pure Country: Pure Heart is produced by Hunt Lowry (Pure Country 2: The Gift, A Time to Kill, A Walk to Remember) and executive produced by President of WWE Studios, Michael Luisi (Fighting with My Family, Oculus, The Call).
The DVD, Blu-ray and Digital release of Pure Country: Pure Heart will include the all-new original movie, as well as exciting enhanced content featuring a music video with Willie Nelson, interviews with the cast, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more.
Pure Country: Pure Heart is the moving, music-driven tale of teenage sisters Ada and Piper. Upon discovering a letter about their late father, a Marine who died in Iraq, they leave rural Tennessee and hit the road secretly in search of the truth about the man they never knew. As they uncover his past as a budding country music star, the sisters find their own voice, beginning their journey as singers/songwriters.
Pure Country: Pure Heart is rated ‘family-approved’ by The Dove Foundation. The Dove Family Approved Seal is awarded to movies, DVDs, made for TV movies and specials, books and other entertainment products that portray and encourage positive values.
Filmed on location in the heart of country music’s capitals New Orleans and Nashville, Pure Country: Pure Heart boasts 23 songs, curated by music supervisors Frankie Pine (Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle) and Mandi Collier (Nashville, Secrets and Lies), including 16 new songs making their debut in the film. Among the featured songs is Willie Nelson’s beloved “We Don’t Run,” Laura Bell Bundy’s all-new “Grass Ain’t Greener,” the Ronny Cox penned-and-performed “Silver City,” and a bevy of songs from award-winning country-music songwriters – including Trent Dabbs & Jabe Beyer, Jon Kenzie, Maren Morris and Dallas Davidson & Natalia Starzuynski. The songs are performed in the film by Bausch, Zuehlsdorff, Barnes, Bundy, Cox and Nelson. WaterTower Music will release the Pure Country: Pure Heart soundtrack on July 28th.
“Pure Country is a wonderful, heartwarming franchise with proven success,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing. Pure Country: Pure Heart pulls you in with its music and engaging story about love, loss, and dreams.”
This is the third film in the Pure Country series. Other titles include Pure Country and Pure Country 2: The Gift.
In the hopes of escaping his past as a notorious outlaw, “Wild Bill” Hickok seeks redemption as a small town lawman. Unfortunately, as the titular gunslinger discovers, the past has a way of catching up with you in HICKOK, a frontier thriller starring Luke Hemsworth (“Westworld”) in his first leading role in a feature film; the period Western from Cinedigm and Status Media also stars Trace Adkins (Stagecoach, Traded, Deepwater Horizon), Country Music Hall of Famer and Golden Globe®-winner Kris Kristofferson (Traded, A Star is Born, Blade, Billy the Kid) and Oscar®-nominee Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Nebraska). On July 7, HICKOK opens theatrically in ten markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Kansas City; and, day-and-date, it will also be available on demand and Digital HD.
The story of the West’s most notorious gunslinger and his road to redemption, HICKOK finds the infamous, hard-drinking outlaw (Hemsworth) in 1870’s Abilene, Kansas, seeking to start a new life. Captivated by Wild Bill’s unparalleled gun skills, the mayor, George Knox, (Kristofferson) quickly ropes him in as the town marshal. Recognizing the need to clamp down on the wildest cow-town in the west, Hickok soon finds himself at the center of a controversial ordinance while dispensing his own brand of frontier justice. His attempts to protect Abilene, however, are quickly challenged by a band of outlaws led by powerful saloon owner, Phil Poe (Adkins). And when Poe places a bounty on Wild Bill’s head, the marshal, with the help of outlaw turned lawman John Wesley Hardin, makes a stand for Abilene and his new life, while putting his reputation as the fastest draw in the west on the line.
Shot on the dusty, turn-of-the-century sets like Melody Ranch, which is also home to HBO’s hit series “Westworld,” the action-packed HICKOK, directed by Timothy Woodward Jr. (Traded, Weaponized, 4Got10) and written by Michael Lanahan, is filled with gritty authenticity. Co-stars include Cameron Richardson (Flashburn, “Murder in the First”, Alvin and the Chipmunks) as Hickok’s old flame, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereasu (American Violence, Den of Thieves) as Hardin aka Little Arkansas and Robert Catrini (“Bosch,” Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) as Sheriff Akers.
“Classic westerns hold a special place in my heart, so having the opportunity to bring such a compelling and iconic story to the screen was a real pleasure,” says director Timothy Woodward Jr. “It was such an incredible honor to work with two of the western genres living legends, Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Dern, and to watch Luke Hemsworth so successfully take on the challenge of portraying one of the west’s most recognizable heroes. The entire cast really brought the old west to life.“
The 89-year-old actor, who is best known for playing the iconic titular secret agent from 1973 until 1985, may not be reprising his role as 007 anytime soon, but when asked if he’d like to have a cameo role in future films, he said he wouldn’t turn down the chance to “expand the family coffers”
Sir Roger had plenty of praise for former Bond, Sean Connery – who played the role in seven movies between 1962 and 1983 – and current star Daniel Craig. If it wasn’t for Connery, he doesn’t think they would have released more than six movies.
According to Sky News, Sir Roger told press at the Southbank Centre in London: “I think that Sean (Connery) was obviously the great Bond.
“He was obviously the right person, he brought the right personality to the performance, otherwise Bond would not have gone on past the first six that he did. He was a tremendous Bond.
“Today, I think we’re very lucky to have Daniel Craig because he is quite extraordinary; I always say that Sean looked like a killer – but Daniel Craig would finish it off.
“When I saw Casino Royale, I thought that Daniel Craig did more action in the first seven minutes than I did in seven movies.”
He recently said: “I think Aidan would make a very good Bond.”
Roger wouldn’t be the only acting veteran to give Aidan the seal of approval, as Robin Ellis – who played the role of Ross Poldark in the original 1970s version of the BBC series – previously branded him as “quite capable” of playing James Bond.
He said: “I like Aidan. I think he’s doing a wonderful job as Ross. He looks great and has a brooding presence. He’s registered enormously with the public, and that’s terrific.
“I think he’d be an excellent Bond. Aidan is a good actor and the first 007, Sean Connery, was a very good actor. Aidan is quite capable of doing that part. Good luck to him if he gets it. I’ll be very pleased for him.”
Author: BANG Showbiz
“To Joey, With Love,” the stirring journey of husband and wife Joey and Rory Feek (2010 Academy of Country Music Top New Vocal Duo), grossed more than $1.2M at the box office in just over 750 locations and generated two times the per-screen attendance average of any other film on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. After adding more than 100 theaters earlier this month due to popular demand, this title became the highest-attended Fathom event in the inspirational category for 2016.
Fathom Events, Provident Films and Hickory Films will present a special encore screening of the touching and emotional documentary, “To Joey, With Love,” in U.S. cinemas on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. local time.
“To Joey, With Love” takes audience members through the moving moments of Joey and Rory’s last two years together, from the birth of their daughter Indiana, born with Down Syndrome, through Joey’s struggle with, and ultimate surrender to, cancer amidst their never-ending hope in something far greater.
– Country Girl CMTT
1. Early Years
Cavill was born on Jersey in the Channel Islands, a territory of the English Crown. He has four brothers and was bullied as a child by his classmates, who called him “Fat Cavill” because he was overweight. He attended the Stowe School in England. His early film roles include the 2002 adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo along with Red Riding Hood and Tristan & Isolde. He starred on Showtime’s series The Tudors from 2007 to 2010, and was cast in Man of Steel in January 2011.
2. Not His First Attempt at a Superhero
Cavill beat out a slew of names for the Man of Steel role, including Joe Manganiello and Armie Hammer. But it wasn’t the first time the British actor had hoped to become a superhero. He had previously auditioned for Batman/Bruce Wayne in Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight series (the role went the Christian Bale) and he screen tested for Superman: Flyby, which had a script by J.J. Abrams and was, at the time, supposed to be directed by McG. The film was never made. He also came close to becoming James Bond for Casino Royale, but that role went to current Bond Daniel Craig.
3. Russell Crowe is His Mentor
Crowe, who starred in Man of Steel with Cavill is much more than just a colleague to Cavill. When Cavill was just starting out, working as extra in 2000 on the set of Proof of Life, he asked Crowe for advice. A few days later, Cavill received a package from Crowe that included a signed photo that read: “Dear Henry: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
4. The Dating Game
Cavill, 32, is currently dating a 19-year-old college student named Tara King, whom he brought to the Batman v Superman premiere. “People say, ‘Age is just a number.’ A lot of times it’s not just a number. It’s actually a real and true sign of someone’s maturity. But in this case, she’s fantastic,” he recently told Elle magazine. He added: “When I was 19, I was going out with a 32-year-old.” He had a previous on-again-off-again relationship with actress/mixed martial artist Gina Carano and briefly dated The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco. He was previously engaged to British Showjumper Ellen Whitaker in May 2011, but they broke up later that year.
5. What’s Next
Cavill will put back on the cape and tights for The Justice League Part One and Part Two. Part One hits theaters on Nov 17, 2017 while Part 2 is slated for June 14, 2019. He’s also finished work on Sand Castle, a war drama set in Iraq about a squad of U.S. soldiers try to protect a small village. Nicholas Hoult also stars.
– Hollywood Reporter