Toby Keith holds confab to discuss upcoming film
BILL FRISKICS-WARREN - STAFF WRITER
Country singer Toby Keith held a press conference at BMI Thursday afternoon to talk about his new movie, Beer For My Horses. Due to hit theaters Aug. 8, the feature takes its name from Keith's single of the same name, but the film, he was quick to point out, is nothing like the video for the song.
"The movie is more of a comedy, a tip of the hat to Burt Reynolds," he explained to the crowd of 40 or so journalists who had packed into BMI's conference room for the briefing. "I wanted it be 48 Hours meets Smoky and the Bandit."
Writing the screenplay, he added, "was something I wanted to prove I could do. It was one of the most creative things I've ever done, and I had great time doing it."
Directed by Michael Salomon, who has done award-winning videos for Keith and all of the singer's Ford truck commercials, the comedy tells the story of Joe Bill "Rack" Racklin, an Oklahoma deputy sheriff who goes through romantic ups and downs as he matches wits with a Mexican drug lord.
Keith and Salomon did all the casting, assembling a terrific group of actors that includes everyone from Claire Forlani (CSI: NY), Barry Corbin and Tom Skerritt to Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis and gonzo rocker and hunting buff Ted Nugent.
"(Ted) is an incredible person," Keith said of working with Nugent. "He has a magnificent vocabulary; however, he can be as rude and crude as anybody who walks the earth."
At one point, Keith added, a cottontail rabbit crossed the movie set. Nugent, who still had his crossbow in hand from the scene they had just finished filming, shot the animal and gutted it, right in front of all the Hollywood types there on location.