Katrina Elam Plays It Strait in ‘Pure Country 2′ Role
Katrina Elam has come a long way from her singing debut in an Oklahoma 4-H talent show in 1992. In addition to her success as a singer and songwriter, she's now added the title of actress to her credits. And with her role as Bobbie Thomas in 'Pure Country 2: The Gift,' the long-awaited sequel to the original film starring George Strait, Katrina has also made a lifelong dream come true.
"I just really wanted to meet George Strait," Katrina jokingly told reporters during a news conference at the Dallas Ritz-Carlton. "I certainly have never thought about being an actress; it still kind of cracks me up. But it was fun. I thought, 'Why not? I'm an adventurous person, so I'll try it.' I'm glad I did it."
Katrina was cast as an aspiring singer who, as a baby receives the gift of a divine voice from three angels, and is required follow three rules (never lie, always be fair and never break a promise) in order to keep her "gift." In the film, Bobbie leaves her hometown and heads for Nashville, so, naturally, Katrina used her own life lessons as a struggling artist (who earned her first song-publishing deal at 16) to inform and personalize the role.
"What I learned was maybe what you don't want is fame and like all the craziness," says Katrina. "Maybe what you want to do is just make music. And that's where I come from and that's how I relate to the character. I just want to do what I do, and I want to do it well enough hopefully to get paid enough to live. But I'm not gonna sell my soul, and I'm not gonna make my personal life sacrifice too much for that."
Although LeAnn Rimes was approached for the lead role, she reportedly turned it down, and the film was shelved. In the meantime, Katrina was facing her own difficulties in kick-starting her career. When she lost her record deal, her sophomore album, 'Turn Me Up,' went unreleased. But she stayed increasingly in demand as a songwriter, penning 'I Want a Cowboy' for Reba McEntire's 'Keep on Loving You' album, 'Change' for Carrie Underwood's 'Play On,' and two tracks for Rascal Flatts' upcoming project, 'Nothing Like This.' Four songs from her unreleased album have also landed on the 'Pure Country 2' soundtrack and two songs she co-wrote are also in the film.
"The little snotty part of me is like, 'Ha ha, told you they were good,'" she said with a laugh. "I loved that project so much ... so it's nice to see them coming to life again."
But for the young girl from Oklahoma, who stepped on that 4-H stage in 1992, at the very same time George Strait hit the big screen in the original film, sharing the stage with the King was obviously an honor.
"I grew up watching the first 'Pure Country' and obviously love George Strait," she said. "Just to meet him for the first time was incredible. And to get to do scenes with him and see what a sweetheart he is was incredible."
'Pure Country 2' opens in theaters today, October 15. To find out where it is playing near you, click here.