Kris Kristofferson Fills Big Shoes in ‘Provinces of Night’
Kris Kristofferson's character of the wayward father in the film 'Provinces of Night' was originally written for Johnny Cash, but before the movie was made, it became apparent that the iconic Man in Black would be unable to do the role.
"I immediately thought of Johnny when I was working on the screenplay," writer Earl Brown tells The Boot. "I was on a plane and someone was reading a story about him and in the story he was asked if there was anything else he wanted to do and he said another movie. So I met with his family and they asked us to do a group reading and tape it for him. The week we did the reading, June died. We knew at that point that he would not do it."
Earl and director Shane Taylor's next choice for the role was Kris Kristofferson, who read the script about a father who had abandoned his family when his three sons were very young and now wants to come home. Kris liked it, and agreed to take on the role of E.W. Bloodworth.
"Then we got Dwight Yoakam to come on board as one of his sons, and we asked Val Kilmer to take the part of another son," Shane said. "Earl is doing the part of the third son. Reece Thompson portrays the grandson. Hank [Wiliiams] III does a guest appearance, and Claudia Church -- Rodney Crowell's wife, portrays the wife of Dwight's character. We got some amazing music from Rodney, Steve Earle and other great artists. There will also be a soundtrack released from the movie."
The version of 'Provinces of Night' that premiered at the Nashville Film Festival this week was a rough cut, so someone who saw it in Nashville and sees it in theaters when it is released later this year may find a few surprises in the final version.
"Kris has an original song that's the theme to the film," says Earl, "and we would like him to do one more song for it. We would like to have his voice at the end of the movie, because with what happens at the end it would just be a cool thing to do."
When asked if Kris met their expectations in his role as the crusty father who returns home to find his sons bitter and his grandson the only family member who treats him with respect, the answer was a resounding yes.
"He exceeded our expectations," Shane says. "It was interesting being around him, because he knows he's Kris Kristofferson but he's not impressed. He has the 'it' factor, whatever that is, and he still gets the attention of the women when he's around them. It was an honor to get to work with him."
'Provinces of Night' is based on a novel by William Gay, who lives near Nashville. There is no release date for the movie at this time.