Trace Adkins Keeps the Music, Movies (and Books?) Rolling
Trace Adkins has more than music notes dancing around in his head right now. The man who is just as well-known for his outspoken comments and songs that fall just a little left of center is also a comic-book hero and an actor. And to broaden his acting resume, he's headed to Los Angeles to join Matthew McConaughey in 'The Lincoln Lawyer.'
Trace once said his ideal role would be that of a gunslinger who rides into town, takes care of business and rides off-screen without ever saying a word. The singer will be riding a different kind of horse in his new movie role as the leader of a biker gang. He says riding a motorcycle and leading a gang of men in leather jackets and boots will not be a hard task for him.
"These things I get the opportunity to do are things that fit into my schedule, and they're not a stretch for me as an actor," Trace tells The Boot in his Louisiana drawl. "In the McConaughey movie, I'm not trying to be Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing Truman Capote. I keep things pretty much in my wheel house. It's like if someone asked me to go play Trace Adkins in a movie, I'd say, 'Uh, I'll see if I can do that'."
'The Lincoln Lawyer' has McConaughey playing Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who works out of the back of his Lincoln. Haller is accustomed to representing less-than-desirable clients, including bikers and drug dealers, after he mishandled a case that still haunts him. He tries to do his best in his endeavors, which are usually low-paying cases. Suddenly he's approached to represent a real estate agent with lots of money who has been charged with sexual assault. Although it seems a pretty straight-forward job, Haller finds himself involved in a murder case after his best friend, Raul Levin, is shot while investigating the playboy's background.
The movie has already begun filming in Los Angeles and is currently set to hit theaters in the spring of 2011.
Trace admits there's not much he has to do to get ready for his role. He jokingly says, "I just put on a leather jacket and ride the bike, so it's gonna be fun. I'm looking forward to it."
In a more serious tone, he admits he's already talked to the director of the movie, Brad Furman. "He asked if I had any ideas for the role, and we talked a little bit about it. I haven't talked to him since so we'll see what he comes up with. I like the part I've got, I like the dialogue, and I like what my character says. It's a good story and a good movie."
Trace and McConaughey already have a connection -- the singer mentions the actor in 'Hell, I Can Do that,' one of the tunes on his new album, 'Cowboy's Back in Town.' He gave Matthew a copy of the song when the two were on the Academy of Country Music Awards show in Las Vegas. No word on what the actor thinks of being immortalized in a Trace Adkins tune.
Trace has already filmed another movie, 'Lifted,' which shot on locations in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this year. The story is dear to Trace's heart as it is about a 12-year-old boy whose father is in the military and stationed overseas. Trace is known for his association with the Wounded Warriors Project and for doing USO tours and speaking out for the men and women in the military.
Another role that would mean a lot to Trace is that of Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in the movie 'Cleburne.' Preliminary announcements have Irish-born actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers playing Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, the Confederate general who came up with the plan to enlist slaves to fight for the South during the Civil War, and gave them their freedom when they enlisted. The story is set during 1864 with much of the action taking place during the Battle of Franklin (Tenn).
"I don't know if that movie is gonna happen," Trace admits, adding, "I've been told they have money, but I don't know. I haven't heard anything else about it. It's just like the pilot I shot for 'Tough Trade,' I haven't heard any word since we finished shooting it. I don't count my chickens before they hatch. I don't know if 'Cleburne' will be made in the foreseeable future, but I would relish playing Forrest in that movie and I look forward to it if it does happen."
The Civil War buff says his attraction to the time period comes from the the desperation of that era, adding that he's a sucker for the underdog. "Anybody who is gonna stand up against overwhelming odds is just heroic in my opinion, if they don't have some kind of insane death wish, which none of those people did. They thought it was the right thing to do. We have to learn from history. Kids aren't taught enough history. What's going on today is a perfect example. I thought we had settled the state's rights issue but there is all this uproar over the law Arizona passed, so I guess we didn't."
Trace says he's content with doing the movie roles that come his way and fit into his schedule. Even though he enjoys acting, he has no desire to put music behind him to play some major role.
"I had the opportunity to have a role in 'Red Dawn' (a remake of the 1884 action film starring Patrick Swayze, about a group of high school students turned guerrilla fighters at the start of World War III), but I didn't get to do it. I just could not do it with the time commitment it required. I thought that would be fun; I was a fan of 'Red Dawn,' and remember when that came out the first time."
The only other movie role Trace sees in his immediate future could be that of Luke McBain, if his comic-book series jumps to the big screen. While the singer says he's not seen a huge increase in fans at his concerts who are coming to see him because of the series, he sees a lot of fans bringing copies of the comic book for him to sign.
"I really wanted to go to that comic book convention back in July but I couldn't work out it," Trace says with a shake of his head. "We had gigs all of the time it was going on. I even tried to fly from Seattle to San Diego to be there one day but there just wasn't enough time to do it."
Nor has the former 'Celebrity Apprentice' contestant had time for another project that he'd like to get written, his second book. His first effort as an author, ' A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck,' was released in 2007.
"I've really thought about the book thing and I almost pulled the trigger on it a couple weeks ago but I'm so busy touring with Toby Keith and promoting this album that I just don't see how I could do it right now. I don't know when I'll do it, but I will eventually. It will be political in nature, my observations and opinions again, but probably instead of trying to cover the entire gamut, I'll pick one issue and go as deep as I can go into it."
In the meantime, Trace is busy with the release of 'Cowboy's Back in Town.' He continues on Toby Keith's American Ride tour, playing four days in a row beginning August 26 in Moline, Ill, then continuing on to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Detroit.