At the supple young age of 77, singer–songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson holds a place in everyone’s hearts, whether it be for his musical deftness or his acting chops having appeared in the best part of 100 feature films. Despite undergoing an elective heart bypass operation back in 1999 nothing was ever going to get in his way and to this very day he always has a plethora of film projects on the go. In whatever free time his he has outside his acting work he doesn’t stop, taking to the road with his band to play live music as often as is physically possible.
A sound example of his most recent acting work is the thriller, Deadfall which finds him in the shoes of Chet Mills, father to Jay (played by Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam) and husband of June Mills (Sissy Spacek). Chet and his family’s Thanksgiving dinner is suddenly flung into turmoil when they find themselves accompanied by brother and sister (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) on the run in the aftermath of a botched casino robbery.
Kris was good enough to speak with us all about the film although, given the fact he is in such high demand and has so much on the go, he had to do his utmost to recall his on-set experiences.
So Deadfall sees its UK release very soon. I recently interviewed the film’s director, Stefan Ruzowitzky and he said that you were one of his first choices for the film as he saw you as this very iconic, fatherly figure. Would you say it was those particular features that drew you to this role?
Well *laughs* I really didn’t have much to do in this film as my character was just sat at the dining room table most of the time. Having said that, it was really cool to get to work with the cast and crew involved in the project. This was especially true with Sissy who is an actress I have always admired but, believe it or not, never had the opportunity to work with before.
Yes I heard you were keen to work with her, to say the least. Put me out of my misery here. Is it true that there was a cut scene of the two of you? I heard that the script read that you were supposed to just give her a quick peck on the cheek but for some reason or other that ended up going a little bit further than expected.
*Bursts into laughter* To be honest I couldn’t really tell you what happened there. When you get to my age most of those things have a habit of turning into a bit of a blur.
Alright, I’ll take your word for it. Let’s put it down to selective memory.
What works so well with this film is that although it has its fair share of butt-kicking there is so much more to it. Something that is very apparent throughout the film is that the female of the species plays the dominant role, as is often the case in Ruzowitzky’s films. This is certainly true for Sissy. Did she and yourself meet eye to eye when it came to deciding just how you wanted to portray your on-screen relationship?
Well, to be honest, this whole dominant wife idea came across very clearly in the script and it was great to find that Sissy had exactly the same approach to acting as me so we didn’t really argue about that at all. And I was totally in favour of Sissy dominating me so I had zero problems with that.
So now you’ve worked with one of your favourite actresses, is there anyone on the long list of great actors that you still haven’t worked with who you would like to tick off that bucket list?
Aww, listen, to be totally honest, I really couldn’t care if I never do another film now. I mean, sure I’d love to work with any great actors…….. and even some bad ones *laughs*. I’m just really happy to be able to keep on doing something that I enjoy so much.
Definitely, considering your age and the amount of different projects you’ve got going on constantly, I don’t know how you manage it. Although you say you aren’t bothered about doing any more films there are a few things you have in the pipeline such as a festive film coming out this Christmas with Harry Connick Jr called Angels Sing?
That’s right, but let me just check when that is coming out for you….
(He calls out to someone on the other end of the line with him to ask when that film is out as he cannot remember).
Yeah that’s right, it’s supposed to be coming out this Christmas.
Kris you seem to have so many things going on I’m not surprised you can’t remember them all!
Oh I do! My old brain just isn’t what it used to be, especially after all that boxing and football. It’s all catching up with me now but as long as I can still sing my songs I’ll still carry on.
So you can still remember your lyrics but how do you manage when it comes to remembering all your lines in film scripts? You seem to be on the ball in all the recent films I have seen you in but would you say that too is getting harder with time?
Well no, not really. I mean, when I’m doing films it’s not like being in a play where everything has to be so much more exaggerated in front of an audience. When I find myself in front of the camera it is so much easier to become the character and create it realistically so I really don’t suffer any problems regarding the scripts.
Kris proves this point regally in Deadfall which you can pre-order on DVD right now. We’d like to thank Kris for his time and we’ll leave you with a trailer for the movie. Doon’t forget you can read our review right here also.