I attended the red carpet and screening of the world premiere of the film “To Kill a Memory,” starring country superstar Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn. The film is a western about U.S. Marshall Duke Donovan (Kix Brooks); who is imprisoned after he was seen as accomplice in a bank robbery. Marshall Donovan finds out that his wife is in danger and now must escape prison to get to his wife in time to save her. I interviewed lead actor, Kix Brooks, actor/co-writer William Shockley and director/co-writer Dustin Rikert on the red carpet at the premiere.
Hi, Kix. So, I know you are starting to get into the acting gig. I know you were involved with acting in college, so what made you want to get back into it?
Kix Brooks: It’s just really fun. People keep asking me why Brooks and Dunn broke up, and it’s just that we had a great twenty year run in music, Ronnie and I. There are so many other things that appeal to both of us, and it was time to chase other dreams down. I’ve always wanted to act, so it was fortunate that I hooked up with the guys on this film that I really like a lot, who are very creative people and great writers. Plus, I am just having a lot of fun doing this.
What made you take this role?
Kix Brooks: Every kid growing up in Texas or Louisiana wants to grow up to be a cowboy. It’s a role that you dream about. When they asked me to do this role, and I found out it was the lead, I said “man, I don’t want to screw up your movie”. But then I took home the script and after reading it, I told my wife that if I don’t take this role, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I got try it. So I studied real hard, got in great shape, and got some help on set from some of my fellow cast members, some great old pros, that gave me the confidence to do my best and have fun with it.
Now, we know Brooks and Dunn as a group is done but you’re not done making music, are you?
Kix Brooks: No sir, I have been touring all year. I’ve got a new album out called “New to This Town,” that just came out. I’ve been having a great time touring, making music with four former band members from the old Brooks and Dunn gang and we added a couple of hot pickers to the band. We’ve been touring clubs and playing lots of music festivals. I’ve really been enjoying getting out there, back to where I came from. We’re playing loud and hard, really enjoying the experience.
You guys co-wrote the film, so which one came up with the storyline for this film?
William Shockley: He did.
Dustin Rikert: Yep, it was me.
What was the inspiration for this film?
Dustin Rikert: When I first got into making movies professionally, I came up with this idea and held onto it for a lot of years. I had a chance to sell it to other people over the years, but my wife convinced me to hold onto the project until I could make it myself. She told me to wait until I met the right people to make the film. William and I became film partners about five years ago, and things just clicked. We wrote a new screenplay together and then we hired Kix to be our lead.
William Shockley: Yeah, we worked with Kix on another film of ours called “Thriftstore Cowboy.” It was during that film that right after it wrapped, Dustin and I looked at each other and said Kix is our guy for “To Kill a Memory.” We gave Kix a script to read and he went home to Nashville, read it and then he asked us, do you really think I can do the lead. And we said, yeah, we believe you are Marshall Donovan and you can do it.
You have been in the acting business for quite a while, including your role as the saloon owner on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” What’s is like acting from your own script, performing words you have written?
William Shockley: It’s surreal and beautiful, it really is. Because everything is about the script. The greatest actors in the world can’t make a crappy script come to life. So to see actors performing words that I have written with Dustin is a beautiful experience. It’s touching and humbling at the same time.
What made you want to take a chance on Kix for your lead of your film?
William Shockley: He just nailed the part in “Thriftstore Cowboy.” When Brooks and Dunn broke up, Kix acted in our film which just premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival. And he killed it in that role, so we made him the lead in this film.
Dustin Rikert: He did such a good job on that film in a supporting role that we knew he was ready to take the lead.
William Shockley: Look, Kix is from Nashville, and is a country superstar. He rides horses and shoots guns and is a real man’s man. To us, he was Marshall Donovan.
Dustin Rikert: Kix really worked hard for the role. He got a trainer and lost 15 pounds. He brought the goods. He even worked a couple of months ahead of time with the guns, so that he was comfortable using them on screen. He worked really hard for this role, showing us that he cared about this film.
Thanks guys and good luck with the film.
My Review: “To Kill a Memory” (2012) U.S. Marshall, Duke Donovan (Kix Brooks) who is imprisoned after he was seen as an accomplice in a robbery. Several of the bank robbers evaded arrest and now Marshall Donovan finds out that his wife is in danger. Marshall Donovan must now not only escape prison, but get to his wife in time to save her. This is Kix Brooks’ 2nd feature film, and it shows, as Brooks comes off as very wooden and stiff. Co-writers William Shockley (who also appears in the film) and Dustin Rikert (who also directed the film) give Brooks almost no dialogue in the film, choosing him to the be strong silent type. The film jumps around the storyline a number of times, but the storytelling is so predictable and formula-driven that it’s easy to figure out what is going to happen next. Mr. Brooks also did the soundtrack, which does have some good songs, but there are so many montage sequences with the songs that the film feels more like a music video than a feature film.
My Rating: Cable