Interview with Brendan Wayne

By Stephanie Tardugno,

Brendan Wayne is the grandson of legendary actor John Wayne, and he is also starring in Universal Picture‘s highly-anticipated action film Cowboys & Aliens. Brendan recently caught up with TheCelebrityCafe.com’s Stephanie Tardugno to discuss the film and his role.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: I know that you are going to be in the highly-anticipated film Cowboys and Aliens!

Brendan Wayne: Am I? [laughs]

TheCelebrityCafe.com: Oh you’re not sure?

Brendan Wayne: If you say so, then I believe you!

TheCelebrityCafe.com: [Laughs] Well, then why don’t you tell me a little bit about the film?

Brendan Wayne: It’s a really cool mash-up of two genres: the sci-fi and the western. Really, at the end of the day, I think it’s as traditional a western as you’re gonna get. It’s really cool to work on. There’s a lot of action, but at the same time, it has that traditional western feel. Humanity overcoming something bigger than them, and that’s kind of like the story of the old traditional western. And we’ve got all of the classic characters, which is really cool, you know from the sheriff to the drifter to the really sexy girl. It’s really fun, and I play Deputy Lyle and he’s kind of like the simple guy who just upholds integrity and wants to get the people back and make sure everybody is safe!

TheCelebrityCafe.com: Can you go into a little more depth about your character?

Brendan Wayne: Yeah! I play the deputy to Keith Carradine, the Sheriff, and together we represent the law and order of the town. And my character, as I like to describe him, is kind of a simple guy. Not a lot of words, but shows more through action. He really gets after these aliens after they come and start affecting us. We go – Dan Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, and myself – we get after these guys to get them back.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: Now how did you get involved and get the role?

Brendan Wayne: My wife and I were doing a play, that we produced, out in Hollywood. And the casting director showed up and she really loved the play and really loved what I was doing. She said I looked perfect to play a blue-collar type fella. And I went in and I read for it, and usually after about a week later, a week and a half later, you hear something. I didn’t hear anything! So I figured I was out of it. Well, two months down the road, I get a call that says, “Hey you’re going in for a horseback riding callback.” And I was like, “Get out of here! I’m still up for this thing?! That’s really cool!” So I went and grabbed my horse and put him in the trailer and drove down to the callback and showed up with my own horse. I think that was a good move on my part because nobody else did. And from there, they told me I was leaving in a week to go to do this movie. Next thing I know, I’m on a plane, met with Jon and showed up on set!

TheCelebrityCafe.com: Did you know what movie you were auditioning for at the time?

Brendan Wayne: I knew what movie I was auditioning for. Over time, I figured out who was going to be in it, but initially, I thought it was just some kind of low budget thing. I was like who’s doing a movie called Cowboys and Aliens, like come on! They’re like, oh nobody special, just Spielberg and Howard. And I was like, “What?!” And then they said, “Oh and Favreau’s directing.” I was like, “Do I have to give up one of my three kids?” It was really cool.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: I’m hoping you didn’t have to give up one of your kids!

Brendan Wayne: Not as far as I know, though I didn’t read the whole contract. We’ll see what happens! [Laughs]

TheCelebrityCafe.com: So what was it like working with some big names?

Brendan Wayne: Well, you know, I grew up around big people. And I sat on Ronald Reagan’s lap, and he was Uncle Ronny to me, and I guess he was the president to everybody else. You know, that kind of thing. So I generally don’t get overwhelmed, or impressed. But when I got there, in comes Han Solo and Indiana Jones – this guy [Harrison Ford] who I’ve spent more time outside of the theater waiting to go see him than I have actually watching his movies. Like Star Wars, I waited ten hours. The Empire Strikes Back, I’m pretty sure we waited 12 hours. I was talking about it with my brother, who I did this with, I waited 8 hours outside of a theater to see the first one. You know, that makes it a different thing. And I heard Jon say, “Hey he’s our generation’s John Wayne.” But I’d go even further. I’d let him be his own man because he’s earned it. And that is really cool.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: I know that you’re John Wayne’s grandson. Are you a big fan of westerns?

Brendan Wayne: I love westerns! I think they’re interwoven into the fabric of our country and represent the hard work that we all do. In movies, we represent the things that we want most in our society. And my grandfather kind of represented that. Plus, westerns are a great way to tell stories that you’ve seen ten million times to a new generation in a different way.

So to see Jon take these two genres side-by-side is quite amazing! You’ve got a brilliant storyteller telling a wonderfully written story that gets two completely different factions brought in. And a huge demographic! You’re able to do all of that in one movie. It’s going to be able to create a conversation between generations.

TheCelebrityCafe.com: So do you have any other upcoming plans?

Brendan Wayne: I do. I’m about to do a movie called The Red House. It’s a horror movie, which I’ve never done, so I’m very excited. I grew up watching horror movies, then when I had kids I stopped. I don’t know why, it’s like something just changed in my DNA, and I couldn’t watch them anymore. But now I get to go act in one, which is really cool. So I’m gonna try to show it to any perspective boyfriends of my daughters, because I have three daughters. I want to make sure they see me in it because it’s pretty gruesome! [Laughs]. Then after that, depending on how Cowboys does, I’m going to do another western out in Spain called Dollars from Hell. I’m really excited about that, as well!



Image by Michael Rozman.

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