Hank3 Talks New Hank Williams Movie & Upcoming Tour
Hank William III, or Hank3 as he goes by, has been causing quite a stir over the last few weeks from his vocal concern about his grandfather being portrayed by British actor Tom Hiddleston in the upcoming biopic I Saw The Light. The 3rd generation performer has been posting his thoughts on Facebook, been quoted by TMZ, and has been leaving comments right here on Saving Country Music saying that an American, or a Southerner, or someone else besides Hiddleston would be a better fit for the role of Hank Williams. Coupled with Hank3’s hard-edged style, he’s come off as abrasive to some, while many Hank Williams fans agree with his sentiment and are concerned about the direction the biopic is taking.
When I spoke to Hank3 today for an extended period, I didn’t find a cocky, closed-minded individual suspicious of a foreign actor and who secretly wishes he would have been considered for the role (Hank3 does have some acting experience, and even his hardest detractors must admit he looks and sounds the part). What I found was a man seriously conflicted, being eaten up not just by the idea of Hiddleston playing his grandfather, but that the entire biopic project was commencing on an unsturdy foundation. He also feels bad for the position his criticism is putting Hiddleston and his vocal coach Rodney Crowell in. “For some reason it is deeply embedding in my skull and I can’t get it out,” he says. “Just the fact of why the hell is this bothering me right now because I’ve got a hell of a lot of other stuff on my plate right now.”
Hank3 is currently prepping to embark on a West Coast tour where he’ll be playing shows that could stretch to three or four hours, and as his own tour manager, he is busy rounding up crew and gear, and finalizing all preparations. Worrying about Tom Hiddleston’s Hank Williams role should be the last thing from his mind. But here he is amidst a public skirmish involving huge press outlets and international players.
For the first time since the issues with I Saw The Light arose, I talk to Hank3 in depth about the movie and his concerns, as well as about what fans can expect from his upcoming tour and if any new music is on the way.
Check Hank3 Tour Dates
You’ve been a vocal opponent of the choice of Tom Hiddleston to play your grandfather Hank Williams in the upcoming biopic I Saw The Light. You’ve already spoken a lot on the subject publicly, but what did seeing the first videos of Tom Hiddleston perform your grandfather’s music tell you about Hiddleston’s ability to pull off the role genuinely?
Unfortunately the way they’re approaching it is doing it in the public eye, so that in itself doesn’t seem very smart. If he’s supposed to be working on his craft to really dial in this role, doing it in front of folks is probably not the best way to do it. And then, if you’re going to put it publicity out there and have him singing and then put a link to Hank Williams singing next to it? Yeah, that’s really bad. Unfortunately, they’re acting like he’s going to be singing a lot in the movie, and that in itself is a letdown. Almost everyone that I talk to hears no resemblance, and it’s alright if there’s no resemblance. Hopefully the acting will make up for it. But the main point that I will still stand by no matter what happens in the future, I still think for an Americana icon, an American needs to play that role. To have a good foundation, and to make the best of a movie, and to take it to the next level and make it feel as real as possible, yeah… My example is the Coal Miner’s Daughter movie. It’s a very well-made movie that people could identify with on many levels.
For some reason, this is really bothering me. I don’t know why. I don’t have anything to lose or gain from it. But for the approach that is happening with this movie is just not sitting right with me. And it’s not just me. There’s a lot of people I talk to out there that just don’t understand it. And this isn’t about Tom [Hiddleston]. This is about the choice. I’m not out to diss his acting or anything like that. I’m just going to shoot from the hip. I don’t think it’s a good pick, especially hearing what I did. Anyone can sing in a low register like that. I don’t hear any nasal twang to it. I honestly just want to see the best movie that can be made, because it’s been a while since they’ve made one that’s been good. Your Cheatin’ Heart had some moments, but honestly, Audrey [Hank’s wife] killed that script, and took out most of the real things about it. I guess I’m so vocal about it because I care, and I want to see the best movie made. I try to let it get out of my head, and God only knows why this one is rubbing me raw, but it is.
Well this is supposed to be the definitive biopic, or at least that’s how they’re portraying it, based off of Colin Escott’s biography which is the definitive biography of Hank Williams. So this is the big one.
Yeah, I may have a shady reputation here and there and might say some things, but all in all I’m pretty humble about what I do, and I’m not out to put anybody down. But when it comes to something as important as this, I have to say some things. It goes from the street, all the way up to the corporate level in Nashville. There’s already a lot of people shaking their heads. And I know it just puts Tom [Hiddleston] in a bad situation.
To get into those areas that are really deep, you need to getting into the areas around here. Here in Tennessee, in Alabama, in Louisiana, to live it, eat it and breathe it. When Johnny Depp did Hunter S. Thompson, where was he? He was living in Hunter’s basement. No disrespect to Rodney Crowell, but there’s two Hank Williams walking this earth right now.
I know you have no direct say so in the Hank Williams estate; that’s handled by Jr. and Jett. But it doesn’t sound like they reached out to you at all to get consultation, or even to vet the populous to try and find the best person to play Hank Williams. You have may not wanted the role even if it was offered to you, but the resemblance is there both with your voice and your likeness. Why wouldn’t they reach out for a screen test? You’ve done some acting in the past. Did they even reach out just to say, “Hey, we know your passion for your grandfather, why don’t you come in and at least give us your advice or consultation?” None of that happen with you or your father [Hank Jr.]?
Yeah, there’s been nothing. And that could be because of politics, and because I don’t have that big time mover and shaker manager in my corner. But no one has approach me, and I’m a very easy to get to guy.
And unfortunately, the BBC, the Europeans, they all have a huge appreciation for Hank Williams. That’s not a question in my mind. There is a true love there. But for the role, and for the movie, it’s just doesn’t feel right. It’s going to be hard to look at for someone like me, or someone who is a die hard Hank Williams fan. It’s going to be a very big hurdle to overcome. I know Tom [Hiddleston] has fire in some of his roles, but if you really do your homework on Hank Williams, he was a very cocky individual who would stare you down almost like you were going to be getting into a fight. It’s an intensity that’s kind of different. There’s a lot of things in the nose structure and the jawline, just basic stuff. I’m not trying to gain the press, I’m just giving an opinion. And unfortunately, my opinion isn’t what they’re wanting to hear.
Hypothetically, let’s just say the filmmakers did reach out to you, either in the future or in the past to get your opinions, or to try out for the role. Would you have been receptive to those things, and would you be receptive to those things now?
I tell every director my weakness of what they have to work with, and what they have to pull out of me. I’ve been on a movie set, I’ve done it. People like Earl Brown have said to me, “Well, you can do it, you’ve got it.” It doesn’t matter if people are pitching TV shows at me or documentaries, or anything, I always tell them what I’m like as a person, and what to expect. And then as far as your job as a director, you’re going to have to heighten it to the next level to really get what you need out of me. I’m open, and I tell folks the pluses and the minuses, and I’m the first one to say I’m no super great actor, and I’m no super great singer. I always shoot straight. I do the best that I can, and some folks get it, and some folks don’t. But a lot of people have the potential for this role. It’s just getting the right foundation up under it.
The director is Marc Abraham, and he hasn’t done much directing. He’s mostly a producer; a behind-the-scenes type guy, and he’s done a lot of horror and action films. He’s a guy that definitely has a name in Hollywood, has made a lot of movies, and people know him. But this is only the second film that he’s directed.
As Jeff Bridges would say, a young director, sometimes they don’t know the rules to break. Every movie you make you learn something and it takes time to hone in on your craft. It doesn’t sound like a very seasoned guy for that role. I hate to look at anything just on paper, but if you’re looking at who the lead guy is, who the director is, yeah man, it’s kind of so so, for all that Hank Williams has done.
Some people are saying, “Well, you’re criticizing something that hasn’t even been made yet.” Any movie is going to necessitate the audience to suspend disbelief. But I guess the counterpoint to that would be to speak now or forever hold your peace, because as soon as this movie production begins, people can chirp all they want, but it’s not necessarily going to change anything. What would you say to people who say you’re not even giving it a chance?
I just know that there’s some things there that you can’t teach, no matter how hard you try to polish it or morph it into something you want. And unfortunately, this movie is going in that direction. With this, it’s like, I already know. No matter how much you polish it, it’s not going to hit the potential that it could, just because of what they’re sticking with, or where they could take it. Just like a guitar player that might know a million and one notes and he’s a guitar whiz and all that. But he has no feel. And this is falling under that category. It’s just not going to have much feel, because Tom is already going to be worried about this role, he’s already getting flack over it. Many many people are just not impressed as far as the whole situation around it.
And it definitely puts Rodney Crowell in a strange position. I’m definitely not wanting to be hard on him. But if if Rodney Crowell is the voice coach, it says a lot right there too.
And for some reason it is deeply embedding in my skull and I can’t get it out. Just the fact of why the hell is this bothering me right now because I’ve got a hell of a lot of other stuff on my plate right now.
Well, it’s your grandfather. You’ve been doing this Reinstate Hank campaign for years. You’re one of the biggest champions in trying to preserve his legacy and pay it forward to a new generation. And this movie symbolizes such an amazing opportunity to do that. That’s the promise of the movie if they do it right, is it could have a huge impact on revitalizing the understanding of who Hank Williams was to the American culture and to the music culture of the world.
But I will say, with or without this movie, Hank Williams’ music is still going to do that. I had to bring that up earlier today. No matter, his music is going to be timeless, and movies come and go. At the end of the day, his music and what he did is going to outlast the movie, and be passed on for generations. That is why he is as special as he is.
You’re 41 years old now, which is hard to contemplate for your fans, but probably even harder for you because you’re still doing your punk and metal music, you’re still stretching out shows to four and five hours. Where do you find that energy? It must take a big toll.
I approach every tour like it is my last tour. I am the strongest / weakest person you’ll ever meet. It’s a weird Jekyll and Hyde relationship. It’s just like art—you create, and then you destroy. And when I go out on the road, I’m putting it on the line, I’m taking it to the next level, I put 100% into my shows. Some nights, the voice just feels too good and the audience wants more, and it will end up being a five hour show. But no matter what, I do two hours of country. It’s like I have to go the extra mile to be able to rock out, and to pay respects to my fans and to make sure everyone got their money’s worth, I always do two hours of country, and then I go off into the Hellbilly and all of the other sounds.
It’s pretty intense for right now. And one day it might not be as hard, but where I get that energy and that drive from is playing every show like it’s my last show, and putting it on the line while I can. Because if I make it to my 50’s then yeah maybe I’ll get back into the country fairs and not be as intense. It’s hard to say where I’ll be. You look at Lemmy and you look at Willie. Who knows what the future holds. Right now I’m very proud to have the diverse audience that I have. A lot of people have preconceived notions of about how fame was just handed to me when it’s not been like that. It’s hard to carve out your own niche when you’re standing in the shadows of Hank Sr. and Hank Jr. But I feel comfortable that people have accepted me for Hank3. Not everybody gets it, and not everybody is supposed to. It’s a long show, and it’s a hard one. I’m trying to put on the biggest little show in a bar out there, and know that there’s no one else in the world doing what we’re were doing as far as at the level that we’re at.
Where is your band sitting these days? There’s been a lot of interest if Andy Gibson (steel guitar player) will be returning.
Some of the guys just need a break every now and then. I’m sure when I’m recording another record, I’ll check in and see what’s going on with Andy. Dwayne [Dennison] is not going to be out on this next tour. And just for the record, this last tour was barely able to get off the ground. I got double booked. I got confirmed on a show I didn’t give the go ahead on, and just as of yesterday I got a crew together, so this one has been down to the wire. So were having to work extra hard on this gig.
And word generally on when we could expect a new album or albums, or what we could expect from them once they’re released?
I can’t go off full bore into a whole other project just yet until I break even off of the two records that I released. So once I break even from Brothers of the 4X4 and A Fiendish Threat, then I can start putting my efforts off into either a new country record, or whatever it is. So right now I’ve just been doing a good bit of side work, and playing to keep playing. But there’s nothing officially set at this point. I’m basically in road mode still. And as soon as I hear that I have broken even, I’ll move on to the next one.
September 10, 2014 @ 6:59 pm
Two quotes I found most interesting:
“It goes from the street, all the way up to the corporate level in Nashville. There”™s already a lot of people shaking their heads.”
“No disrespect to Rodney Crowell, but there”™s two Hank Williams walking this earth right now.”
June 25, 2016 @ 3:29 pm
Just the vultures trying to get you Hank – they probably do that so much to you it’s pathetic. I did see the movie (I was around when your grandpa was getting famous – 1949). I was very impressed but I was sad to see so much of your father in it and nothing about Jett. My husband took me to see you in Northern California. You were so wonderful! I enjoyed you singing your grandpa’s songs but I was blown away by yours. (I was the crazy lady who waited with her husband until all the crowned to leave and saw you with two other people. I came up and asked if I could get a hug. You were so sweet and you said ok. I gave you a hug and a kiss and told you I wanted you to please take care of yourself. You gave me another hug and said “I will”….then you reached for a flyer off the wall and autographed it for me. Thank you for making a middle-aged woman (1949 remember? ha!) feel special. I have every CD.
September 10, 2014 @ 6:59 pm
Great to hear from him some more… He seems to be a real genuine person. Wish there was a Spokane or Missoula show in there. Been catching him since he was touring on “Lovesick…” Always my favorite night of the year.
September 10, 2014 @ 7:09 pm
“But I will say, with or without this movie, Hank Williams”™ music is still going to do that. I had to bring that up earlier today. No matter, his music is going to be timeless, and movies come and go. At the end of the day, his music and what he did is going to outlast the movie, and be passed on for generations. That is why he is as special as he is.”
September 10, 2014 @ 7:58 pm
That is a fine interview, Trigger. Thanks for doing that. Hank3 comes across as a thoughtful artist and a caring grandson. Well done by both of you.
September 10, 2014 @ 8:02 pm
I hate to say it, but it’s his own damn fault he wasn’t invited for the role. The people behind this movie, whet is the actors looking for a great gig, the producers/directors and other Hollywood elite, or the Nashville execs behind the scenes, aren’t doing it to portray hank 1 in an accurate, entertaining light. They’re doing it to make bank. Walk the line anyone? And having a foul-mouthed, punk, degenerate, relatively unheard of artist play the signature rule does not compute well in the money making equation.
The average person on the street has never heard of hank 3. Chances are they’ve heard of sr and jr, though. Hell, I’d even go as far as to speculate that more than 50% of self professed country fans have never heard of him.
But they would have if he had played his grandaddy in a movie. They’d have loved it so much, they’d have gone straight home to download his other work. Then they’d gather the family around, fire up the ol ipod, and listened to …. uh …. punch, fight, fuck? Imagine the boycotts. The protests. It’s ok, you don’t have to, the studio already has.
That being said, I’m a huge fan of hank 3’s music, his style, his authenticity, and his sincerity. It’s a shame, because as the author noted, he’s his grandfather’s ghost physically and vocally.
September 10, 2014 @ 8:03 pm
Apologies for the auto correct bs
September 10, 2014 @ 8:27 pm
I never heard him say a word in any of this that he was interested in playing that part.
That has been mentioned and brought up by others because of his family look and his singing career. What I get from this is that he is concerned with the lack of interest by the producers in the family’s point of view and the lack of interest on the actor’s part of connecting with the living “Hank Williamses”, who could give insight into and a “feel” for Hank Williams, Sr.
I never sensed from any of this that he was angling for being considered to play the part. I think he is far more hip than that. What I sense is that this is his family these filmmakers are portraying, and he takes that personally, as any of us would in that circumstance.
Strait Country 81
September 10, 2014 @ 10:14 pm
Nothing to really add.
I’m a big Dukes Of Hazzard fan and live about 10 miles from where Yall flimed.
September 11, 2014 @ 5:12 am
And the thing that scares me most… has the average person heard of Tom Hiddleston?
It tells you a little about the industry perception of this film.
January 18, 2015 @ 1:05 pm
Any body ever heard of HANK WILLIAMS, heard there are 3 or them.Do not cut these Artist short.I grew up listening to HANK 1,later there came along HANK 2,who said his songs aint exactly the same,with all my rowdy friends coming over tonight,and hank 3,who proformed a little different with a touch of 1,and a touch of 2 put together and came on with all The Hank Wiliams.My hat off to all 3 Hanks.
September 11, 2014 @ 6:51 am
How DARE YOU speak of III in that manner. That man is a superbly talented musician, one of, if not THE hardest working man in the music scene out of Tennessee. He lives 20 minutes from me, is a personal friend, and I will NOT allow you to smear him like you did.
September 11, 2014 @ 8:54 am
The person you’re replying to didn’t say Hank III’s music was bad. They said the content of the music was unappealing from a Hollywood marketing perspective. They’re voicing what people MIGHT say (or will probably say) about it. I’m sure Hank III, being in the business as long as he has, knows it too.
September 11, 2014 @ 12:04 pm
As Hank himself says, “Not everybody gets it and that’s fine.”
just a drifter
September 10, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
Well its obvious they aint gonna come off this guy for the part. Fine. But he needs to reach out to Randall or Shelton and see if they’ll have his ass over to teach him a thing or two about Hank Williams. Im afraid this movie will just be another one like walk the line, a money opportunity reaching out to the bro country fans and hipsters. Its a damn shame.
September 10, 2014 @ 9:11 pm
Shelton, I will be seeing you in Salt Lake City in October. I am buying your ticket before I pay for a single damn fine or bill. I am staying until your bus has left the county.
I will be in Overdrive, and as always, my Three Shades Of Black.
September 10, 2014 @ 9:41 pm
i think HANK 3 should star in it. NO ONE, I REPEAT NO ONE COULD SING THE SONGS BETTER.
September 11, 2014 @ 5:18 am
All due respect to everyone involved, but saying that Hank3 should star in this film is kind of like saying he should play the Super Bowl halftime show. It just doesn’t make sense.
It would be nice if they involved him and Bocephus in some way though. Not that I blame him, but speaking out against the lead actor is probably not moving things in that direction.
September 11, 2014 @ 5:41 am
Nobody seems to have stated the obvious when it comes to Hank III playing his grandfather on film”¦. he”™s too old by about twenty years for the role.
There”™s nothing to be done about that. If wishing could make it otherwise I”™d be seventeen again!
September 11, 2014 @ 6:32 am
Again, this discussion is not about Hank3 playing the role. It is about the fact that there are scores of young American actors (including Southerners) who never got a shot at it.
And if you knew your Hank Williams, or look at film of him, you would know that he looked more to be in his forties than his twenties. No one ever thought of him as a young man when he died at 29. He had a lot, I mean a whole lot, of miles on him.
I don’t wish Hiddleston ill. He has been terribly miscast, and he has his work cut out for him. As a professional, he will work hard to overcome his cultural handicap. But we take Hank Williams seriously around here, and if his singing is any clue, he is in a world of trouble and doesn’t know it….
September 11, 2014 @ 7:06 am
You would have to assume though, Ben, there would have to have been an auditioning process before the lead role was cast. I don’t know much about Tom Hiddleston to be honest but he must have impressed the producers. As far as the music goes Hank’s legacy speaks for itself. I’m more interested in what this film may be able to reveal about Hank the man and the inner demons that both drove and tormented him; it’s that I hope young Tom manages to nail far more so than his impression of Cold, Cold Heart.
Let’s reserve judgement until we’ve seen it.
September 11, 2014 @ 7:41 am
Hey Ben D.,
The first time I met Loretta Lynn, she had this silver pendant on which said, “Don’t Assume Anything”. I have found that always to be good advice, and assuming the good tastes and choices of Hollywood producers would belie the reality of those situations. Sometimes there are talent searches, sometimes actors are cast because of a “look”, sometimes because they are “hot” and would sell some tickets, or often because the producer has seen them in something and is certain of his choice. I don’t’
know Marc Abraham, but I know he is not steeped in the hard, blue collar “redneck” culture of the Deep South. And we who are, are often protective of it, and want it to
be portrayed with some degree of authenticity. I do not assume it will be, given Hollywood’s track record in this matter.
Hank3 is obviously personally involved. In one way or another, he has dealt with the subject to this film every day of his life, in fact every time he looks in the mirror. That Abraham has not reached out to him is an indication of the “arrogance of assuredness” that is palpable in that industry.
Great acting is not “fakery”. Great acting is the understanding of a reality, then finding that truth within and sustaining it through character. A force of nature like Hank Williams, Sr. must somehow be “channelled” for it to fly.
So given the producer’s cocksure disregard of the opinions of the Williams kin, I would not assume anything about the direction this thing is taking.
If you want to know about Hank Williams and his demons, there are a number of good books about him, and Escott’s is one of the better ones.
I doubt seriously that Mr. Abraham would have cast Hiddleston as the young Frank
Sinatra or the young Bob Dylan. But Hollywood has traditionally thought that anybody
could play “Southern”. That condescension may be at play in this project.
I would not assume that, but I wouldn’t be surprised, either.
September 11, 2014 @ 8:03 am
Thanks for taking the time to post up that reply, Ben. I can see the validity of your argument, I understand what it is you’re saying. It does occur to me though that if an actor was truly able to channel the Hank that comes back to life on the pages of Escott’s biography it would make for extremely uncomfortable viewing. It would make for an unremittingly bleak viewing experience. Authenticity can be a double-edged sword in some instances as a truth unvarnished can diminish rather than enhance a subject.
Here’s a present for you, pal. I think you’ll enjoy this a lot.
September 11, 2014 @ 9:45 am
Curious as to your thoughts on who SHOULD play him. What Southern actor has the gravitas, draw, and look to pull off the role in a wide release motion picture?
McConaughey is the only name I’ve heard anyone say that seems even slightly plausible. It can’t be McConaughey or nothing, right?
September 11, 2014 @ 9:54 am
The biggest question for me the entire time has been what the audition process was for the role? Did they give the role to Hiddleston simply because they knew he would be a big name and would help get the film financed? Or did they truly go through a vetting and audition process to find the best actor for the position? Did they do screen tests? If they did all this and decided Hiddleston was the best candidate, then great.
September 12, 2014 @ 6:40 am
I found this on the casting (it’s not much, it doesn’t say anything about the general search or if there was one, but it explains why Hiddleston was finally picked):
Abraham, who will also direct, saw Hiddleston in Coriolanus and knew he had his man, even though the RADA-trained British thespian may seem an unlikely fit for the farm boy from Mount Olive, Alabama.
But Abraham said Tom has the rare ability to ”˜transform himself”™.
Apparently Coriolanus was a stage play, which means Abraham had to have the actor in mind and went to check his body of work.
This is the link to the whole article/interview if I am allowed to post it. It has some info about the direction of the film. It’s an old article so yu might know it already.
September 11, 2014 @ 5:57 am
I agree with Shelton 100%. Someone who was born and raised in the South should be playing this role. It would be cool if Hank 3 could do it because indeed he looks so much like his Grandfather and is a great singer. How the hell did Hiddleston get picked for this role anyway?
September 11, 2014 @ 12:17 pm
How can anyone honestly say that without knowing what the vetting process was? If 100 people auditioned and Hiddleston was far and away the best then the right man was cast.
I don’t think I could take III seriously in the role.
I would like to think the Williams family will be involved in the project in some way, but I think someone who actually knew Hank Williams would be a better consultant that a grandson who was born 20 years after Hank died. No offense intended, that’s just the way it is.
September 11, 2014 @ 3:13 pm
Hank Williams III, Hank Sr 50th Anniversary Grand”¦: http://youtu.be/FaMCi-V9FR0
September 13, 2014 @ 9:10 am
I agree 100%. I understand III’s concern, and if I was him I would be proud to be a Williams, too. But the reality is that even Hank Jr. was all of FOUR years old when his father died.
I don’t see Holly making a fuss about this.. but then again, when I saw Holly she went out of her way to mention how people ask her about Sr. a lot but that she never knew him and only had to go on what everyone else told her about him.
September 11, 2014 @ 6:29 am
I’m surprised how little Hank Jr. has been talked about in reference to this. Obviously not as the star, but as a consultant or similar. At the very least, I’d like to know his opinion.
September 11, 2014 @ 9:55 am
How much say so does the estate of Hank Williams have in this movie? How much does Colin Escott. This is a question I’m planning to ask more moving forward.
just a drifter
September 11, 2014 @ 11:20 am
I too wonder the same thing. I want to hear what Randall and Jett have to say about the whole thing. And if they were even contacted. Or even Audreys daughter Lycretia is still alive she should be contacted for what it was like to be around Hank and Audrey. These are all things that need to be dkne to make an accurate movie. Not just read a damn biography. Alot of the people who actually knew Hank are gone or almost gone but there are a few id bet who can give you the real scoop on lil ol Hiram. And they better get to learnin if they have any integrity.
TX Music Jim
September 11, 2014 @ 6:59 am
Do I think Hank 3 could pull it off yes I do. He is a thoughtful multi talented artist. His overall point that it needs to be an American southerner in the role is simply right, period. Hank 3 is not too old for the role make up and lighting could handle that. James Hand as old is he is could do it with the right set up. ultimately, I doubt anything will change and the movie will not be as good as it could have been and that really disgusts me.
September 11, 2014 @ 7:18 am
“The director is Marc Abraham, and he hasn”™t done much directing. He”™s mostly a producer; a behind-the-scenes type guy, and he”™s done a lot of horror and action films. He”™s a guy that definitely has a name in Hollywood, has made a lot of movies, and people know him. But this is only the second film that he”™s directed.”
…worries me a LOT more than the casting of Tom Hiddleston. For all the focus on actors, motion pictures are ultimately a director’s medium. A great director can make almost any actor look good. A poor director can make the greatest actor look bad. The definitive Hank Williams biopic calls for a director like Clint Eastwood, not a producer trying to make a name for himself.
September 11, 2014 @ 9:59 am
I don’t think enough questions have been raised about the director. This is only the second film he’s directed, and nothing previously that he’s worked on was distinctly about music, or was a biography. No offense to the guy whatsoever, he may do an excellent job like Hiddleston might do, and he seems to be well-seasoned in the film industry. But he’s a wild card. We have no idea what to expect. He also wrote the film, and is producing the film. This is Marc Abraham’s vision through and through, with not a lot of creative input from other people.
September 11, 2014 @ 8:52 am
“Many many people are just not impressed as far as the whole situation around it.” Speak for yourself. The press in general has been quite positive. The only negative press is coming from you. Ill wait and hold my judgement until the movie comes out.
September 11, 2014 @ 10:02 am
Maybe all the press is positive, but that doesn’t mean all the sentiment is. Apparently there are a lot of people in the country music community concerned about how this is all going down. For political reasons, some of these people are just not in a position to speak out. Hank3 is already hated in many sectors, and that gives him the freedom to say what a lot of other people are thinking.
September 11, 2014 @ 8:53 am
This whole interview just screams “I WANTED TO PLAY HANK WILLIAMS WAH!”
just a drifter
September 11, 2014 @ 11:12 am
More like it says I dont want my grandfathers likeness crapped on for the whole world to see. What if they made a movie about your grandpa? Would you like them to at least reach out to you for consideration about details? Its a family tradition.
September 11, 2014 @ 11:23 am
This film can’t be as bad as the Jimi Hendrix movie….
A film about Hendrix..without Hendrix original music. Why bother? If the screenplay digs deep into the genius and demons of HW.. if Tom H. can channel the Hank Williams spirit. the film has a good chance of being good…Now..why can’t Hank3 record the soundtrack..? THAT would be the best of two worlds.
September 11, 2014 @ 11:32 am
Elizabeth Olsen cast as Miss Audrey – FYI
just a drifter
September 11, 2014 @ 11:58 am
Well this movie officially looks like garbage. All the hipsters and sci fi avengers lovers will be all over this movie. And to be honest.. Audrey was not that attractive. Not as attractive as bobbie jean jones….
September 11, 2014 @ 12:11 pm
I think this is great news actually. I was just thinking this morning that we’re a month away from this thing starting filming and we’ve yet to hear of another actor being cast, and then this news breaks.
Olsen is a solid actress on the rise. I want this movie to be good, but I also want it to be a hit, and bring attention to Hank Williams. Having a star like Olsen in it, rather than some soap opera actress making her first move to the big screen, gives it a credibility to the casual movie goer that it might not otherwise get. Kind of the way having Reese Witherspoon opposite Joaquin Phoenix caught the eye of people who probably wouldn’t have cared otherwise.
September 11, 2014 @ 12:04 pm
I respect Hank3 immensely but I think he really has to get off this thing about a southerner playing Hank. That’s why they call it acting. If you do a search of biographical movies you’ll find a ton of British actors who have played iconic Americans in the movies.
When you look at a guy like Hiddleston, he’s a very gifted actor. He’s been in some major movies, but he’s definitely not a cardboard cutout commercial draw that was hired just to sell tickets. The same could be said of where Joaquin Phoenix was when he was cast as Cash. He had some minor name recognition, and had been in Gladiator, but by known means was he hired to play Johnny Cash because his name on the poster would sell tickets.
I think the one troubling thing here that Hank3 touched upon is how little the estate is being involved in the production. It’d be nice if Tom Hiddleston sat down with Jr. and 3 to get their perspectives on things. Everyone knows that to see Hank 3 perform is to see the ghost of Hank Sr. on stage, has Hiddleston attended a Hank 3 show to see this magic? In research for the role has he seen the Grand Ole Opry, or a show at the Ryman. What about a visit to Nashville and the Hall of Fame? I’m not knocking Tom, I think he’s a damn near perfect choice (of what’s available in Hollywood) for the role just based on acting chops and physical appearance, but these are the types of research you like to hear of actors doing before they take on iconic roles. It’s known Joaquin Phoenix met with Johnny and June before or shortly after he was cast.
September 11, 2014 @ 5:25 pm
I read no inference that he wanted the role at all. Though very hard, remove the fact that this movie is dealing with one of “the” Icons of American music and remember this movie is about his grandfather. If someone was doing a movie about a member of your family wouldn’t you want them to get it right? I also like the point that movies come and go but the man’s music, Hank William’s, will live on long after this movie succeeds or fails. At the end of the day that is whole reason any of us are even pondering this issue. He left the American song some of its most poignant lyrics. I just re-watched La Bamba and they managed to pull of a pretty good movie with someone else doing the singing and musical performances. I think the makers of this film should really take heed and have someone who can do the man’s music justice do the music. That is me, as a total fan of the man’s music, wanting the legend to come off just as he was, LEGENDARY!
September 11, 2014 @ 6:22 pm
I see that the national brotherhood of movie flackers has jumped in with a lot of the typical hype. That movie’s payroll has apparently already cranked up. Now, we ain’t fools so we also know that a controversy puts their project on the radar screen.
I’ve been on the road down to Nashville and I just wanted to put in two more cents worth. If it was my movie, which is sort of like saying “if frogs had wings” I would have given the whole project to Billy Bob Thornton, who is in his late 50’s, but with a serious make-up artist could play 35, which is about how old Hiddleston is. And I would have given it to Billy Bob to write the screenplay and to direct the sucker. He has more talent in his big toe than these folks have collectively. But frogs don’t have wings.
Marc Abraham, who does not have Southern sensibilities, cast Tom Hiddleston, who does not even know where Andalusia is. Look, it isn’t like we aren’t expressing thoughtful opinions here. I’ve been in hundreds of films, plays, and television shows and I’ve never seen someone who was not from the South get it right. Not one, ever,
Including the great Vivian Leigh, who came very close. There are dozens of regional dialects in the South, and Hollywood has never figured out any of them.
But when they take a chance on a Southerner, it pays off. McConaughey is not too old to play Hank Williams, who had a very old soul and a very old body when he died in that Cadillac. He would have been perfect. Another Oscar. There are terrific actors in Nashville, in Austin, in Atlanta, in New Orleans, in Orlando, and probably ten or twelve in Montgomery who should have been give a shot at this.
This wimpy crap about “that’s why they call it acting” is the next thing to brain-dead.
They also call it “bad acting” a whole lot. And often they call it “mis-casting”.
Gary Busey, a kid from Texas, was nominated for an Oscar for the “Buddy Holly Story”, and Buddy’s music won the Oscar. You think they should have cast Jeremy Irons??
Come on, people, this is a cultural insult to one of the South’s favorite sons.
If you don’t get it, you don’t get it….
People are attacking Hank3 for speaking his piece here, and according to Trigger,
there are others who don’t have the cojones to speak up for “political reasons.”
If that is the case, is it any wonder why there are so many people on this site who
are in the act of “Saving Country Music?”
September 12, 2014 @ 6:23 am
Billy Bob Thorton, as fine as he is, is way too old. You’d need a double budget for make-up, possibly special effects and you’d have to consider lighting every scene especially for covering the age and make-up instead of lighting it to fit the scene – and that hinders the film.
Hank Sr. looked older than his age but not so old to even meet BBT half way.
Do you know any Southern actors of the right talent, appearance and age for Hank? Say 25-37 years?
September 11, 2014 @ 6:59 pm
Hey Trig, a stellar interview. Nice job. I was wondering if you had reached out to the director to ask him these very valid questions? Ultimately, he’s the one that is making all the creative decisions like casting. I’d be interested to hear what he has to say.
September 11, 2014 @ 8:32 pm
I’m going to be reaching out to multiple parties and will continue to report on this movie all the way up to the release. I’ve already been told that it is going to be very difficult to get much info from the principals in the production because they’re very busy and they don’t want to give away much about the movie. But I will do my best to report what is going on, and give both the people who are part of the movie side and people who may have a problem with it at least the opportunity to say what they wish.
Quotable Country – 09/14/14 Edition | Country California
September 14, 2014 @ 2:01 pm
[…] No disrespect to Rodney Crowell, but there”™s two Hank Williams walking this earth right now. â— — Hank III thinks Hank Sr. biopic star Tom Hiddleston (a Brit being coached by Rodney […]
September 19, 2014 @ 6:18 am
That was a great interview.
Did the filmmaker(s) see the light or not…?…
It would be such a shame if this movie would fail, because it has been so many yrs. after the documentary Honky Tonk Blues about Hank Sr. and if the movie also has the goal to keep Hank Williams music and as a person what he truly meant for such a huge history of music alive and that does honor to him. Movies about artists are important to get to know artists, I did let my kids watch The Buddy Holly Story and Great Balls Of Fire etc. to at least get to know a bit about their lifes.
It is weird that they did not go to Hank Williams III in the first place, even if it was only to have a say in how it will all come out and to go to his family to make the information about Hank Williams Sr. as good as possible…. Did they see the pictures where Hank III wears the same suits as his granddad, if you put a Hank Williams picture next to it, you can’t almost tell the difference, like twins is the resemblance. I feel sad because this will probably not do honor enough to Hank Williams…