‘Old Henry’ Star Tim Blake Nelson: ‘I’ve Always Loved Westerns’

1/17/2022 5:00:00 AM

Filmmaker-actor Tim Blake Nelson commands the screen in the Western thriller “Old Henry,” written and directed by Potsy Ponciroli. Nelson’s intense performance as a man driven to extremes in order …

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OldHenry star Tim Blake Nelson talks his favorite westerns: 'Sergio Leone had a tremendous influence on me... I think he pushed the western to a place where nobody had gone before. And I am very much a student of the films of Howard Hawks and John Ford'

Filmmaker-actor Tim Blake Nelson commands the screen in the Western thriller “Old Henry,” written and directed by Potsy Ponciroli. Nelson’s intense performance as a man driven to extremes in order …

What appealed to you most about the script?I’ve always loved Westerns. It was a true meat-and-potatoes take on the genre, but my main connection to the material was as a dad, as I’ve got three ornery kids in New York City, two of whom are in college. Raising kids is tough because you always want to shield them from the challenges of the world, and I loved how Potsy’s script examined the real tension that comes with parenthood, and how parents always have to decide how much of the real world they should be exposing their children to.

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Nelson’s intense performance as a man driven to extremes in order to protect his son in early 1900s Oklahoma drives the narrative. What appealed to you most about the script? I’ve always loved Westerns. The entertainment giant announced Tim Allen would be reviving his character from "The Santa Clause" trilogy in a new limited series on Disney Plus. It was a true meat-and-potatoes take on the genre, but my main connection to the material was as a dad, as I’ve got three ornery kids in New York City, two of whom are in college." But after going through all those dilemmas, Calvin, aka Santa Claus, is faced with yet another problem when he turns 65 in the Disney+ series and realizes that"he can't be Santa forever. Raising kids is tough because you always want to shield them from the challenges of the world, and I loved how Potsy’s script examined the real tension that comes with parenthood, and how parents always have to decide how much of the real world they should be exposing their children to. He reprised the character in the 2002 sequel and again in 2006 to wrap up the trilogy. Who is Potsy Ponciroli? I didn’t know Potsy in the least before I read his script, and initially, his name reminded me of another filmmaker I had worked with a long time ago, Helmut Schleppi, because it was such a strange name." "He's starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he's got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially his two kids who have grown up at the Pole.

But I loved Potsy’s script, and met him over Zoom with his producing partner, Shannon Houchins, and right away I knew I wanted to do it. He just happened to become Santa Claus after St." Tim Allen as Scott Calvin (L) and Martin Short as Jack Frost in 2006's "The Santa Clause 3. Potsy is one of the most decent people I’ve met while doing what I do, and he took the subject matter very seriously. You want to work with a director who has a very strong opinion of what the film should be, and with a producer who can execute that vision. Disney didn’t share a release date for the series, but they offered a hint at the plot. What are some of your favorite Westerns? Growing up in Oklahoma, the Sergio Leone movies had a tremendous influence on me."Modern Family" and"30 Rock" producer Jack Burditt has signed on to executive produce the show alongside Allen and"Last Man Standing" producer Kevin Hench. Invariably, one of his films was always playing on television on Saturday or Sunday when I was kid, back when there were only four channels to pick from. He has lost a step and is struggling to perform his duties. The full cast and release date have yet to be announced.

His films were my introduction to cinema as an art form, because in every Leone picture, the way he shot them, they were entirely subjective experiences, and I think he pushed the western genre to a place where nobody had gone before. And I am very much a student of the films of Howard Hawks and John Ford and many others, but nobody had the same impact on the Western genre, on the whole, as Leone. Advertisement This story was reported from Atlanta. “I said, ‘Everybody gotta be quiet. Do you prefer to be the center of attention with a leading role, or more part of an ensemble? I want to play the most important role that the director needs me to play, so for me, it always comes down to what is the role bringing to the project and what is the director trying to say with their work. Because film is very much a director’s medium, not an actor’s medium, and I really believe in that and live by that. With “Old Henry,” the leading role was the right role, so it all just made sense.” “And then the movie opens.

What’s up next? I’ve got two or three movies coming up during the first half of 2022, but it’s still too premature to discuss anything, because it’s not real until it’s actually happening. But I’m definitely staying busy. optional screen reader .’ ‘He pinched me,’” Allen continued.