Celebrity Interview: Wes Studi, Talks on Acting, Making "A Love Song," and his Musical Roots

A Love Song, from Bleecker Street and Stage 6 Films and directed by Max Walker Silverman, is receiving serious critical acclaim and features Wes Studi, co-starring as Leto the romantic interest, in the quiet compelling love story.

Having the opportunity to speak with Wes, we talked on how the role came to him, working with his co-star, his upcoming projects and his now retired band, "The Firecat of Discord." Below is our interview.

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Janet Walker: Hi, Wes how are you doing?

Wes Studi: Doing Okay. How about you?

Janet Walker: Doing well. Thank you. Thanks for asking. Congratulations on the film, I really enjoyed. So, if you could describe how the role of Lito came to you?

Wes Studi: In sort of the same way as others have come to me, in the form of an offer and kind of a short explanation of what the story was all about and a script for review. And what I saw about the whole thing I liked in terms of I got to play a guitar, sing a song, and kiss a girl.

Janet Walker: [Laughter] Okay. What was your reaction when you read the entire script? Not just simply your part in those high points?

Images courtesy of Bleecker Street.

Wes Studi: Well, it struck me as an intensely personal story between two people that if I were actually a part of that story, other than portraying a role in it, I don't know that I would be brave enough to tell a story like that. On the other hand, it certainly was the opportunity to stretch some of my acting skills or to perhaps show a different facet of myself.

Janet Walker: I certainly understand. You know there is the loss in the film. Of course, obviously the loss of a life partners drives the narrative. So, if you could describe a little bit about how you built that, quiet narrative, how you built your part into that narrative?

We Studi: You know I used the real-life experience of loss. I think we've all been through the process of losing loved ones and what I do is kind of go back and recall what that made me feel like whenever my character talks about the loss of his beloved. I just sort of equate that with how I felt on a personal level over losing someone to the eternal as well. It was the use of the of real experience.

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Janet Walker: So, tell me about working with Max and Dale?

Wes Studi: Ah, well, Max and Dale are like two very distinct and different people. Max is so kind of cool and laid back and the way he communicates is almost iconic in that you can tell that there's a lot of energy there, but it's slowed down to the point that it is made into being an almost a recital of something, but he gets his point across. While Dale is like a bundle of energy that just is going almost 24 hours a day and then shuts down for a little while and then grows up again boom and into the energy of the work that we have. It was quite the experience. I enjoy new experiences like that.

Images courtesy of Bleecker Street.

Janet Walker: Sure, had you ever met either of them before filming?

Wes Studi: No I hadn't.

Janet Walker: If I could go back to the script question just for a moment did you when you after you got the script did you audition on zoom or how did you did you speak with him?

Wes Studi: I spoke with Max yes about it to after they started to toggle with my management. We set-up a call I believe is how it came about and yeah, we talked about it and made a deal

Janet Walker: Of course, so the film looks like it was shot during the pandemic is that right

Wes Studi: Yes, several months into it I think may have been one of the first to begin to use the protocols that were put in place.

Janet Walker: How did that affect you or the shoot?

Wes Studi: Well, I think it was in a way very more efficient maybe mainly because we're not doing anything else but quarantining and working quarantine and work that that's it we're not doing much of anything else that you would normally do on sets of like they were before the pandemic.

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Janet Walker: I see so do you have a most memorable moment?

Wes Studi: The most memorable would be I think eating those crawdads probably was kind of memorable. I had grown up eating crawdads as a child, but I remember eating them in a different way than we did, boiled like the way Faye fixes them in the film.

Images courtesy of Bleecker Street.

Janet Walker: So, do you play the guitar outside of this particular film?

Wes Studi: I have. Yeah, but not as much as I did number of years ago. I think during the 90s we played a lot of guitar and actually had a group that traveled around the states and played a number of venues here and there yeah, we had a band with point in time.

Janet Walker: Okay. And what was the name of the band?

Wes Studi: We were called "The Fire Cat of Discord. "

Janet Walker: I see. So, is it mostly southwest or the western part of the United States or did you travel around the East Coast, also?

Wes Studi: We played the East Coast. We actually played that church in Nashville, the old Opry at the church. The Fillmore West out in San Francisco and the number around the Great Lakes we did a number of the casinos up there back east we did a lot of the native casinos.

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Janet Walker: Oh, I see okay so what's next for you?

Wes Studi: What's next we have a film that's and we're going to put together called Mending The Line. It's a film I did with Brian Cox and number of other very talented actors. It's a story about using fly fishing as a therapeutic measure dealing with PTSD for returning veterans mainly the more recent Afghanistan or Iraq. Brian Cox and I get to do a sort of an odd couple in terms of introducing this method to returning Vets that had problems with PTSD.

Janet Walker: It sounds fabulous. So, looking forward to seeing that. Good luck to you.

A Love Song is playing in select cities nationwide. Check your local listings.

Images courtesy of Bleecker Street.

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