*Sam Robards



LATEST NEWS

VIDEOS

ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

Phil Hicks:
"We lost the band!"

LATEST NEWS

For all the latest Fandango news, including the yearly
'Ultimate Fandango' trips around the filming locations, go to
THE FANDANGO ONLINE FORUM »

 

From The Big Bend Sentinel May, 19th 1983

 

Three youthful Texans have a toehold on the long road

to stardom because each one, a virtual unknown, was

tapped for a role in Warner Bros."Fandango."

currently being filmed here. Director Kevin Reynolds'

maiden voyage in feature length film-making dropped

anchor in Marfa on Monday for what so far is a three-

night shooting stint at Marfa Cemetery and downtown.

The most authentic Cinderella story next to that of

Reynolds himself belongs to Chuck Bush 21 of

Austin, youngest of the film's five leading actors. Bush

plays Dorman. a highly intelligent hulk who

accompanies four of his college buddies — the

"Groovers" — on one last fling, a free-wheeling

adventure trip through remotest West Texas before

they go their separate ways. Even Lana Turner can't

claim to have been discovered by chance in a small

store in Austin. Texas. But that's exactly what

happened to the 6' 7" bearded Bush, then a security

guard at Dillard's Department store. "I was just out

with some friends . . . and on my way home" at about

midnight one night, he recalled Monday. On the way

home, he stopped in at a nearby Seven-Eleven store to

buy a soft drink, where/ as luck would have it

Reynolds and his personal assistant were out

scouting for the perfect Dorman.

"It was the eleventh hour." Mark lllsley. the assistant,

link up the story. After endless, fruitless casting

calls with a turnout of more than 400 hopefuls, he and

Reynolds were scouting the Sixth Street bars for

just the right sort of immense, smart guy. Bush

walked by. and Reynolds breathed. "My God

that's my Dorman" We asked him to drop his entire

life and go to West Texas for 10 weeks," lllsley

said. "He said yeah, he could evaporate for 10

weeks." Now, about six weeks into the filming. Bush

admits that although acting has become "something I

get up in the morning and do." it's also "a toot more

fun than anything I've ever done." including solar

engineering, in which Bush holds a degree from Texas

State Technical Institute in Waco. "But I don't feel any

different — yet." he added with a smile. The food is

much better, too, according to Bush, who

looks like he should know. That's because the film

crew brought a Hollywood caterer along to West

Texas in addition to its cavalcade of wardrobe, make-

up, special, effects and other trucks and trailers.

This caterer once produced Japanese sushi

for the crews in the middle of Lajitas.

But back to the real stars. Bush's co-stars include

Brian Cesak of Houston and Robyn Rose of Midland.

Both are 21 and in film for the first time. Rounding out

the group are Judd Nelson. 23, Kevin Costner. 28.

Elizabeth Daily and Sam Robards, 21. The son of Jason

Robards and Lauren Bacall. Robards is the only lead

actor with broad name identification. However, the

reedy, intense youth readily admits, "Ihave a long way

to go in this business and in life," with

two short years in the acting industry under

this belt. Costner. the oldest, has the most experience

of the five male leads, having just completed

a feature role in "The Big Chill" for Columbia. Nelson is

in his first year of professional acting, but worked

unpaid in experimental theater in New York City after

leaving his home in Portland. Main. He now lives

in California. Miss Daily played Lauren, "the cool one."

in the feature film "Valley Girls."

esak and Miss Rose, like Bush, arc green, except that

Miss Rose has done community theater acting hi Midland.

In "Fandango." the Midland college student landed the

partof Lorna, a l7 -year-old Marfa High School girl "who

thinks it's a big deal at 16 to show these

college boys around" after being picked up at the

Sonic Drive-in (filmed in Alpine). She landed the role

unexpectedly when she accompanied her father,

alsoo n community theater, to the Warner casting call

Although at first told that at 5' 3" she was too short

for the part. She was unexpectedly asked to read and

then was called back. Unfortunately for 100- percent

happy endings, her father didn't get a part because he

was "too young." Miss Rose says she is most anxious

to pursue her first acting break. So is Cesak. A finance

major at The University of Texas at Austin, he

answered Warner's Austin casting call one hour

beforeclosing because it was "something better to do than

homework." It so happened that Warner was lookingfor a

"diminutive business student." and Cesak got the

part. Although his character spends most of the movi

ethree sheets to the wind and has only five or six

speaking lines, Cesak feels he is in hiselement and

plans to begin taking drama classes and

to hire an agent so that he can read for parts

between classes at UT. Cesak dropped the semester

with only 1¼ months to go in order to "do

"Fandango." But in the long run he plans to be

practical. "From what I understand, it's very hard to

be an actor (alone)." he said He plans to get his

finance degree and perhaps start his own jewelry or

florists business to support his acting' career. "I love

this. It's a blast you get to meet all sorts of

new people, you get to travel," he says candidly.

"Fandango" 's director. Reynolds, was naturally on


the set during Monday night's filming, but film

publicist Bob Worden filled in for him.

.
At 32 years old Reynolds has found a mentor in none

other than Stephen Spielberg, director of "E.T.."

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind." "Poltergeist"

and other highly, popular recent films.

Raised as a "military brat" at Lackland Air Force

Base in San Antonio. and the son of

now-president of Baylor University. Dr. Herbert H.

Reynolds, the younger Reynolds attended UT-Austin

before going on to the University of Southern

California where he directed a film, "Proof." for

his thesis. Based in Texas, it became the core of the

"Fandango" a plot. Spielberg was instrumental

in convincing Warner Bros. to okay the modest-budget

film, Werden said. The "Fandango" budget to


roughly between $5 million and 17.5 million, low in

Hollywood terms. Its producer is Tim Zinnemann.


Before leaving the subject of acting discoveries we

can't overlook Billy Pat McKinney, the Brewster


County Sheriff's deputy in Terlingua. McKinney has a

speaking part in "Fandango." In an emotional scene,

he plays the father of a Vietnam veteran who sold the

family homestead to strip miners while his son was

away. Including Sul Ross State University theater

major Kevin Phillips and Paul Miller, also are involved

in the film. Miller serves as Bush's stand-in.


Crews were to put in a third night Wednesday, at least

part of it downtown on Highland

Avenue. In Marfa Cemetery, they filmed a bottle rocket spree.

Marfa Volunteer firefighters and Presidio County Sheriff's Office

personnel are on standby to guard against fires and

divert traffic. Earlier, firefighters stood by as the

crews filmed at the Ryan and Clay Evans ranches,

the latter at the site where "Giant" was filmed almost

30 years earlier. .

 

 

The Austin Film Festival and Bob Bullock Texas Museum have teamed up to

present six best of the best made in Texas, by Texans. Kevin Reynolds will

be at the screening for Q&A.

Lamont Furlow, Suzanne and I went to this great event and all I can say is

that is was great, just not long enough. For those who have not seen the

movie on the big screen....find a way. It is sooooo much better. On that

note....no copies available in FILM...we watched the DVD. I got a chance to

ask Kevin about a copy and there is only one known copy in some archive

and unavailable. I also ask him about a sequel and there will never be one.

He hates sequels. I ask him what happened to the Groovers and he didn't

have an answer. I commented that he knew all of them and he said they

were a composite of people he knew. I gave him a card with our site on it

and an invitation to UF 2010. I also ask him if he knew that we visited the

locations and he was aware that we did visit and dug up or buried a bottle of

DOM. Told the story of picking Chuck for Dorman at the 7-11 with less than

48 hours to go before shooting started and how Chuck was a little

apprehensive and really didn't believe him when asked to be in the movie.

He said Kevin Costner was easy to cast as Gardner, and had auditioned for

the part in PROOF and didn't get it, but after reading two or three lines, he

knew he was right for the part. . Judd Nelson was a natural for Phil, Sam was

easy. He also talked about the music and how the songs he picked really

determined how the scene was shot instead of the other way around. He

was very DOWN on the movie making business because of all the comic

book, blue screen movies being made and the studio gurus ONLY looking at

the bottom line and not the creative process and life stories that were made

into movies in the past. He did a little stand up moment right before the

movie started and said that he always included a body part in his movies.

My mind raced through our trivia questions and different scenes to no avail,

then he told us that when Gardner runs out and jumps onto the rock

overlooking the Rio Grande, there is a shot of his arm and elbow in the lower

left corner of the shot. I looked for it during the movie and have concluded

that he was jerking our chain, unless it is in the wide screen FILM

version.(found his arm in the VHS and Laser Disc copy).More when I get a

chance to digest everything. Oh yeah, got my photo signed....Very glad we

went. fandangoJeff

**************************************************************

Special thanks to Luca Ciardelli for bringing this to us:

SCREEN: 'FANDANGO,' COMING OF AGE IN 1971

By JANET MASLIN
Published: January 25, 1985 New York Times

THE GROOVERS, a pack of college buddies, turn graduation into the occasion for one last blowout in ''Fandango,'' which takes place in the shadow of the Vietnam War. The year is 1971 and draft notices have arrived for several of the group's members, so their antics have both fraternity-house humor and a hysterical edge. Kevin Reynolds, who wrote and directed ''Fandango,'' is for the most part making just another coming-of-age film. But at its best, his debut feature has an appealing boisterousness, and it successfully walks a fine line between sensitivity and swagger.

''Fandango,'' which opens today at the Gemini, takes place in Texas, which means the characters drink endless beers and call one another ''son.'' Chief among them is Gardner Barnes, played dashingly by Kevin Costner, who suggests what the Tom Cruise of ''Risky Business'' might look like after a six-month bender. Gardner and four friends - one who's a scold (Judd Nelson), one who's just canceled his wedding (Sam Robards), one who's nearly comatose (Brian Cesak) and a huge, quiet one who shows equal interest in ''The Prophet'' and ''The Incredible Hulk'' - embark on a long, dusty journey.

They sleep beside the wreckage of an old movie set, because Gardner thinks James Dean was there to shoot ''Giant.'' They bathe in a car wash. They force one Groover to take parachute-jumping lessons from a hippie (Marvin J. McIntyre) whose habit of talking with his mouth full is one of the film's low points and whose casual, utterly indecipherable diagram of flight instructions is about its highest.

The note of hip nihilism on which ''Fandango'' begins is eventually balanced out by sentimentality. And there are moments, particularly those revolving around a speechless character known only as ''The Girl'' (Suzy Amis), when Mr. Reynolds goes way overboard on the sentimental side. Gardner used to love her; we know that from a sequence in which he frolics with her in a field of wildflowers. Then he lost her; we know that when we see him leave her on a sand dune, holding a kite string.

Mr. Reynolds isn't adroit with this sort of thing, but he does have a way with the sight gags and off-the-wall humor that make this a notable debut. And he brings a good deal of feeling to the moments in which the film's twin specters - Vietnam and maturity - intrude upon the frantic festivities.

''Fandango'' is rated PG (''Parental Guidance Suggested''). It contains brief nudity on the part of the story's various practical jokers.

FANDANGO, directed and written by Kevin Reynolds; director of photography, Thomas Del Ruth; film editor, Arthur Schmidt; music by Alan Silvestri; produced by Tim Zinnemann; released by Warner Bros. At Gemini Twin, 64th Street and Second Avenue. Running time: 91 minutes. This film is rated PG. Gardner BarnesKevin Costner Phil HicksJudd Nelson Kenneth WaggenerSam Robards DormanChuck Bush LesterBrian Cesak JudyElizabeth Daily The GirlSuzy Amis Truman SparksMarvin J. McIntyre.