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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
tapped for a role in Warner Bros."Fandango."
currently being filmed here. Director
maiden voyage in feature length film-making
anchor in Marfa on Monday for what so
far is a three-
night shooting stint at Marfa Cemetery
The most authentic Cinderella story next
to that of
Reynolds himself belongs to Chuck Bush
Austin, youngest of the film's five leading
plays Dorman. a highly intelligent hulk
accompanies four of his college buddies
"Groovers" — on one last
fling, a free-wheeling
adventure trip through remotest West Texas
they go their separate ways. Even Lana
claim to have been discovered by chance
in a small
store in Austin. Texas. But that's exactly
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
buy a soft drink, where/ as luck would
Reynolds and his personal assistant were
scouting for the perfect Dorman.
"It was the eleventh hour."
Mark lllsley. the assistant,
link up the story. After endless, fruitless
calls with a turnout of more than 400
hopefuls, he and
Reynolds were scouting the Sixth Street
just the right sort of immense, smart
walked by. and Reynolds breathed. "My
that's my Dorman" We asked him to
drop his entire
life and go to West Texas for 10 weeks,"
said. "He said yeah, he could evaporate
weeks." Now, about six weeks into
the filming. Bush
admits that although acting has become
get up in the morning and do." it's
also "a toot more
fun than anything I've ever done."
engineering, in which Bush holds a degree
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,
looks like he should know. That's because
crew brought a Hollywood caterer along
Texas in addition to its cavalcade of
up, special, effects and other trucks
This caterer once produced Japanese sushi
for the crews in the middle of Lajitas.
But back to the real stars. Bush's co-stars
Brian Cesak of Houston and Robyn Rose
Both are 21 and in film for the first
time. Rounding out
the group are Judd Nelson. 23, Kevin
Elizabeth Daily and Sam Robards, 21.
The son of Jason
Robards and Lauren Bacall. Robards is
the only lead
actor with broad name identification.
reedy, intense youth readily admits, "Ihave
a long way
to go in this business and in life,"
two short years in the acting industry
this belt. Costner. the oldest, has the
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,
unpaid in experimental theater in New
York City after
leaving his home in Portland. Main. He
in California. Miss Daily played Lauren,
"the cool one."
in the feature film "Valley Girls."
esak and Miss Rose, like Bush, arc green,
Miss Rose has done community theater
acting hi Midland.
In "Fandango." the Midland
college student landed
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
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
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,
answered Warner's Austin casting call
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
plans to begin taking drama classes and
to hire an agent so that he can read
between classes at UT. Cesak dropped the
with only 1¼ months to go in order
"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
florists business to support his acting'
career. "I love
this. It's a blast you get to meet all
new people, you get to travel," he
"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
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
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.
Reynolds, the younger Reynolds attended
before going on to the University of Southern
California where he directed a film, "Proof."
his thesis. Based in Texas, it became
the core of the
"Fandango" a plot. Spielberg
in convincing Warner Bros. to okay the
film, Werden said. The "Fandango"
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
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
major Kevin Phillips and Paul Miller,
also are involved
in the film. Miller serves as Bush's
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
personnel are on standby to guard against
divert traffic. Earlier, firefighters
stood by as the
crews filmed at the Ryan and Clay Evans
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
Special thanks to Luca Ciardelli for bringing this to
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
''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,
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
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.