Sean Patrick Flanery Talks His New Gritty Western ‘The Outsider’ (Interview)
Veteran actor Sean Patrick Flanery has a new film that’s taking him on a journey into the wild, wild West!
Flanery stars in the new Western titled The Outsider along with Country Music Legend Trace Adkins, Danny Trejo, and Jon Foo. Written by Sean Ryan and directed by Timothy Woodward Jr., The Outsider is described as, “a gritty tale of revenge in a small Western boomtown. In search of the American dream, a railroad worker (Foo) finds himself on the wrong side of a lawless frontier. As the Marshall (Adkins) attempts to control his corrupt town, tragedy strikes sending the railroad worker on a path of retaliation.”
The Outsider hits select theaters and is available on Video on Demand/Digital Download on June 14th, and we had the awesome opportunity to speak with Flanery ahead of the film’s release. He gave us all the dirt on his ultra badass character, what it was like working in the desert and with Adkins, and of course if there’s a possibility for a Boondock Saints 3. Read on below!
Denise Caputo: I had the chance to watch your new film, The Outsider, and it’s crazy good. I love that it’s part love story, part old Western and 100% a gritty, gruff drama. What can you tell our readers about your new film?
Sean Patrick Flannery: Inevitably, anybody growing up from back the day at some point saw Josey Wales, and everybody went, “Holy fucking shit!” That dude got up off his bar stool and cleaned house for one of the most powerful reasons known to man. Well, if you want to see a glimmer of the current day Josey Wales, check out this movie.
DC: Awesome, and you play this badass character, Chris King, who at first has a little bit of a mystery about him and it’s unclear as to what his motive is in the story. How would you describe your character, and how did you prepare for this type of role?
SPF: The preparation thing is a long conversation. Different actors have different, what they call a process. If the script’s well-written, your process starts at fade in and ends at the fade out. I didn’t need to time travel back to the Wild West and sleep in my own urine for four weeks to prepare. Some actors will give you this wild story about how they had to invert their soul or took 12 years off their life. Nothing like that for me. I read it, loved it, wanted to do it and adjusted accordingly.
To me, this character comes with his backpack full of issues that make him willing to die in multiple situations, and I think that’s a scary place to be in for any adversary. Not only, if the person you’re attacking’s back is against the wall, then you know you’re in for a fight, but if they’re willing to go down at the drop of a hat, then that’s a scary person to be up against. So, that’s the backstory of King, and that was pretty savory for me. I love playing that guy.
DC: It shows! You played him well, and the rest of the cast is terrific. I’m a huge country music fan, so it was cool seeing you opposite Trace Adkins, and the rest of this phenomenal cast including Jon Foo and Danny Trejo. How much fun was it working with these guys on set?
SPF: This cast is amazing. Working with Trace Adkins was an honor and a privilege. I’ve looked up to that cat for a long time. I’ve been a fan of his in all sorts of areas. I’m from Texas, so obviously I’m a country music fan too. I mean, that’s the only type of music I thought there was when I was a kid, but he’s a guy that he doesn’t even need to show up on-screen. He could’ve voiceover-ed this entire movie, and it would’ve been equally as impactful. I think we should all long to have a voice like that. I could sit and just listen to this dude tell stories for hours and hours because the resonance in his voice; it’s crazy. He’s a wonderful human being, I mean, honestly, a wonderful human being.
DC: That’s awesome to hear! So much of the film is very dark and rainy. It gives it the ambiance of the gritty dangerousness that lingers over pretty much every scene. Tell me a little bit about what it was like on set working in an environment like that.
SPF: Well, my balls my shrunk up to the size of two small sun-dried raisins, and they hid out in my throat somewhere near my tonsils for warmth. It was freezing! We had a rain machine in a lot of the scenes, and it was 45 degrees outside. The rain machine stayed there and froze overnight. So, they’re pouring 40-degree water over us. It was cold, but look, at the end of the day, I’m an actor. I have a warm trailer. I’m not complaining at all. We shot this all out in the desert, and outside in California in the desert. When the sun goes down, it gets really, really cold. At the end of the day, if that’s your biggest complaint, life’s pretty good. You know?
DC: That’s a great attitude to have! So, you have an impressive resume of past work. Some of my personal favorites of yours are The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Powder, Boondock Saints, and the list just goes on and on and on. With so many impressive, iconic roles on your resume, what stands out for you about The Outsider that makes it special?
SPF: All I can say is from my perspective, I think every dude who grew up in my era loves Westerns and specifically things like Josey Wales, one of the first Clint Eastwood films. You open a film, and something absolutely horrific happens to the man, and then you understand with all of the passion that’s inside his being that you want this guy to satisfy his need for vengeance. I think it is the closest thing to a Josey Wales film that I’ve seen. To be a part of something like that is just fun. It’s an honor. It’s a privilege. At the end of the day, we also grew up playing with six guns on our hips, so I’m a huge John Wayne/Clint Eastwood fan. John Ford films, I grew up on those, so to play in a Western with the only thing that can feed you or keep you alive is on a belt strapped to your hip, I fucking love that.
DC: Awesome. Speaking of some of your past roles, I know in a couple of other interviews you’ve mentioned that if given the opportunity, you would make as many Boondock Saints films as they would allow you to do. With that said, is there any possibility of another film happening?
SPF: Well, the studios wanted to make Boondock 3 since the day after 2 came out. I think everybody understands the finances behind filmmaking, and if something makes an inordinate sum of money, then they want to make another one. They want to make 12! When I said that, I still stand behind it. I mean, making a film with one of your best friends is one of the best experiences known to man, especially in the acting world. It just doesn’t happen. You don’t get to make films with your friends. They just don’t allow that to happen. So, in that regard, absolutely! I’d do that every day, but as far as really going out and filming, then other things step up. If you’re not afraid of going and doing too much digging, there’s all kind of things behind that film that will pop up. So, I mean, me and [Norman] Reedus are on the same page with it. We had a wonderful time doing Boondock Saints, and who knows what the future will hold. Who knows?
DC: Great! I’m sure all of the Boondock fans would love to see another film. So, here at Fan Fest News, we celebrate all the things that we love as fans in today’s pop culture world, whether it’s music, film, television, books, anything like that. What are some things that you love about today’s pop culture, or what are some things that you love as a fan?
SPF: Man, I’m a fan of all kind of things pop culture. I don’t even know where to start! Just like anybody else who goes through life, there’s always pieces of music that stun you, and films that stun you. That’s the avenue that gives you pleasure in life. Outside of family, that’s what you reach for, things that punctuate your consciousness. So, there’s something every single day that moves me. If not, shame on me.
DC: Right on. Cool. Lastly, is there anything else that you want our readers to know about your new film, The Outsider?
SPF: Just that The Outsider kicks ass, and I hope everybody sees it. I can’t wait to see it on a big screen. I’m going to see it on Monday night. We have a premiere in L.A., and I’m really looking forward to that. This is something I’d love to see on the big screen, and I can’t wait.
Sending a big THANK YOU to Sean Patrick Flanery for chatting with us about his new film. The Outsider is currently in theaters in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Houston, Tampa, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto, and is also available on VOD and Digital. Mosey on over to your nearest theater and check it out the trailer below.