A Chat with Kris Kristofferson
The western Traded follows a grieving father (Michael Paré as Clay) whose daughter has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Clay immediately springs into action seeking retribution. Think Taken set in the Nineteenth Century.
Kris Kristofferson appears as an ally who joins Clay on his mission. His daughter, Kelly Kristofferson, makes her film debut in Traded alongside her father.
Kristofferson tells Free Press Houston that there was no advice he could give Kelly because “she was a natural.” Kristofferson himself has over 100 acting credits and made his debut in 1971’s The Last Movie, directed by Dennis Hopper. “Dennis was wild back then,” Kristofferson says about that chaotic film.
Throughout his career Kristofferson worked with some of the best directors film had to offer starting with Martin Scorsese in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. “Marty was a real gentleman and a perfect director. I regret not working with him more.”
About Sam Peckinpah who directed Kristofferson in three films (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, and Convoy) he has nothing but praise. “Sam was a legendary director and human being, he accomplished everything he wanted, no matter what,” says Kristofferson. “I don’t remember first meeting him, but it was a life long friendship. Even when he was dying I was visiting him in Malibu.”
Other western films Kristofferson worked on include Heaven’s Gate. “I think is was a beautiful work of art. It was recently remastered and re-released to great critical acclaim. I think it is a masterpiece that will be more appreciated as time goes by.”
Perhaps his best role was the antagonist of John Sayles’ Lone Star, corrupt sheriff Charlie Wade. “Charlie represented everything I hated about bigotry and power and so it was a challenge to get inside his head. But I think it worked and it’s one of my favorite films to watch.”
Traded starts off idyllic but becomes violent as Clay tracks down a brothel owner who knows the whereabouts of his daughter. Kristofferson, playing a sage bartender, lends support and firepower.
Traded opens in Houston this weekend at the AMC Gulf Pointe 30.
— Michael Bergeron