He is best known for singing country songs like "Killin' Time" and has sold over 20 million albums, but Clint Black has returned to acting with the straight-to-DVD release this week of family film "Flicka 2."
The movie, with predecessors that date back to 1943's "My Friend Flicka" and include 2006's "Flicka," tells the story of a big city girl, played by Tammin Sursok, who is forced to move to the country home of her father, where her wild ways are tamed by the love of a horse named Flicka.
Black portrays a ranch hand, Toby, who is the father's confidante and the movie's comic relief. He spoke to Reuters about the movie and his acting which, he says, will get more attention from him in the future.
Q: You've acted a few times before in movies and TV. Were they one-off instances or is acting something you had planned?
A: "Most of the acting jobs have been one-offs, a call comes into my agent, asking, 'Do you want to do this?"
Q: Is that what happened with "Flicka 2,"
A: "Well, it was either me or Alice Cooper, and they decided to go country. I was at a friends ranch and my manager called ... my big concern was that I need to work with a director who knows as much about acting as directing. Michael Damian (the director) and I spent a long time on the phone with me saying, 'You know, I don't do this. This is not my day job. You understand I may need a little extra attention.' I've seen enough of Inside the Actors Studio to know that I'd depend on a director who would help me rise to the challenge."
Q: Beyond the director, why this particular movie?
A: "First it was the character. Toby is a lot like me. He's great fun and a good friend. I could relate to him and felt like I could deliver. I felt confident. Then it was a matter of the story and making sure they weren't going to kill a bunch of bunny rabbits and make everybody feel bad. Once that was out of the way, it was a no brainer."
Q: Toby is pretty easy going and would seem well-suited to you. So, is that Toby on the screen or Clint Black?
A: "It was really, probably largely me. Obviously there are ways, in different scenes, where I may have handled a friend differently than Toby, but that makes the job fun. I don't want to try to do a role where the person is doing something entirely like I'd do it. That's not challenge and not fun."
Q: I read you might want to be looking for acting roles.
A: "I am looking, but I have to be careful about the timing of it and how big a reach a role is for me. I got a great Roy Rogers script I'm trying to get some interest in.
"I enjoyed doing 'Flicka 2' doing so much, I'd forgotten how much fun it was. But music is still my day job. I have to remember I'm making an album and writing projects for others, so even though there may be something I want to do, it isn't always going to work out."
Q: You said you had fun making it. Care to elaborate?
A: "There's an excitement to preparing for something new that you don't necessarily know how to do, thinking about the scenes and the character, that's fun."
Q: As you say, your day job is still singing and songwriting. What's new in your music?
A: "It's been a long time since I put out a record. I'm talking to a new label, and I'm going to go into the studio and cut some songs. I've had a creative explosion recently when I've had time to relax. It's been one of those periods where the music and melodies are all forcing their way out."
Q: When might a new album come out?
A: "There really isn't a target date."
Q: And what are you writing about?
A: "Well, it depends on what I have to talk about. One song was inspired by a photo I saw of troops going overseas and their families left to worry. And there's another song about texting and the Internet ... I've always been a student of human nature and life, and I've reacted to that as a songwriter. As I grow older, my perspective on things changes and the way I look at them and think about them and my values, all those things evolve.