Don’t dare compare Lou Diamond Phillips to late leading men of the 20th century – lest he let you know in no uncertain terms that he’s no watered down version of them.
Interviewed on TV Talk, the actor – who also appears on tonight’s season debut of NBC’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! – discusses his starring role in the upcoming Hallmark Channel remake of the 1947 John Wayne flick Angel and the Badman, in which the Duke plays a reforming bad guy.
When host Shaun Daily asks, “How was it stepping into John Wayne’s shoes,” Lou replies:
“You know, I’m the idiot who followed Yul Brenner into The King and I – but got nominated for a Tony for it.
“And last year I toured with Camelot, as King Arthur. So I was following Richard Burton and Richard Harris.
“I’m not daunted too much by the legends who came before me. As an actor, you hope to bring something different to it,” continues Lou, 47, who first made a name for himself on the big screen as Ritchie Valens in 1987’s La Bamba.
“I’m very different from John Wayne or Richard Burton or Yule Brenner, for that matter. So whatever I do is sort of automatically going to be a re-imagining of the role.
“The very first thing I said to Terry Ingram, the director of Angel and the Badman – after having seen a little bit of the John Wayne film – was and I had no fear that I was gonna start talkin’ like this,” add Lou, breaking into his best Duke imper-sonation.
“I basically said, He’s John Wayne, man. He wasn’t that bad.
“He wasn’t the kind of guy that you’re really worried about killing you, you know?
“You knew that John Wayne was gonna be OK with you at the end of the day. So I said, ‘Let’s get this guy a little darkness. Let’s make him a little tougher.’”
Angel and the Badman debuts July 5 on the Hallmark Channel.
To hear Lou’s full interview, click here.