Lensing in New Mexico
The company spent more than two weeks shooting
exteriors throughout New Mexico. Outside of Santa
Fe, the High Plains vistas of Lamy and La Bajada
provided mythic backdrops for the double-crossing,
double-crossed heroes, as they struggle to make sense
of the massive pile of heist cash in the back of Bobby's
Bronco, and then face off with one another when
identities are revealed.
This region also established the setting for an illadvised
call to naval headquarters, when Stig realizes he's
been set up by his bosses. It also served as the backdrop
for Bobby when he staggers through an unforgiving
Texas desert and hijacks an ATV from a couple of
stunned rednecks -- played by JASON KIRKPATRICK
and TONY SANFORD -- in "Freedom Ranger" jackets.
Sums Kormakur: "I wanted to have the scope and the
vision of the desert, and that's what I fought for."
Emmett appreciates his director's eye: "There's a
tone and authenticity that comes from a location such
as New Mexico. I liked setting a contemporary action
movie in this type of setting."
At the Oxbow Overlook of the Rio Chama, which
doubled for the Rio Grande, Papi Greco's coyotes herd
Bobby and Stig, along with a group of immigrants,
across the ragged Mexico outback. With only 24 hours
to deliver the heist money to the drug lord, Bobby and
Stig are in a race against the clock to rescue Deb.
Washington recalls the exhausting filming
sequence: "For the Rio Grande scene, we shot in this
semidry lake bed to get the Western feeling and broad
landscapes that Balt wanted. I'm a good swimmer, so
it wasn't that big of a deal. The water wasn't that deep,
but the current was strong and it would sweep you
down river pretty quickly. Fortunately, the stuntman I
was playing opposite was also a good swimmer." He
pauses and laughs. "Swimming a bit, walking across
the desert, shooting some bad guys and wearing gold
teeth: all in a day's work."
Albuquerque's overpass at Lead Avenue and
Broadway Boulevard was the perfect place to play out
the colossal traffic jam one often finds at a Mexico-
Texas border crossing. Framed by a steady stream of
extras playing day laborers crossing on foot, Bobby and
Stig sit in an idling car in dead-stop traffic. But when
their purposefully flimsy explanation for their southof-
the-border travel provokes a swarm of Kevlar-clad
customs agents with itchy trigger fingers, our boys are
hauled into the arms of the DEA.
Kormakur pushed for authenticity in the Mexico
settings, so Mickle and New Mexico location manager
REBECCA PUCK STAIR spent weeks searching for
Papi Greco's ranch, a private kingdom nestled high in northern Mexico's desert plains. Although it was more
than an hour's drive southeast of Albuquerque, it was
very much worth it. "At the end of this long driveway
sat a stunning house that hit all the right notes," Mickle
recalls. "It had perfectly whitewashed stone walls,
wrought-iron accents and nothing but blue sky and
beautiful, tan sand as far as the eye could see."
Off to the side of the ranch is a circular driveway,
where Bobby skids to a stop in a '63 Impala convertible
for a three-way, heavily armed standoff. Beyond that
driveway is a long house where ranch hands were
slinging dominoes. It is at this ranch, in the barbecue
scene at the beginning of the film, where Bobby and
Stig's cover begins to unravel.
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