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CRAZY HEART

The Supporting Cast
While Bad Blake struggles to find paying gigs wherever he can these days, his former young protégé, Tommy Sweet, has hit the big time as a bona fide superstar in the New Country tradition, playing huge stadiums to adoring fans and living in a mainstream pop culture world Bad can hardly imagine. Tommy becomes at once a bitter thorn in Bad's side and his meal ticket when he hires Bad to write songs for his highly anticipated next album. To play Tommy, the filmmakers decided to go with a surprise cameo, which features a performance that Rob Carliner said is "completely unexpected.”

Stephen Bruton said that he was especially impressed with the casting. "I always saw Bad and Tommy as being one guy trapped in failure and one guy trapped in success – and neither one can exist without the other, and that's the rub. You can see that there's deep admiration for each other and you see the paradoxes between them. And golly, this guy they cast can sing.”

Rounding out the main cast is producer Robert Duvall, well known as an Oscar®-winning actor, taking on the role of Wayne Kramer, Bad's bar-owning friend, who helps him turn his life around when push comes to shove. "Wayne is the kind of friend who kicks your butt when he has to,” says Duvall of the character.

Adds Scott Cooper: "Robert Duvall as Wayne Kramer is the story's moral compass. He's the one who is there for Bad through his trials and tribulations, who is there for him when no one else would be. Duvall plays that beautifully. In my opinion, he's one of America's greatest screen actors. Every take with him is so rich and so different. He's a virtuoso.”

Also appearing in the film is lauded Texas and New Mexico based singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham, of Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, who plays Tony, leader of the back-up band that plays with Bad Blake at a bowling alley, and also wrote the song "The Weary Kind,” written by Bad Blake in the film and performed live by Tommy Sweet.

Bingham was drawn to CRAZY HEART's authentic portrayal of life on the road. "There's an awful lot of guys just like this out there, playing amazing songs in roadhouse bars,” he says. "It's a dislocated life – it's great in some ways and it's kind of romantic and at the same time it can be hard and nasty and mean. It's always pushing and pulling on your soul. It can eat you up and spit you out and sometimes it can welcome you at the same time. The film gets to a lot of that.”

He also couldn't resist the company. "When you're offered the chance to sit around writing songs with T Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton and then to sit on the set with Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall it pretty much blows you away,” he sums up. "It turned out that everyone was really nice and it was a real, good time.”

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