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After hitting the music scene with an achy breaky bang a few years back, Billy Ray Cyrus has recently been two stepping his way into acting. His numerous videos and appearances on "Love Boat: The Next Wave" and TV movie "Mulholland Drive"--directed by David Lynch--have been good training ground, and now Cyrus is tackling his first starring role as ex-CIA gun runner Jack Reynolds in the indie film "Radical Jack".

"The best way I can describe the script is that it is somewhere between "Road House", "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and "Billy Jack'." says Cyrus. " What's really nice about acting is that my music parallels my life exactly and acting is as far from being myself as I can get. It's therapeutic. I've fallen in love with it. Acting is just that...acting. It gives me someplace to go."

In the film Jack Reynolds tries to run from his checkered past, moving from town to town to recover his sanity and peace of mind. He finally lands in New England, working as a bartender when his past catches up to him. Co-starring as the love interest in the film is Dedee Pfeiffer ("Up Close and Personal", "Frankie and Johnny").

"I was taken aback by what a gentleman he is," says Pfeiffer. "He's really kicking the butt out of this role. He has this rawness to his performance but his lack of experience is actually working very well for him."

And be assured it's an action film--including an early scene where Reynold's wife and daughter get blown to bits by the bad guys. Cyrus's real wife Tish and daughter were asked to play the roles but declined. Cyrus did most of his own stunts, including riding some "fast Harleys, powerful jeeps" and mano a mano fight scenes that feature a few grenade throws. While the fight scenes came easily, Cyrus had a little more difficulty with the love scenes. "I've never done anything like that with the cameras rolling", he says.

But Cyrus the singer is never far away, as Cyrus and singer songwriter Don Von Tress wrote the score for the movie.

"Music will always be my first passion," he says. "My fans will always be my first priority. I can't imagine life without the stage, the band and going out there and making music."

Family man Cyrus has been married for almost a decade to his hometown sweetheart Tish. Together they have four kids with number five on the way. They live on a sprawling ranch in Franklin, TN along with several horses, barns and a lake. Cyrus recently left his long time record label, but is already planning a new album and has a heavy touring schedule through 1999.

"I think I'll get to see the fan's reactions to the film first hand," says Cyrus "because we plan to set up our tour for the fall around different theaters. We hope to show the movie, then have an intermission, have the band come out and set up and then have the show." Now there's a double feature Cyrus style.

-- Sandra Schulman

Billy Ray Cyrus Film
Radical Jack

release date in early 2000 direct to video with limited screenings
Wish You Were Dead
begins filming in two weeks

Record
Shot Full Of Love

(11/3/98) Mercury

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 1 - September 2018
Turnpage Blk


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