Dallas International Film Festival Interview: Jackson Rathbone on Making 'Cowgirls n' Angels'

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Jackson Rathbone is known worldwide as vampire Jasper Hale in the "The Twilight Saga." He's quickly making a name for himself outside of that sunsetting franchise.

Rathbone has two movies in post-production right now, one, "Cowgirls n' Angels," coming out May 25. I had the opportunity to interview Rathbone at the Dallas International Film Festival, where the film made its U.S. premiere.

Give me a synopsis of "Cowgirls n' Angels."

"Cowgirls n' Angels" is the story of a young girl who really wants to identify herself through family. She ends up learning a whole lot about trick riding and who she really is. It's a beautiful story about growing up. It's a nice film that a whole family can enjoy.

Where was the movie shot?

It was shot in Stillwater, Oklahoma, through rain, shine, and even tornadoes. We survived a couple of dangerous instances out there. The months we shot were in May and June. I'm used to the humid weather and the cold weather. I lived in Norway and Texas when I was a kid. I'm pretty much used to anything. Tornadoes were new for me, though.

I remember I had the day off in Stillwater. There was a big tornado warning. All the cast and crew were filming. They went underground to the safest place you can be in Stillwater, Oklahoma. [They were] underneath the bank in these big vaults. I'm in the hotel [where] there's no basement. There's just a kitchen with a lot of knives on the wall. I was just sitting there in the kitchen of this hotel looking at all these knives, pots, pans, and glassware. [I was] thinking to myself, "This is not the safest place to be during a tornado." Luckily, it missed us by two or three city blocks.

Who do you play in the movie?

I play a young cowboy who falls in love with one of the cowgirls in the trick riding rodeo circuit. Their love is a little bit of a worry to the leader of the cowgirls; they don't want them to have too much of a life outside of the rodeo. They're really trying to build up their brand. [I] come in as a love interest and screw up things a little bit. The love is pure, so that's nice.

I had fun. It was a fun shoot. I got to work with Dora Madison Burge. She's an amazing actor. We had a lot of fun together.

Do you ride horses in the film?

Yes. The cool thing about "Cowgirls n' Angels" was all the really great work is done by the girls. The guys just sat back and watched them on those horses. Those girls were amazing at riding.

I grew up riding when I was younger in Texas. I actually learned how to ride in Norway. I really love riding horses. To get back on the saddle was great. I don't do more than just ride a horse. I'll trot, gallop, and generally just walk. The stuff these girls do in this film will blow your mind. It's dangerous.

You've been in blockbuster films like "Twilight" and independent ones like "Cowgirls n' Angels." Talk about the differences between the two.

I've been blessed in my career to be able to do studio and independent films. The story beats all to me. It's all about the story with "Cowgirls n' Angels." It's a really sincere and heartfelt coming-of-age family drama. It speaks to a lot of different people.

It's something I'm proud to have my parents watch today for our world premiere here in Dallas. I think it's something that will just be a lot of fun for the world to see. It's a very moving story. We have some amazing actors involved. I can't wait for people to check it out.

For more articles by Eric Shirey , check out:

Famke Janssen Discusses 'Bringing Up Bobby' at Dallas International Film Festival

Blu-ray Review: 'War Horse' (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)

Interview: Peter Bogdanovich Talks About New Films in Development

Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Famke Janssen, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.

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