Interview with Drew Waters about his experience acting in new Western movie ‘The Desperate Riders’

Ryan Ranc, Life and Arts general reporter

The Daily Texan interviewed Drew Waters, who plays the main protagonist, Kansas Red, in the upcoming Western flick “The Desperate Riders.” The film is coming to select theaters, digital and on demand on Feb. 25.


The Daily Texan: How was it working with the director and your fellow actors, especially when it came to all the shoot-out scenes throughout the movie?

Drew Waters: It’s the crew that you got to trust, especially when you’re dealing with Westerns, armory and all that. Luckily, we have one of the best in the biz. I’ve worked with the producer and director four different times outside of “The Desperate Riders.” It’s always a collective group of fun, active individuals that love what they do, which makes it exciting to be on set. I love Westerns. I’m a Texas boy at heart. Austin, Texas, I call home. All in all, we felt comfortable all the way around. … There’s Trace Adkins. … He’s a constant professional and just an all-around great guy. Then you have Vanessa and also Cowboy Troy. The stories he was telling were never dull.


DT: As you mentioned, you grew up in Texas, and we were wondering if being a Texan helped influence your Western acting in any specific way?

DW: I always tell everybody, “I was born in the wrong generation.” I should have been born back in the 1800s. When I was 14, I started breaking horses with my brother-in-law. He owned a ranch out in Texarkana, and I learned really quickly to respect and appreciate (horses). Horses and dogs are my spirit animals. I could ride (horses) all day long. Every time I jump on one, the horse wrangler goes, “You like being on those, don’t you?”, and I go, “Try to get me off, man. I’ll take it to lunch. I’ll take it anywhere you want me to go!”


DT: Are there any performances by any actors in Westerns, or, just in general, that inspired you in playing the role of Kansas Red?

DW: I kid around and everybody says this I’m sure, but Clint Eastwood is my all time. I just think he plays such an incredible, broken, misunderstood, (character) trying to struggle through life, do the right thing later in life, always getting pulled back in. It’s that whole typical story. You have spaghetti Westerns and I watch them all, but I always go back and watch Clint and all his stuff. I just think he did so well.


DT: What is it like working with horse actors?

DW: It’s a comfort (thing). You have to be comfortable on a horse. You have to respect the horse because it’s a large animal. You have to respect the people around that large animal, and that large animal may not like some of the things those people are doing. It goes back to the team effort. Your horse wrangler is the one that controls the horse, brings it in and out and they usually set the horse up for a show. You get to know the horse. You get to know (the wrangler). You go in. You ride it. You get comfortable with it. Then from there, you have respect. You don’t wear on the horse’s mouth. A lot of people like to dig into the mouth and stuff. Most great horses on set, they’re pressure trained, so all you gotta do is lean into heel somewhere or a knee somewhere, and they’ll just turn left or right. Or just lean your waistline (to) different sides, and they’ll turn left or right. You never really have to hit hard in their mouth. It’s more show.


See the video interview here: