Take a good look at that old man with the gun. If you’re a country fan, he should look familiar to you.
It’s Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks taking on the role of “Crazy Uncle Elmer” in the new movie, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Once you watch this clip from the film you’ll realize this is not just another country star playing a version of himself on-screen. Kix took on a whole new persona for this part.
“I studied hard for it. It’s a wacky part,” Kix tells Rare Country. “A character like that, you’ve got to focus. For me, I’ve really got to pay attention and be that guy, at least while I’m on camera or a few minutes before. Thirty minutes, I’d go hide somewhere and start being him.”
Due to his crazy schedule, Kix declined a role in the movie at first. His son, Eric Brooks, had a hand in writing the script, and Kix is an executive producer on the film. But once he read the part of Uncle Elmer, Kix knew he couldn’t pass up this role.
He says, “When I got to this part in the script, I went, ‘Ooh, I wonder who’s doing that?’ I said, ‘Who’s playing Uncle Elmer?’ They started laughing and said, ‘We were hoping you would.’ I went, ‘Oh man, I’m freakin’ in.'”
When it came time to actually play Uncle Elmer on camera, Kix took a few cues from the late actor Jim Varney, better known to the world as “Ernest P. Worrell.” Jim also played a character named “Lloyd Worrell,” who talked in that gravelly, ornery tone of voice similar to the one you hear Kix using for “Uncle Elmer.”
“I kind of called on his muse there,” Kix says, “because he had a lot of funny bits with this old, crazy man he used to do.”
A Hollywood megastar gave Kix a few pointers on staying in character while on set. Johnny Depp came out to see Brooks & Dunn’s Las Vegas show with Reba McEntire a few years back, and Johnny came backstage to see Kix after the concert. Kix took the opportunity to ask him how he manages to nail his part when filming intense roles like the dark, evil Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass,” which had just hit theaters at the time.
Kix recalls, “I said, ‘Do you have to be that guy the whole time?’ He said, ‘Yeah, pretty much.’ I go, ‘Man, to be somebody that mean and that dark and have to stay in that character. Were you like that for a couple months or so when you were filming?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, pretty much.’ I go, ‘Wow. I guess you’d have to be.’ I said, ‘Is that unhealthy?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I don’t think it’s really good for you.'”
Don’t worry about Kix’s mental health, though. He had an absolute blast playing Uncle Elmer.
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” also features an appearance from “The Dukes of Hazzard” star John Schneider as the recently deceased country music legend Colt Montana. According to Colt’s will, his two sons must go on a crazy road trip to mend fences with their extended family before they can collect their inheritance. That trip leads them to Uncle Elmer.
Morgan Fairchild and William Shockley also appear in “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” The film is now on sale on DVD at Walmart and Walmart.com.