Brendan Wayne Follows Legendary Family Tradition in 'Cowboys & Aliens'
Growing up the grandson of John Wayne, actor Brendan Wayne has some high expectations to live up to. Despite being part of a legendary Hollywood linage, he was raised to make his own way in the world. His authenticity and modesty truly won the Celebuzz staff over!
The up-and-coming star makes his mark in Cowboys and Aliens, doing his gramps proud by riding horses, firing off six shooters and doing his own stunts.
Celebuzz had to know more! Brendan shares his on-set stories and what it was like growing up the grandson of a big screen icon.
Your grandfather is a legend. How do you feel in following in his footsteps? I’m not there yet. I’m still on his coat tails [laughs]. I’ll get as far as I can.
Do you ever feel like that can overshadow you? You know, I can’t look at it in a negative way. It’s a positive thing. When I got to Cowboys and Aliens, they were all good to me. I did not mind talking about my grandfather at all. I don’t have any issues with that. I have a great life because of my grandfather.
What did you think of the first time you heard the title Cowboys and Aliens? I thought someone misspelled it or something instead of writing Cowboys and Indians [laughs]. Then I read it and got the part and still didn’t get it. When we did the table read with the cast, it fell into place. We were asked our opinions and it was amazing.
It seems like they going for an authentic feeling? Yes! As an actor on set, it was great being in all those exact costumes. It was great. It really felt like we were in a western town. I was standing there thinking, ‘This is really cool!’ The story has a modern mash-up which is really cool, but people will be surprised at the amount of western there is in it. Western movies tell really great stories with really great characters. There are also characters that don’t show up as much, but they do a really great job.
Did you do your own stunts? I did. When I was told I was going to have a stunt double I volunteered myself. It was great because the crew took care of me.
Were any of the stunts to difficult to pull off? There was one where I had to ride with professional riders [because] we had to ride really fast. I ended up getting really comfortable with horses, but I couldn’t have done that without the help of those guys. It was like a big family helping out.
Did your early experiences of being on set with your grandfather drive you to get into acting? I’m the youngest of eight kids, and none of them were actors. After college, my mom asked me what I wanted to do in life. I told her I wanted to be an actor and she pushed me to do it to the best of my ability, so I actually studied it. It’s good to know every aspect of the business.
So you weren’t a Hollywood kid? No. My mom made sure to make it clear that I was to find my own way. My mom cared enough to be honest about the business. I found myself before I got into it. It’s important to have a thick skin. People come up to me and ask about my grandfather, but to me he was just my grandfather.
What do you have coming up next? I’ll actually be doing another western. I’m excited!