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Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and More on Making a Modern Western

In Hell or High Water, two brothers begin a crime spree to save their family’s finances in West Texas. Toby (Chris Pine) is a divorced dad who is trying to make sure his kids have a better life than he did. Tanner (Ben Foster) is a wild card, fresh out of jail and a bit of a loose cannon. A local bank is trying to foreclose on their family’s land, where oil has been discovered, so the brothers begin to rob all the branches of the bank, to pay them back with their own money. On the other side of the law, nearly-retired Texas Ranger Marcus (Jeff Bridges) and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham) try to track the brothers down after a robbery gone wrong. This modern day western is directed by David Mackenzie, and we recently set off for Austin, Texas to chat with the movie’s stars about bringing this film to life.

Hell or High Water gives a look at some questionable morality and no one is completely good or bad here. Okay, maybe Alberto is good, but each character has some pretty serious issues. Marcus just can’t seem to give up his job as a Ranger, and spends a lot of the movie flinging racial slurs at Alberto, who he clearly considers his closest friend. He feels like he’s on the side of the law and what the bank is doing to the people of West Texas isn’t a factor. Tanner has some pretty terrible methods of keeping a lid on things, but he’s out to save his brother’s family. Toby loves his brother, but is doing the right thing in the wrong way. We discuss the morality of the characters, their choices, and even the crazy stunt driving they had to do for the film. Director David Mackenzie also talks about Texas as a character and what it all means.

Check out our interviews and let us know what you think. Hell or High Water opens in theaters in limited release on August 12 and goes wide on August 19.

Are you guys excited to see the film? Are you looking forward to watching Captain Kirk and the Dude face off in cowboy hats? Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know! We’d also love to hear about your favorite Western of all time.

Image: CBS Films and Lionsgate

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