Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

NM singers and actors share experiences working on the Clint Eastwood film

LAS CRUCES – “Cry Macho,” the recently released film by Clint Eastwood, featured not only landscapes from New Mexico, but also talent from the land of enchantment.

The latest of many films Eastwood made in New Mexico, “Cry Macho” was released in theaters on September 17th and streamed on HBO through October 17th. Max Really Means To Be A Good Man By That rural mexico travel.

Eastwood stars and directs the film, which is primarily shot in the Belen area. it begins with the song “Find a New Home”, which is sung by a native of Portales. Among the supporting cast of the film is a man from Las Cruces.

Actor and director Clint Eastwood with Tessa and Will Banister.  Will Banister, from Portales, New Mexico, sings the opening song in Eastwood's film

“Find a new home”

The song “Find a New Home”, written by Mark Mancina, is sung by Will Banister in the film.

Banister, from eastern New Mexico, is a country singer who has been performing professionally for about 12 years. He said the producers reached out to him because they wanted a Merle Haggard-like sound. It’s a comparison, said Banister, it was a big compliment.

About a month ago, Banister said he and his band flew to California to perform for Eastwood on his private golf course. A few weeks later, Banister and his wife Tessa were flown back to California for a private screening of “Cry Macho”.

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“We hung out with Clint Eastwood a few times and took our picture with him,” said Banister. “Personally, it was an honor to be able to experience something like that…. I grew up with his films. “

Banister said he is currently working on songwriting for a future album. He is also touring Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico with dates through February 2022. You can find performance information online at willbanister.com.

“It was an honor”

Las Cruces-based actor Brock Reyes said he was honored to be working on a film with Oscar-winning Eastwood.

Reyes has appeared in several films, including the recently released Bruce Dern film “Death in Texas,” which is set in El Paso and was filmed primarily in Las Cruces. He played one of the villains alongside Ronnie Gene Blevins’ protagonist.

In “Cry Macho” Reyes plays Capitan Garcia – a different and smaller role than he had originally expected. He said he tested positive for COVID-19 before filming began. He lost the bigger role, but about a month later he said the production had contacted him again and asked if he felt ready to return to the film in another role.

He said he was nervous about working with Eastwood at first, but he got warm with the work when he realized the director was humble.

“That was the best part of this project for me, Clint Eastwood asked for me,” Reyes said. “It’s one of the nicest things of my career to work with him. It was an honor; It was a pleasure.”

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Reyes has even more acting appearances. One of his next projects is post-production. The western film “Dead for A Dollar”, which was shot in Santa Fe, played Hamish Linklater, Christoph Waltz, Rachel Brosnahan and Willem Dafoe. He is also involved in the TV series “The Cleaning Lady” with Rana Haddad, Jay Mohr and Shiva Negar.

Leah Romero is the trend reporter for Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached on Twitter at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah.

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