LONE STAR PRESS TOUR
By Gary Murray
The Studios in Las Colinas have been the home of many different movies, televisions shows and commercials. In the last few years, it has become the go-to place outside the Hollywood system. Both Prison Break and The Good Guys have been produced within the walls of the sound stages
Recently there was a introduction party for Lone Star one of Fox TV's most talked about dramas which is currently being staged at Las Colinas The story is of a con-man who is finishing up a gas futures scam in Midland while starting an energy scam in Houston. He has taken on two different names, Bob and Robert. He has a girlfriend in Midland and a wife in Houston. There are problems with the deceptions because he doesn't want to be a con-man but yearns for a normal life. His father (David Keith) keeps pushing him to keep going and make the big score. His other problem is that he is in love with both women who are marks of the con.
The pilot sets up the two worlds– the booming metropolis of Houston and the simple home town of Midland. He is a part of of both lives but there are mysterious clues that the entire con is much bigger than imagined. The family in Houston is lead by Oscar winner John Voight.
Eloise Mumford plays Lindsay, the Midland girlfriend and Mark Delkin plays Trammell, the Houston brother who suspects that something isn't right with his new brother-in-law. Shooting Lone Star is the first time either has worked in Dallas. Eloise said that the hardest thing about getting used to Dallas is dealing with the traffic.
Mark noted that the pilot, shot here in March, had every weather imaginable with one scene taking place in the snow. The network gave the production the go-ahead and filming started shooting July 22nd.
Even though the leads are all from the coasts, local actors have been used in small parts. Both Eloise and Mark have been impressed by the talent of the actors and the talent of the production facilities offered in Dallas. Mark said of working in Texas, "I think that this is the place to be."
Eloise said that she felt lucky to be around such Hollywood royalty as Jon Voight. "I can not say enough wonderful things about Jon, he's one of the most humble men I have ever met in my life. We are all like one big family." She said of Voight that he was incredibly generous and down to earth.
To get to the Studios, Eloise drove to through Texas. Stopping in Midland where her character is based she was in shock, calling Midland "an island in the middle of nowhere."
Mark's character has a sixteen year old son who is has put all his hopes and dreams on him "My ambitions for him are going to drive me to some bad and possibly tragic decisions about him," he said. They were a bit mum about all the details of Lone Star not wanting to spoil any of the dramatic secrets. They get the scripts three days before shooting. Both admit that the series will have some major twists and turns.
Eloise is a recent Drama graduate of NYU and was another actress hitting the boards during pilot season in LA. She got the basic audition and worked up for the bottom. She said, "Lone Star was the first time I tested for a pilot." She had done Broadway and theater, which included television guest spots "But," she said, "it was my first big thing."
"The hardest part (of doing Lone Star) is knowing how much everyone is counting on me. There are moments when you have to cry, actually cry, and there are thousands of dollars banking on the fact that you can act that moment. It is thrilling and exhilarating and really fun to get to but is nerve-racking," she said.
Mark auditioned at the last minute and did the approach with a different tact, not making his character evil. Then he was testing in front of all the Fox Network brass–a series of hoops as he called it. "I got the thumbs up and was on a plane on the next day to Dallas." Mark has also been seen on Justice and The X List and played in The Lion King on Broadway
Both are in love with the writing of Lone Star. Said Eloise, "There are details in the story of Lone Star that make it come alive. Little moments that get lost in television. The writers are trying to create something that is realistic and honest."
Mark seemed amazed by Dallas. "It has all the amenities and all the diversity of a major city but with the Texas flavor." The show is committed through December, thirteen episodes. "I'm an employed actor until Christmas," said Mark with a laugh.
Lone Stars premieres on Fox TV Monday September 20th.