Tribeca 2015: Faith Hill Reunited With Her McDonald's Boss Thanks to 'Dixieland'
Said RJ Mitte of shooting in Mississippi: "Actors are spread far and wide — very few are actually from New York and L.A. — so when you're able to work in an environment you feel comfortable in, it helps so much."
The Dixieland set was a homecoming for many of the film's cast and creative team, especially Faith Hill, who plays Arletta in director-writer Hank Bedford's first feature, centering on a dramatic love story between an ex-con (Chris Zylka) and a newbie stripper (Riley Keough).
"We shot in this little town called Pearl, Mississippi, and I spent a good bit of time there when I was a teenager," Hill told The Hollywood Reporter at the film's premiere on Sunday at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. "There were a lot of people that I knew who were hired locally to help on the set. Actually, my first job was working at McDonald's, and the car that we were using on set was owned by my first boss. I hadn't seen him in 25 or 30 years!"
Many members of the team have Southern roots, including Brad Carter, who plays a sketchy strip club owner in the film. Though he initially didn't know anyone on set, he was immediately embraced. "When we got to set, Faith hugged me like we were old friends, because it turns out her and [her husband] Tim [McGraw] are big fans of True Detective," Carter recalled.
RJ Mitte loved filming in the state. "I love the woods, so when I'm in a wooded area, I'm all over it!" Mitte told THR. "Actors are spread far and wide — very few are actually from New York and L.A. — so when you're able to work in an environment you feel comfortable in, it helps so much."
"It's real — the people are real," Zylka added. "I had never experienced Southern hospitality before, and it's so real there, especially in Jackson [Miss.]."