Gil Birmingham goes through “Hell or High Water” at San Antonio Film Festival

By Christina Acosta of  La Prensa De San Antonio

The 22nd annual San Antonio Film Festival may have wrapped up over 145 screenings last week; however, there was one film that stood out from the rest with a little help from a local actor.

Gil Birmingham, whom many know him as Billy Black from the Twilight Saga and Daniel Lanagin from “House of Cards,” transformed himself into the Texas Ranger for the film “Hell or High Water.” Birmingham could not be happier that the film premiered in Texas, especially at a festival that gives locals interested in film the opportunity to show their finished product.

“I think it’s wonderful that we have these film festivals, in particular this one, because there are so many great films that have limited resources to get distribution,” Birmingham told La Prensa. “Perhaps the only time people get to see these films are when directors and actors come together, so it’s great that the public comes out to support it.”

The film is on a mission with Texas Rangers Alberto Parker (Birmingham) and Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) to capture bank robbers Tanner (Ben Foster) and Toby Howard (Chris Pine), who are also brothers, in a race to justice or away from it. However, there is a double edge sword in the movie when taking sides between the heroes and villains.

There is a balance in the film that will shock and give tears to many throughout the movie, especially when the cause behind the crimes is revealed.

It is one that makes you question that if the cops catch them, then the brothers will no longer bring humor, seriousness and a relatable tone to the story. However, if the cops do not catch them, they will allow more banks to lose money and put people’s lives on the line.

Birmingham explained that when he first got the script, he was up to the challenge of being a part of the storyline dilemma knowing that he will be on the front of it all.

“It always starts with the script. You always want to find the structure and that the writing that really relates and resonates for you as well as the characters,” continued Birmingham. “You are asked to portray and interact with other characters, which I think is the strongest strength of this movie. It is a character driven piece that everyone can relate to when viewing the relationship with the two partners and the two brothers.”

After going into one of the best films of the year, Birmingham is unsure about what direction to steer towards for his next films. Nevertheless, he did encourage those interested in being a part of the film industry to follow their dreams without any fear.

His words and wisdom may even encourage many to be a part of next year’s San Antonio Film Festival.

“I think it is always a matter of following your passion. If it is something you have in your heart and you feel destined to do this work, then it is the matter of perseverance and discipline – just stay with it,” concluded Birmingham.

“Hell or High Water” will be in theatres later this year.

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