Scout Taylor-Compton is the complete opposite of a damsel in distress as she stars in the female-led Western Apache Junction.
Apache Junction is an outpost of lawlessness, a haven for thieves and cold-blooded killers. After big-city reporter Annabelle Angel (Scout Taylor-Compton) arrives to write an article on the town, she becomes a target when notorious gunslinger Jericho Ford (Stuart Townsend) comes to her aid. Now Annabelle must entrust her future to a man with a deadly past, as Jericho heads toward a tense showdown in this thrilling Western that unloads a double-barreled blast of action. Costarring country music superstar Trace Adkins and Thomas Jane and Danielle Gross.
Check out my interview with Scout!
I know you most from Halloween and horror, what brought you into the Western genre?
Scout: Oh goodness. I’ve always had an interest in western movies. I grew up watching them with my dad. I grew up in Apple Valley, which is where Rogers Museum used to be. I grew up going to that museum all the time, which kind of was like the weekend get away. I grew up watching Rogers and all that stuff. I’ve always been attracted to westerns and that kind of story, it’s just like an action pack adventure. So, when I got this script I was so stoked to jump on board.
So, because you are already excited going into this, what was it like once you were actually in costume, with your gun, on the horses and everything?
Scout: Oh, it’s so cool! It really is, even from the first costume fitting. I mean, you just kind of get those butterflies when you see the character unfolding before your eyes. And then you get on set, and do the wig and the hats and makeup, and then you get to the actual filming location and you see the town and the horses start to come in, and the extras start to come in. It’s kind of a surreal feeling really, I mean, I feel like no other genre does that, you know? I feel like when you’re doing a period piece, you have so much behind you to help you and your character come alive.
So, I’m from the Midwest, and I don’t know anything about Western life- I recently found out that Apache Junction is a real place. Did you get to film there or visit?
Scout: No, we didn’t get to film there and we didn’t visit. We actually started filming right when the pandemic hit. We were kind of glued to where we were filming in Santa Fe, which was like a built-in western town. We actually got shut down because of the pandemic, and then had to continue filming, six, seven months later at Joshua Tree. So, unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit the Junction but yeah, I didn’t know that either.
What was it like working with all the guys?
Scout: Oh, so fun, honestly. Stuart is such a free spirit like me so he was so easy to get along with and watching him on screen, he just has this smoothness and swag, you know? I feel like all the ladies love Stuart. He’s a great, great man and very spiritual, so I got along with him very well. Trace, I’ve been a fan girl for a long time. I grew up listening to country and I have loved him for a very, very long time so that was very special for me. And then, Thomas, I mean he’s an A plus actor, I like watching him on set. It was so interesting, sometimes I would get lost, because I’d be in the scene with him and I would just be watching him, not as my character, but as Scout because I would just be so lost in what he’s doing. He’s very subtle, there’s not too many actors that are like that, Tom Hanks is like that. It’s just like they don’t even have to try. I loved filming with these guys, it was a lot of fun.
You also got to work very closely with Danielle, you had quite a few scenes together and they were just really touching and for me, as a woman, looking back on history, they were probably my favorite scenes.
Scout: It’s really, really interesting because they were my favorite scenes, honestly. I think that was the beginning of a time when women were reuniting and joining forces. And these scenes showed two women, with completely two different backgrounds, getting along with one another and learning who they were. And Danielle is so special. She really is such a great actress and I’m very excited about where her career is going. But yeah, those were my favorite scenes, as well, for sure.
And this is a female led Western. What do you think this means for the genre as a whole?
Scout: I think that’s what attracted me to it. It’s not your typical man movie, you know, I mean, it is filled with that, but it’s being led by strong women. I think that’s so important to tell, because in that time, that’s what was happening, women were finding their voices, they were finding their voices as individuals, and they were joining forces, and it took a very, very, very long time for women, but I think that that’s important to show. When you do watch westerns, it’s like the “damsel in distress.” I don’t think that the majority of that time women were like, ‘help me, help me, help me.’ So it’s nice to see that.
Getting back to the fun action stuff, your character got to do quite a bit. Were you expecting to do more with this story?
Scout: You know, there’s a part where I get shot and I’m like, just hanging over the horse, and I’m just kind of trotting in, it was supposed to be a big, like I was supposed to be on the back of a horse with a gun having a shoot out while injured, but I think the pandemic kind of hit us sideways. We got shut down, and then when we came back, we had to modify what we were able to do because then there were the costs of COVID, and that just puts an independent feature way over budget. We definitely had to kind of minimize things here and there, which is unfortunate but, I mean, I’m glad that I did get to hold a couple of guns here and there.