FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Riding a Harley-Davidson was among the prerequisites actor Marshall Teague faced for playing the main character in the film “Last Ounce of Courage.”
For Teague, in the role of combat veteran Bob Revere, riding the bike — a ’92 Softail Custom Harley — was the easy part. The Navy veteran had ridden motorcycles as a deputy sheriff in Shelby County, Tenn., following his stint in the military. An assignment to work undercover in a motorcycle club motivated Teague to attend acting classes to help with the job.
He was hooked.
The guy who never wanted to be an actor has enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 35 years with appearances in 30 movies and hundreds of television shows. Film credits include “The Rock,” “Armageddon” and the cult classic “Road House.” TV roles have run the gamut from the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” to Chuck Norris’ “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
Teague talks about Last Ounce of Courage, including how the Harley fits into his experience with the movie, which opens Sept. 14.
BP: You got the part of Bob Revere on the recommendation of a friend who had worked with you in Road House. Richard Headrick [Last Ounce executive producer] says you believe you were “born” to play the role. Were you?
Teague: I read the script in about an hour. I told a friend, I don’t know who is going to get this role, but whoever plays the part of Bob Revere better bring his A game. The script is a diamond in the rough. If the person who plays this does not tell it from the heart, he is not telling it correctly. I was blessed to get the role.
BP: This is not a role mainstream Hollywood goes for, is it?
Teague: I know that. I had said that if this were to be the last role I were to ever play, my life as an actor would be complete. I would have done the one role that means the world.
Let me tell you a story. We shot the opening scenes where I was riding Richard’s bike [the ’92 Harley] from Durango, Colo., over the top of the mountains one and a half or two years after the initial filming. Richard’s bike was jetted for sea level, and here we were at 9,000 feet. The motorcycle did not want to crank. I spoke to her, treated her with respect. I told her, “I’m asking you one more favor. Fire one more time. I will take you to the top of this mountain and I won’t make you fire again.” She fired. It was 17 degrees. I was in a T-shirt and Richard’s denim jacket. Snow was falling.
Sometimes it’s like a hand gives you a push. That night at dinner, the director Kevin McAfee said, “If this was the last movie I was ever to do, I would be complete.” The exact same words. That’s how we feel.
BP: Any other reflections on the filming or the film?
Teague: It’s an incredible film done on a small budget. I have seen large studios make films that don’t mean much — batwings and special effects. This film has no special effects. It speaks truth. Richard and Gina [Headrick] were very supportive. Filming took eight to 10 weeks. We shot through weather, storms, tornadoes. It did not matter. Everyone there, the entire cast and crew, believed in the project. I have never seen a group of people come together as strongly as this.
BP: You’ve had a successful career. Has your Christian faith cost you any parts?
Teague: I know for a fact that I have lost parts because of my faith and I have been told that. It doesn’t change my resolve.
BP: Gina Headrick stated that the film has been endorsed by the NRA, James Dobson and even Chuck Norris.
Teague: After filming, we actors go our separate ways, looking for the next job. We are nomads. Six months later, Rodney Stone [another producer] sent me a rough finished copy [of the film], asking what we thought. We’d been through a lot personally — a major move, a death in the family — so we reached out to people we trusted, our close friends Chuck and Gena Norris. We love them as our own family. We asked them to look at the movie and give us their honest opinion. We watched them go through a box of Kleenex. They offered their support. We did not go asking for an endorsement. Chuck has never endorsed a film he has not been involved in, but he told us, “I want our seal to be on this film.”
BP: How has response been to the film in screenings?
Teague: Very positive. We screened the film in Tampa. A lady came up to me and said she didn’t really watch faith-based films because, though they have a good message, they often aren’t done very well. She was crying and she hugged me. She said she absolutely loved the film and it got to her in more ways than I could imagine. She could say that because the Headricks, [director] Darrel Campbell and Veritas [Entertainment] brought together people who have the craft of filmmaking. An 85-year-old man walked up to me after seeing the film. “I served my country,” he said. “I’ve been waiting 85 years for someone to stand up there and say what you said. You made my day. You made my life.” Where can you go from there?
Jane Rodgers is a writer in Rowlett, Texas. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).