Can’t you just see Jim Tuck as an Old West sheriff? He certainly has the voice for a character with gravitas. The retired Fresno radio personality and thespian landed a film role in Darrell Mapson’s new Western “Lost Outlaw.” In the film, Chinese gold miners get run off by outlaws, and one of them has to do some soul searching after meeting a woman of faith.
Pictured above: Jim Tuck plays one of the good guys in ‘Lost Outlaw.’
“Lost Outlaw” celebrates its world premiere on Thursday, June 17, at Yosemite Cinema in Oakhurst. We caught up with him to ask about the locally filmed production.
Q: Your role in the film is Jim Tucker. And you’re Jim … Tuck! Is that an amazing coincidence or was that by design?
A: It turns out the Writer/Director, Darrell Mapson, asked if I’d take the part before the character was named.
Q: Tell us about your character.
A: He’s a retired sheriff. He’s one of the good guys and helps the whippersnappers take down the bad guys.
Q: When and where did you shoot your scenes?
A: My scenes were shot at Fresno Flats Historical Park in Oakhurst and in Bandit Town, near North Fork. All of the scenes I appeared in for Alan Autry’s film, “Forgiven,” were also shot in Bandit Town, although then it was called Old Town North Fork. The settings, indoors and out, had a period feel to them and helped drive the attitudes of days gone by.
Q: Tell us what you’d think one big advantage would be of living in the Old West.
A: Hmm … I’m tempted to say no cell phones, but I also could give that answer as a disadvantage to living in those days. LOL! I tend to equate the Old West with smaller population centers where everybody knew everybody and the whole town would run out to help put out a neighbor’s fire or build a barn, and those kind of things. The sense of community was essential, I think.
Q: How about one big disadvantage of living in the Old West?
A: For me it would be difficulty of travel. I love to travel! Car, plane, ship…I just love going places and seeing things and meeting people, and I don’t think that happened as much then.
Q: Does doing a period piece like this make you think more about the history of places you might pass through every day?
A: That’s a really interesting question. I guess I’d have to say sometimes. When I force myself to not be “on task,” and examine “the moment,” then certainly I try to imagine what that life might have been like. And as an actor, imagining is growing. What might have been the great challenges of living there in that time? I wonder why people arrived here and decided to stay — or not stay. Lots of questions.
Q: Anything to add?
A: I loved every minute of this project. The cast and crew were all amazing and Darrell was so patient, even when falling acorns kept making us have to stop and reshoot the scene …over and over and over. It got to be so comical! I also loved being part of a story of redemption. It’s never too late to change and do the right thing.
I was really disappointed when I wrapped my shooting because I was having such a great time that I didn’t want it to end. I hope people will make it a point of seeing “Lost Outlaw” whenever they can and support the local folks.
Follow-up: I checked with Mapson about how folks can see the film after the Oakhurst premiere. He tells me: “The film will be released worldwide Sept. 13 of this year by my distributor, Bridgestone Multimedia Global. The platforms to see it remain to be seen. I am open to talking to any theaters or churches locally that would be willing to let me show it. I will be posting more along the way at my website.“