Outlaw Blues, Dreams Come True

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Outlaw Blues fulfilled the childhood dreams of both of its leads by giving them the chance to sing.

“I was absolutely terrified,” Peter Fonda said. “I’d wanted to sing all my life long before I even thought about being an actor.”

Fonda was self-conscious about his talent, and normally, only sang in his car with the windows rolled up. But the film gave him a chance to break out, even allowing him to record songs for the film’s soundtrack.

Similarly, Susan Saint James said, “I had a great time. It was a dream come true.”

Susan found the role especially thrilling as it was her first feature film after starring in McMillian and Wife with Rock Hudson. The role gave her a chance to play a wider range of emotion, and she enjoyed the challenge. “It was written all over my face.”

Fonda recalled, “Working with Susan Saint James was fun... We developed moments for our scenes and didn't tell the director, who loved the way we filled them.”

The pair filmed all of the scenes in Texas, including in Austin and Huntsville Prison. Shooting on location helped capture the feel of the story and even Saint James’ wardrobe. She felt that a Hollywood version of her character might have worn fake fringe, if it had not been for seeing how people actually dressed in the area.