A man yells at workers as they renovate his bar in a desolate and sandy desert town. A man in black strolls from the blinding sun into the bar, eyes blazing with the heat of revenge. After asking the bar owner, “Do you shoot women and children?” the man in black shoots him down. That’s 6 Bullets to Hell, a new spaghetti western-style movie from director, Tanner Beard. Beard is a director, writer and actor that loves westerns, the LA film industry and Austin Beerworks. Just after the premiere of his newest role in Thunder Broke the Heavens at The Dallas Film Fest, Beard sat down with me to chat about the Austin beer scene, California craft beer and movies.
Do you have a favorite drinking haunt in Austin or LA?
Beard has 2 homes; one in LA and the other in Austin. “I live at the SkyHouse Building off Rainey. To walk downstairs to some of the best bars in Austin, is amazing! Javelina Bar’s food is good and they always have great live music. I always go back and forth between there and Craft Pride because of their selection. I probably have to go with Javalina, though,…because of the music.”
In LA, Beard suggests Timmy Nollin’s Tavern and Grill, “I’ve been going there as long as I’ve lived in LA. It’s an Irish Pub in Taluca Lake [just north of LA].”
What was your first “eureka!” craft beer?
“Back when I first turned 21, I got a Shiner in a frozen mug. A good ol’ cold Shiner Bock. It was kinda rare 10 years ago.”
How’s the fridge stocked right now?
“Lately, I’ve been sitting at home getting ready for some acting roles, so I have to hit the gym and mostly avoid beer. But come Friday and Saturday nights, I’ve been drinking Austin Beerworks’ stuff. Royal Blue Grocery has great beer. They’re very hipster friendly and the selection is well thought out.”
Do you have any favorite Texas or California beers?
“Beer you have to try-Austin Beer Works! The top 2 are Peacemaker, it’s a really good summer time drink, and Black Thunder, it’s a little lighter than Guinness, but it’s the lightest dark beer I’ve ever drank. I don’t know what’s in it…crack cocaine?”
“I’m from Snyder, Tx originally, but my parents are in Granbury now. I really enjoyed Blood and Honey from Revolver last time I was visiting.”
In regards to California he said, “When it comes to crafts in California, the big ones being: Sierra Nevada, Firestone, and Stone Brewing Co. I’d say I’d still rather have any beer from Texas pop a Cali Craft.” and he added, “We were shooting a Travel Channel pilot a while ago. We were shooting places off the beaten path and were in The Kern River Valley. I like the stuff that nobody knows about. It makes me feel like I’m doing something interesting and not so main stream. That’s how I found Kern River Brewing. Plenty of old time westerns, like Stagecoach with John Wayne, were shot out there.”
Beard caught the movie bug after high school when he attended The New York Film Academy at Universal Studies. “I didn’t really go to college. I gotta say Snider High School was my alma mater. Instead I attended The New York Film Academy at Universal Studies. Shit, I got to film on the back lots of Universal Studios. It’s a very well-off school.”
What did you do with your education?
“My friends and I made a TV show on my neighborhood called Valley Peaks making fun of Spanish Soap Operas, in English. During the LA Writers Strike we lived on the street over from Warner Bros. During the strike we were making this TV show across from their fence. Looking back on it, that was one of the most fun times I had in LA. We had a few friends come on like; Kellan Lutz, Brea Grant and Lance Bass. We only planned to make 1 or 2 episodes, but then a German production company picked it up. Then The Writer’s Strike ended and we went back to work.”
Since that first series, Beard went on to act in multiple roles in features like; Thunder Broke the Heavens and From Dusk Till Dawn (the series), and even created his own production company, Silver Sail Entertainment, “There’s not always acting work and I hate the idea of not being able to control my career. I grew up making movies, so I started my production company to allow me to produce my own stuff. From underneath my feet it became a job.”
Beard and Silver Sail have been busy producing larger budget films with direct Terrence Malick like Knight of Cups with Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett (to name a few) and Weightless with Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gossling. The most recent indy film from Silver Sail is 6 Bullets to Hell, “It’s a spaghetti western in its truest form. It looks like it was dusted off the shelves. We dubbed the dialogue like the old westerns and shot everything on the same sets as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the deserts outside Almaria Spain. It’s a good revenge western!” says Beard.
I got a chance to watch 6 Bullets to Hell, sadly not with Austin Beerworks’ Peacmemaker, but with Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy. But it was a great pairing of boozy beer and bloody, bullet-riddled mayhem. So keep an eye out for some of Beard’s upcoming films and grab him a Peacemaker if you see him running around Austin.