“Blue Bloods” star Tom Selleck has made some memorable Westerns in his day. And one of those was “Quigley Down Under,” a 1990 Western set in Australia that also starred the late Alan Rickman and Laura San Giacomo.
Selleck was asked in 2015, after his induction into the Hall of Great Western Performers in 2010, why he thought “Quigley Down Under” became such a cult classic. Selleck answered that the script was good, the director did a great job and the movie featured some particularly resonant themes.
“The first thing that always gets to me when I’m considering doing a part is what happens when you read the script,” Selleck said. “I found a real emotional connection with the character. I think Simon Wincer, who also directed “Lonesome Dove”… Simon really got that picture. He’s Australian. But he also understands horses.”
“And I think the idea of a fish out of water, particularly a cowboy going somewhere else, has a great allure,” the “Blue Bloods” star added. “As I know cowboys do in general. I think when you put him in that environment, in this vast landscape of the Australian outback… it has so many elements. He’s kind of an avenging angel.”
Watch Selleck’s answer here:
‘Blue Bloods’ Star Would Have Cast John Wayne in the Movie
Selleck admitted that he was daunted by the role. He said he could’ve seen Western legend John Wayne as Quigley. And that made him feel more than a little inadequate.
“I found it a little intimidating playing Quigley,” Selleck confessed. “Because I said, ‘I think I would have cast John Wayne in this. And he would’ve done better.’ But I had to get over that.”
“It just was a really well-done movie,” Selleck added. “[The film] was released during the same month I had another movie out. [‘Quigley Down Under’] made quite a bit of money, but they pulled it right away. It was also released the same month with ‘Dances With Wolves.’”
Ultimately, what happened was that the movie succeeded at the box office, and it became a favorite in international markets. And that gave it some cultural staying power.
“What happened [was,] not only did we get great reviews, and not only did it make money in theaters, but once it got in the other markets, it’s just been around forever,” Selleck said. “And I’m really proud of that, because something’s gotta be good to last.”