John Wayne‘s family is keeping the actor’s legacy alive and well. The Duke’s grandson Brendan has even taken up acting in Hollywood himself. In fact, Wayne’s grandson appeared in a remake of one of his grandfather’s early westerns.
Though he didn’t play Wayne’s character, Brendan played a small role in a 2009 remake of “Angel and the Badman.” The original John Wayne film came out in 1947 during Wayne’s black and white western era. The film cast Wayne as gunman Quirt Evans. A Quaker woman nurses the gunslinger back to health after he was injured. And the two fall in love.
In a 2011 interview with Variety, Brendan Wayne confessed he had no intention of playing his grandfather’s character in the film. Likewise, producers chose not to pursue Brendan for the role because they didn’t want comparisons to John Wayne’s original.
“When they first asked me, I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m playing one of my grandfather’s iconic roles. I just can’t do it,'” Brendan Wayne told the outlet. “And they were like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re not considering you for Quirt Evans.'”
Brendan Defends John Wayne
The 2009 remake ultimately decided to cast Lou Diamond Phillips. Phillips appeared in films like “La Bamba” and the “Young Gun” series. But Brendan confessed Phillips got on his bad side when he made comments about John Wayne. Brendan didn’t believe Phillips valued his grandfather’s legacy and his contributions to cinema.
“I did overhear him doing an interview, and he said something like, ‘You know, the Duke was just the Duke. He kind of just played that character. I’m going to bring something a little bigger, a little darker to it,'” Brendan Wayne recalled.
Brendan Wayne wanted to confront Phillips about the diss. But his mother convinced him not to say anything to the actor.
“I about lost my temper,” Brendan Wayne continued. “My mom was in my ear, saying, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it.’ To be overlooked by critics is one thing, but when another actor doesn’t recognize John’s ability to be subtle and powerful. Watch the original ‘Angel and the Badman,’ and you’re going to see a guy who’s got range. It’s one of the greatest acting performances I’ve ever seen, period.”
While he didn’t say anything to Phillips, his co-star’s comments obviously bothered John Wayne’s grandson. And it’s safe to say that the two didn’t part on the best of terms. Fans continue to enjoy John Wayne’s vast catalog of films.