NM singer and actor share their experiences working on Clint Eastwood’s film


LAS CRUCES – Clint Eastwood’s recently released film “Cry Macho” featured not only New Mexico scenery, but talent from the Land of Enchantment as well.

The last of many movies Eastwood shot in New Mexico, “Cry Macho” hits theaters September 17th and for streaming on HBO Max through October 17. It follows the story of a former rodeo star who teaches a boy what it really means to be a good man as he travels through rural Mexico.

Eastwood is acting and directing the film, which was shot primarily in the Belen area. it opens with the song “Find a New Home”, interpreted by a native of Portales. Among the supporting actors in the film is a man from Las Cruces.

Actor and director Clint Eastwood with Tessa and Will Banister.  Will Banister, from Portales, New Mexico, sings the opening song of the Eastwood movie "macho cries."

“Find a new home”

The song “Find a New Home”, written by Mark Mancina, is performed by Will Banister in the film.

Banister, originally from eastern New Mexico, is a country singer who has performed professionally for about 12 years. He said the producers contacted him because they wanted a Merle Haggard sound. It’s a comparison that Banister said is a big compliment.

About a month ago, Banister said he and his band flew to California to perform for Eastwood at his private golf course. A few weeks later, Banister and his wife, Tessa, were flown back to California for a private screening of “Cry Macho”.

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“We hung out with Clint Eastwood a few times and had our pictures taken with him,” Banister said. “Personally, it was an honor to experience something like this…. I grew up watching his films.

Banister said he is currently working on songwriting for a future album. He is also on tour with dates slated until February 2022 in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Performance information is available online at willbanister.com.

“It was an honor”

Las Cruces-based actor Rocko Reyes said he was also honored to be working on a film with Oscar winner Eastwood.

Reyes has appeared in several films, including Bruce Dern’s recently released film “Death in Texas,” which is set in El Paso and was filmed largely in Las Cruces. He played one of the villains facing Ronnie protagonist Gene Blevins.

In “Cry Macho,” Reyes plays Capitan Garcia – a different and smaller role than the one he said he initially expected to play. He said that before filming began he tested positive for COVID-19. He lost the most important role, but about a month later he said the production contacted him again to ask if he felt ready to return to the film in a different role.

He said he was nervous working with Eastwood at first, but warmed up at work when he found out the director was humble.

“That was the best part of this project for me, Clint Eastwood asking me,” Reyes said. “It’s one of the best things of my career to work with him. It was an honor; It was a pleasure.”

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Reyes has more actor gigs planned. One of his next projects is in post-production. The western movie “Dead for A Dollar”, set in Santa Fe, stars Hamish Linklater, Christoph Waltz, Rachel Brosnahan and Willem Dafoe. He is also involved in the television series “The Cleaning Lady”, starring Rana Haddad, Jay Mohr and Shiva Negar.

Leah Romero is the trendy reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] Where @rromero_leah on Twitter.


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