Katrina Elam makes acting debut in “Pure Country 2”
A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma native makes acting debut in ‘Pure Country 2′
Singer-songwriter and Bray native Katrina Elam used her experiences in the music business to inform her character in the drama “Pure Country 2: The Gift.”
DALLAS — Back in 1992, George Strait made his movie debut with the hit musical drama “Pure Country.”
That same year, Bray native Katrina Elam made her singing debut at a 4-H talent show, bringing her mother to tears with her confident, big-voiced performance.
Now 26, Elam is making her first foray into acting and sharing the screen with the King of Country Music in the spinoff “Pure Country 2: The Gift,” opening today in theaters.
“I just really wanted to meet George Strait,” Elam said with a laugh during a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas. “I certainly have never thought about being an actress; it still kind of even cracks me up. But you know, it was fun. I thought, ‘Why not? I’m an adventurous person so I’ll try it.’ I’m glad I did it.”
Elam stars as Bobbie Thomas, who as a baby receives the gift of a divine voice from a trio of angels. But the angels (Cheech Marin, Michael McKean and Bronson Pinchot) also require her to follow three rules — never lie, always be fair and never break a promise — in order to keep her heavenly talent. When Bobbie leaves her tiny Kentucky hometown to seek her fortune in Nashville, the aspiring country singer learns the path to stardom is riddled with obstacles, including the temptation to compromise her values for wealth and fame.
The Oklahoma-born and bred singer-songwriter was able to channel the ups and downs she has faced in her own country music career for the movie role.
“What I learned was maybe what you don’t want is fame and like all the craziness; maybe what you want to do is just make music. And that’s kind of where I come from and that’s kind of how I relate to the character. I just want to do what I do and I want to do it well enough hopefully to get paid enough to live,” Elam said with a laugh. “But I’m not gonna sell my soul and I’m not gonna make my personal life sacrifice too much for that.”
After that 4-H talent show, Elam became an in-demand performer at weddings, parties and events around the state. She caught the attention of country superstars and fellow Oklahoma natives Reba McEntire and Vince Gill, who took her name back to Nashville. She signed her first publishing deal at age 16.
In 2004, she released her self-titled debut album, produced by Tony Brown and Jimmie Lee Sloas, on Universal South. She scored a Top 40 hit with “No End in Sight” and toured with Keith Urban. Around that time, Brown, Strait’s go-to producer, also recommended Elam to “Pure Country” director Christopher Cain, who was working on the follow-up.
“The problem with getting this movie made is if you’re doing a movie about a girl with a gift, she’d better have one. Or you’re dead. And she came along,” Cain said.
Cain and his stepson, actor/writer Dean Cain (who makes a cameo), actually penned the script for “Pure Country 2” 15 years ago. The project was quickly green-lit, and LeAnn Rimes was sought for the lead role. When she turned it down, the project was shelved. Over the years, the Cains tried at various times to get the film on track.
“We didn’t wait six years for her to grow up, it just took that long to get the movie made, for the obvious reasons that you don’t see these movies on the big screen much anymore,” said Christopher Cain, adding that the film was independently financed.
Buy Tickets View all
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 11753Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10515Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 9760Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9740Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6752Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 4200Oklahoma tornadoes: 27 remain hospitalized from tornadoes
- 4065Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 3847Downtown wish list includes Super Target
- 3762Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 3552OU softball: Sooners inspired by Casey Angle, run-rule Texas A&M
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients