June 14 (UPI) -- The Boondock Saints and Dexter alum Sean Patrick Flanery said he signed on to star in The Outsider because it continues the legacy of a film genre he has always loved.
Due in theaters and on video-on-demand Friday, The Outsider is a fictional revenge tale set in the 19th-century American west.
"It reminds me of The Outlaw Josey Wales and Clint Eastwood and I think that is bad-ass," the 53-year-old actor told UPI recently by phone, adding he also thought of western icon John Wayne and the classic movies of John Ford as he prepared for his latest role.
"Every dude growing up would love to shoot a film with a six-gun on his waist, and I got to spin it for about a month solid out in the desert, riding a horse."
Flanery plays Chris Lee, a disgraced lawman given a second chance when he is hired to bring in Jing Phang (John Foo,) the Chinese railroad worker who killed several people in retribution for the rape and murder of his pregnant wife.
"Any time you take away a guy's consequences and he is willing to go right to the edge and perhaps even leap off... that makes for a pretty flavorful opportunity," the actor said.
The film also offered Flanery the chance to share the screen with one of his favorite musicians, Trace Adkins.
"Being able to sit next to him on the set, just listening to him tell stories with that voice, was kind of ridiculous," Flanery said. "It's killer to be isolated with the right people, and I happened to be isolated with the right people."
Budget constraints meant the film's cast and crew had to work as quickly as possible, wrapping principal photography at the Paramount Ranch in just over four weeks. Some of the sets used in the film subsequently were destroyed in the wildfires last year.
"If you ask Tom Cruise, he would not be able to compute how you could do one scene in the length of time we were able to do an entire film," Flanery said, referring to the star known for his work in big-budget, multi-location action movies that take many months to make.
"I've made a career out of making tiny, independent films -- most of which nobody ever sees -- so this is about a usual shoot time [length.]"
Fighting and horseback riding weren't that physically challenging for the erstwhile star of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, but being wet and cold during rainy night shoots certainly were.
"We shot that on the desert and it dipped well below the 30s every night, so that was pretty crazy, and the water tank we were making it rain from stayed there overnight, so it was freezing," he said.
Not that he's complaining.
"I had a warm trailer and a craft service table with a hot turkey and cheese [sandwich] any time I was ready to eat it," he said. "I understand real work and, as much as a pain in the butt this was, it's not real work. It's something I would do for free."
Flanery said he has known The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus since the early 1990s -- well before they made the first Boondock Saints movie together.
He remembered being shocked to hear both he and his best friend landed the lead roles in the Irish-American crime drama, which was released in 1999.
"I was, like, there is no way they are going to cast us together, send us to a foreign country, stack our pockets full of per diem and put us in a 5-star hotel, across the street from a world-class strip club. That cannot be possible, but they did," Flanery said.
The actors went on to co-star in a 2009 Boondock Saints sequel and recently reunited for an episode of Reedus' motorcycle travel series, Ride.
Should a third installment of Boondock get the green light, Flanery said he and Reedus would consider it.
"I think me and Reedus are on the same page, if it's right. We're certainly not closed off to the idea under the right circumstances," Flanery said.
The married father of three recently won a Daytime Emmy Award for his guest stint in the digital soap opera, The Bay.
The Outsider opens Friday. It co-stars Danny Trejo and Kaiwi Lyman.