The famous quote is certainly true when you consider that a first time German filmmaker by the name of Eva Hassmann has created a movie revolving around and starring Willie Nelson, and it’s taken her over 10 years to put it together.
Willie and Me is set to be released in a couple of days on February 9th (in select theaters and on-demand), and its synopsis goes as follows:
“In Willie and Me, Greta Weingarten (Hassmann) is a housewife who is trapped in a stagnant marriage. One evening while serving dinner to her successful but bland husband, she hears a radio announcement about Willie Nelson’s farewell concert. Through his music, she is transported back to her disjointed childhood.
Greta is suddenly overwhelmed by the need to see Willie Nelson and will do whatever it takes to be at his last concert in Las Vegas. She takes off on her journey, leaving behind the husband and comfortable life she knows. With everything against her, but so much ahead, she realizes that the return ticket becomes her heaviest piece of luggage.”
An international roadtrip movie that features a protagonist fighting multiple uphill battles and leaves her husband just to see the legendary Willie Nelson in concert? Fill up my popcorn bucket and tell me where to sit. I am THERE.
Willie Nelson stars in the movie in two different roles – one role being himself, and the other being a mysterious medicine man that helps out the movie’s protagonist at some point during her journey.
And because the movie took so long to come together, there’s a large age gap between the two roles that Willie plays in, as explained by Hassmann, the movie’s creator, in an interview with Texas Monthly:
“It took a while to get the whole film together. I had to sometimes shoot in episodes, so there is a time gap between…I mean, it took me nearly ten years to get everything, up to the end, finished.
There’s a gap of at least eight years between the first scene we shot for the film with Willie and the one where he plays the medicine man who drives Greta to the concert.”
Nelson was apparently sent the script through a mutual connection between Hassman and the country music singer, and was happy to jump aboard the production. The “Red Headed Stranger” was clearly patient through the process too, since the film had many delays waiting for financing and help from investors.
And the process finally produced a movie that’s both an ode to Willie Nelson’s work and a testament to the power of music, as Hassman described in the same interview:
“(Willie and Me was created) to show how inspiring music can be, specifically for someone who’s kind of stuck in a life situation that is not obviously bad but is still depressed…
There’s this key moment where Greata listens to Willie’s music for the first time since her childhood, and it’s kind of a wake-up, and music is the transmitter for that.
It’s about following your heart through music, even if it’s chaotic and naive, when you’re inspired by music. For me, it was Willie—but it can be any music for anybody.”
If the film sounds interesting to you, be on the lookout for it at the end of this week. For now, you can watch the trailer for the film below, which looks to be just as crazy as the story behind it: