There will be a mule “gracing” silver screens across the country this month. Amazing Grace, owned by Steve Foster of Front Royal, Va., will star in a feature film with Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray, titled “Get Low,” and opening to limited release on July 30, 2010.
Duvall plays Felix Bush, a recluse who emerges into the spotlight to throw his own funeral party in Depression-era Tennessee. Felix has lived the past 40 years alone, except for the companionship of his mule, warning potential unwanted guests with a shotgun and a sign that reads “No damn trespassing. Beware of mule.”
In an interview with WENN, Duvall insisted that Gracie was as talented as some of the human movie stars he has worked with over the years. “It’s a terrific mule and the reason why they took that mule is because they (mules) won’t rear, but this mule would rear on cue when the guy (Bush) threw a rock at it,” said Duvall.
Gracie, who is three years old, is already a celebrity in the mule world. She can be found kneeling to pray, playing the piano, retrieving mail from a mailbox, and playing basketball at events across the country with Foster. She performed in April in Columbia, Tenn., at Columbia Mule Days.
“When they called me about this, I was excited for Grace because I knew what she could do,” said Doug Sloan, the wrangler who worked on the production of “Get Low,” in an interview the Northern Virginia Daily newspaper. “They’re wanting a relationship between a man and a mule…To me, it was a natural for the film.”
Duvall and Gracie did develop a relationship. “We bonded to a point, as long as there was food in your hand,” Duvall said. “But we fed it so much food it didn’t work anymore!”
Duvall and Foster bonded, too, even getting a spot in Duvall’s cell phone labeled “Mule.”
Photo courtesy of Bob and Brenda Ammons