Baton Rouge native author and screenwriter Chuck Hustmyre has a penchant for intense crime dramas. This is no accident—he spent 22 years in law enforcement. He retired as a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, where he specialized in violent crime, narcotics and fugitive investigations. Hustmyre, who now has seven books and three movies under his belt, says his time spent behind the badge has had a profound impact on his creative works.
225 sat down with him to discuss his career and his newest screenplay-turned-movie, Never Forgive, a gritty crime drama starring Guy Pearce. Filming wrapped recently in Kentucky, and you can look out for Never Forgive in theaters and on digital platforms next summer.
Tell us how your law enforcement background influences your writing.
I kind of focused on crime because of my police background. When I went to try fiction, I decided to keep rolling with what I knew best, which was crime. I wrote some novels and, eventually, it kind of morphed into screenplays. Crime is always the foundation of what I write about because I spent so much time in local and federal law enforcement. That kind of colored my view of the world, I guess.
Can you tell us a little bit about Never Forgive? What inspired its script?
I got the idea after seeing some wildfire out west. I wondered what would happen if a bunch of gangsters or criminals of some kind went into a small isolated town and took it over, kind of like High Noon with Gary Cooper. What would happen if that happened today? I got to thinking the backstory of the local town cop would be that he doesn’t even carry a gun anymore. In this case, the character that Guy Pearce plays is a former Texas Ranger. He left the Rangers after a tragic shooting he got into in which he accidentally hit his own partner. His partner suffered for 10 years in the hospital and died. So this guy gave up his gun and moved to a small town in Kentucky, where he’s the local marshal. These bikers take over the whole town and cut them off. The bikers are killing people and robbing the bank. Naturally, the hero has to pick up a gun again and defend the town.
What was it like working with Pearce?
Guy Pearce is a total professional. He talked with the director before every scene and rehearsed every scene. He was totally into this role and, for him, it’s a relatively minor role—he’s been in a bunch of big movies. It was a joy to watch him work because he’s so professional. He was also very nice—he talked to my wife and I a whole bunch. He’s just a friendly person. You can just walk up and start talking to him.
What project is next for you?
I’ll probably stick to screenplays for the foreseeable future. I have other screenplays in pre-production getting ready to go. I have a script called Bullet Train that’s going to be filmed in Europe in February or March. The producer who made Never Forgive is going to make another script of mine called Relentless, which will probably be filmed in Thailand.
Editor’s note: Hustmyre has also been a contributing writer for 225 in the past.
This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.