Wilde learning bass for Monroe movie

The producers of “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” the planned movie about Bill Monroe and Bessie Lee Mauldin, his “road girlfriend,” have yet to announce a starting date for production.

But a tweet last week by actress Olivia Wilde indicates that the production is still moving forward.

Wednesday, the 27-year-old actress tweeted: “Learning the upright bass for a role and pretty sure there’s no better looking instrument. I named mine Bessy the bluegrass beauty.”

Terry Woodward, board chairman of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, said he’s been told that Wilde will portray Mauldin in the movie about the stormy love affair between the bass player and the “father of bluegrass music.”

Wilde, who stars in the upcoming “Cowboys & Aliens” with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, is known to TV audiences as “Thirteen,” one of the doctors on the Fox series “House.”

Last year, Peter Sarsgaard had been scheduled to appear as Monroe, with his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal, cast as Mauldin.

But filming that was to have started last spring was pushed back until later in the year. And they had to drop out, Woodward said.

He said he hasn’t heard if the Monroe role has been cast.

Another actor has also confirmed a role in the movie.

In April, Tim Blake Nelson told AssignmentX.com: “I’m going to record a song with T-Bone Burnett for the next movie I’m going to do, called ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.’ It’s about Bill Monroe. I’m playing Lester Flatt.”

Woodward said he’s been told that Ed Helms (“The Office” and “The Hangover” movies) has been cast as Earl Scruggs. Helms plays banjo and works with his own band, The Lonesome Trio.

Woodward said the last time he talked with producers the supporting cast included Sam Shepard as Pendleton Vandiver, Monroe’s “Uncle Pen”; Ashley Judd as Monroe’s estranged wife, Carolyn; bluesman Keb Mo as Arnold Shultz, the black Ohio County guitarman who was a major influence on Monroe; John C. Reilly as Monroe’s brother, Charlie; and country singers Dierks Bentley and Pam Tillis as Webb Pierce and Kitty Wells.

Woodward owns Vandiver’s fiddle, which was used on the soundtrack produced by Joseph Henry “T-Bone” Burnett, who also produced the soundtrack for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

The script was written by Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”).

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One Comment on “Wilde learning bass for Monroe movie”


  1. […] Kentucky. It’s one or the other. Maybe it’s both. But as we await the arrival of the Bill Monroe movie, I thought it would be fun to take a look at other films that have been shot or partially shot in […]


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