“I got in the cow business in 97 and it quit raining. Got out in 2017 and it hadn’t quit raining yet.”
Bill Foster lives at Duster, just west of De Leon. He spent 33 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools. One day he saw an ad for extras in a movie.
“I just went down to Austin and got in line with 1,500 other people. The folks doing the movie looked me over and apparently liked what they saw and I got a part. I had a big screen debut in Alita Battle Angel. Played a drunk. I actually had about 4 seconds on he screen all by myself leaning against a building passed out.”
That was in 2016. Since then he has been in other movies, television series and commercials. One of his commercials aired during a Super Bowl game. He was a principal extra in seasons four and five of Fear Of The Walking Dead. Bill really got involved in movies, the stage and writing. He wrote a movie and was going to shoot it on his iPhone but it got out of hand.
“My 30-page script is now over a hundred pages and the cast of 4 or 5 actors that volunteered to help me has grown to over a hundred cast and crew.”
He has written two books and one play that had its premiere in Brownwood’s Lyric Theater. Another book is due out soon about a cattle drive. A book he wrote titled I Heard The Quail Whistle won a writing award. He wants to make movies of both those books. He also has started a vineyard in Comanche County.
“We’ve got all the grapes sold and haven’t grown a grape yet. There’s a big demand for them right now. The vineyard is our big thing. Acting is secondary.”
When I visited with Bill, he was wearing a big healing boot on his right foot. While he was making his movie, a horse fell on him and broke his leg.
“As soon as I stood up I knew I broke my leg. But I got back in the saddle and finished all my scenes. I’m directing it, too, so I finished directing that day. The next day I finished a 12-hour shift there. We wrapped up my leg and kept ice on it. When it came time for me to get in front of the camera I’d put on my cowboy boot, do the acting, go back behind the camera and do my directing for another 12 hours. One of my actors is actually the number one pain doctor in San Antonio and he told me to come on in Monday morning and he’d x-ray it for me. That’s when I found out it was broken.”
Bill is no stranger to surgery.
“I had my second back surgery last summer. I finally got over that then I went elk hunting and the horse slipped in the mud and fell and I broke this same leg. It was not quite as severe as this one. But I stayed up there and elk hunted and then after about a week I decided I had better come home. The pain overtook the desire to kill an elk.”