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Johnny Cash and June Carter both died within months of each other in 2003, but two years later the story of their love and music career was adapted for the Oscar-winning biopic Walk the Line. The movie saw Joaquin Phoenix play The Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon his future wife. Now, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, their son John Carter Cash has shared what he thought of the movie about his parents’ relationship.
Their son, who was an executive producer on Walk the Line, admitted: “I complained all the way through it, just about the things I don’t think my father would have said or did or maybe I’d question the historical accuracy.
“[But] the producer and the director were willing to listen; they were openminded.
“Reese came to me and my sister Carlene to talk about my mother’s character and who she was. I talked to Joaquin a few times during the production of the film [too].”
In fact, John Carter Cash even has a role in one of Walk the Line’s deleted scenes.
Their son said: “On the cutting room floor I’m actually in the extended version.
“I play Bob Neal, a disc jockey, who was actually the first to spin my father’s record Hey Porter.
“I was quite a bit involved. I wasn’t that hands-on during the production, but in working on the script and whatnot I was very involved.”
Asked about what was specifically historically inaccurate, John Carter Cash clarified that it wasn’t so much that as what he feels was, at times, an improperly placed focus.
Their son, who was promoting the new album Johnny Cash and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, shared as an example: “My grandfather was not as dark a character as was portrayed in the film.”
It was Terminator 2 star Robert Patrick who played Johnny’s father Ray Cash, opposite Joaquin in Walk The Line’s flashbacks.
John Carter Cash added: “He and my father had a wonderful relationship. I never heard them have one cross word.
“There’s a scene in the movie where my grandfather’s angry at my father when he’s messed up at the dinner table. And I don’t blame him, my father was a mess at that time in his life.”
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But despite this, John Carter Cash admitted: “Somebody had to be the negative character that he rose above and so I understand.
“[But] my dad told me to always respect your mother and your father and he lived out that example.”
But when it came to Walk the Line’s performances, he said: “Nobody is like my dad. Nobody looks like him, sounds like him. Nobody at all.
“But Joaquin did an amazing job as an actor, I’m happy with that.”
Their son then shared touchingly: “And, y’know, it tells the story of my parents’ love and if it hadn’t been for that I wouldn’t be here, so I have to love the movie!”
On the new Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic album, John Carter Cash said: “I know my father would be enormously excited to see this new album become a reality.
“I am beyond proud to introduce this masterwork, the essential work of Johnny Cash with the orchestra that he revered and appreciated above all else.”
Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is out now.
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