From Berryville to Hollywood: Local native Chappell rides onto big screen in ‘The Kid’

Friday, January 11, 2019
Berryville native Charlie ‘Wes’ Chappell on the set of the upcoming film ‘The Kid.’
Photo courtesy of Charlie Chappell

By Kelby Newcomb

Berryville native Charlie “Wes” Chappell will be playing cowboy alongside actors Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan and Vincent D’Onofrio in the upcoming biographical western “The Kid.”

Chappell said the film follows the story of a young boy named “Rio,” played by Jake Schur, who witnesses the infamous meeting between Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, portrayed by DeHaan and Hawke, respectively.

“Garrett hadn’t been sheriff long,” he said, “but he’s the man who finally caught Billy the Kid and had made that his mission. He wrote a book about it and became famous for that.”

Chappell said he will be portraying Billy Wilson, one of three men captured alongside Billy the Kid.

“There are two different accounts of his life,” he said. “One says he might be from Texas, where he became an outlaw. Another says he ran away from his home in Marshall, Ark., and became an outlaw. I went with the second version when I played him because I’m from Arkansas.”

Chappell said getting the role felt unbelievable.

“I still giggle and laugh about it,” he said. “It still doesn’t feel real.”

He said his acting coach, Sharon Chatten, had taught D’Onofrio and introduced Chappell to the production team upon hearing of the project.

“Sharon is a wonderful person,” he said. “I got a call while out of town. That’s always how it works. She’d had experiences with [D’Onofrio] before, and she tossed my name into that hat. They liked that I was from Arkansas and knew how to ride horses, shoot guns and play cowboy basically. It was kind of a trip.”

Chappell said he enjoyed working with the cast and crew on “The Kid.”

“It’s a great cast. Everyone was really wonderful, and it’s just a really fun story,” he said. “It was incredible working with D’Onofrio. He’s an amazing actor, and I want to do what he does. I’m excited to see him direct more as well.”

Chappell said he has been working in Los Angeles for a little over 10 years now.

“After I left Berryville, I studied engineering at Rolla, Mo.,” he said. “I took a break and worked an architectural engineering job in Wyoming. I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Chappell said during that time he fell in love with photography and film.

“I ended up looking up film school and enrolling,” he said. “I had just seen ‘Into the Wild’ by Sean Penn. The main character goes off on his own adventure into the wilderness, and my ‘wilderness’ was to go to Los Angeles and see what it was like in the big city. After 10 years, I’m finally starting to get my footing.”

A trailer for “The Kid” has been released on Facebook, and the film is set to be released in May.

“Growing up on a cattle farm in Northwest Arkansas, it was incredible to get to play cowboy in the New Mexico desert,” he said, “I’m hoping to pop into Berryville when it comes out and watch it with everyone.”

Chappell is the son of Charles and Cynthia Chappell of Berryville.

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