The part had an interesting genesis. In the script, Black Hand was a young gunfighter. But, with many younger guys, the casting director brought in Billy Drago and said, “Wouldn’t going with him be unexpected and more interesting?” At first director S.S.Wilson was unsure of the idea, but fortunately got behind it, especially after seeing Billy read for the part. It’s been gratifying to see how well-loved the character became. As for backstory, we confess we didn’t focus on it much. We just wanted him to be legendary. That’s why Tecopa gets all wide-eyed when he sees him and says, “Black Hand Kelly?!” It sort of tells the audience all they need to know. Getting this question, I wish we had more ideas. Because he’s older, Black Hand certainly must have had many adventures and gun fights before he got to Rejection, Nevada! Prequel! The Black Hand story!
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