(Jesse) Harris' name has been in the media lately more than usual because of his involvement in the 2006 film "The Hottest State," which was written and directed by Ethan Hawke (who also played a role in the film). Harris not only wrote the songs for the film, he played a bit role, as a singer-songwriter, and composed the score.
You might think Harris had to submit 50 resumes or knock on a thousand doors to get such a gig, but you'd be wrong.
He just had to pick up his telephone.
"Ethan Hawke approached me about it — he needed songs for the lead female character in the film," Harris said. "She's a songwriter so he needed original songs. He called me up and that was the first order of business regarding the film. But he also said 'There's a small part you could play and your character would be performing too, and also I need score music and I need a soundtrack.'"
The end result was that Harris' songs were sung in the film by an impressive array of artists, including Cat Power, Bright Eyes, Feist and Willie Nelson.
Harris said that acting in the movie, which was released on DVD this year, was "a bit nerve racking" because it "was an indie film, so they didn't have much time. They'd set up the shot and we'd go. Two takes and they'd move on."
The singer-songwriter grew up knowing about acting. If you need a bit of trivia to tell at parties, make note of the fact that his mother is actress Marie Masters, who has played the long-running role of Dr. Susan Stewart on the soap opera "As the World Turns."
It's music that's Harris' priority, though.
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