Interview: Kevin Makely, star of Netflix film, ‘Badland’

(Courtesy: Papa Octopus Productions)

It’s been a minute since I’ve seen a good Western. However, that changed while I was scrolling around on Netflix, I stumbled onto an intimate character study of the genre called Badland. The film is an homage to spaghetti westerns and, the star of them Clint Eastwood. Make no mistake while the acting here is special, so are the gunfights. Hey, it’s a Western. We owe this to the genre’s fan – producer and actor Kevin Makely.

Badland, which also stars a masterclass of actors including Bruce Dern (Nebraska, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Black Sunday), Mira Sorvino (Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Mighty Aphrodite), was produced by Makley’s company Papa Octopus Productions. The film has understandably been climbing Netflix’s Top 10 most popular daily list; an unexpected ray of light for this low-budget independent film amidst the difficulties of COVID-19.

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I had a chance to shoot (see what I did there?) the sh*t with the Poughkeepsie, New York native and learn more about his role of gunslinging detective Matthias Breecher and what it was like working with such a talented cast. Watch the video below:

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Welcome to Badland. Kevin Makely stars as gunslinging detective Matthias Breecher and is supported by an award winning cast including Mira Sorvino, Bruce Dern, Wes Studi, country singer Trace Adkins, Amanda Wyss, and Ryan Kelley. The film is set a decade after the Civil War and his character is hired by one of the first African American senators to track down some of the worst Confederate war criminals.

The film is now streaming on Netflix.

Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1