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Home on the range: Actor’s ranch in Sierra Nevada inspires Western film ‘The Divide’

Perry King stars in and co-wrote the film “The Divide.” (Courtesy of Perry King)

Perry King is traveling through the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the travels John Steinbeck wrote about.

He has a recreational vehicle ready to go, but he just needs to work out some of the kinks.

“My girlfriend and I have been staying in hotels,” he says with a laugh. “It’ll get worked out, and we’ll be on the road again.”

King has been a staple in the film industry for 50 years.

His most recent film, “The Divide,” filmed in 2018, is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The film also had a big presence at the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience during its festival run.

“We had a great time in Albuquerque,” King says. “The festival was one of our favorites. We felt so welcomed with AFMX and hope to get back to Albuquerque soon.”

King worked on the film with writer and director Jana Brown.

“I’m actually judging festival submissions for AFMX,” Brown says. “That’s how big of an impact it made on me.”

Perry King as Sam Kincaid in a scene from the Western, “The Divide.” (Courtesy of Perry King)

“The Divide,” set in drought-plagued Northern California in 1976, chronicles the story of Sam Kincaid, an aging rancher with a failing memory, his estranged and independent-minded daughter, Sarah, and Luke, a young ranch hand who finds himself in the midst of a family in crisis.

Internal struggles, the realities of an unforgiving landscape, and the need to reconcile a long-ago tragedy collide to create the backdrop for this classic American Western.

Perry is best known for his role in the 1980s television series “Riptide,” in which he played Detective Cody Allen.

But it was Perry’s role in the 1998 made-for-TV movie “The Cowboy and the Movie Star” that inspired him to shift gears.

Perry says he decided after shooting “Cowboy” that he wanted to be his character from the film – a rancher seeking solace in his livelihood and his land. Not long after filming the movie, Perry purchased a 500-acre cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada, splitting his time between the bustle of Los Angeles and the serenity of Northern California. He long dreamed of filming a Western on his own land. The ranch’s location in the heart of Gold Country, known locally as The Divide, provided the ideal setting for such aspirations.

Brown met Perry in 2011, and the pair spent the better part of the next decade writing “The Divide.”

The pair have remained friends, and Brown says she wanted to work with Perry on a project.

“A lot of getting this project off the ground had to do with perseverance and persistence,” Brown says. “I don’t think any of us wavered in deciding that we were going to do this.”

Perry learned a lot through the process and hopes to return to Albuquerque to film another projects.

” ‘The Divide’ went through many drafts,” Perry says. “We learned many lessons on the project, and we are using the momentum to continue to push us forward.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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