In the new Western movie The Last Son, Heather Graham plays the onscreen mom of an actor named Colson Baker -- better known as musician Machine Gun Kelly.
"Better known," that is, to people other than Heather Graham.
"It's funny because I actually didn't know who he was, to be honest," the Boogie Nights and Swingers veteran admits to ABC Audio with a laugh. "I mean, my friend's kids know who he is."
In the period piece, Graham plays a "working lady" who is desperate to save her children from their father, a grizzled gunslinger, played by Avatar's Sam Worthington, who is hunting his offspring because of a prophecy that one of them would kill him.
Graham explains that for a newcomer, MGK has some big-screen chops. "I think, you know, he's very raw. Like, I like that he doesn't because some actors are kind of 'actor-y.' And I like that he just has raw talent. And I mean, I really enjoyed working with him. It was fun."
"You know, sometimes actors try to control how they come across and they're really practiced...It felt like he just like, put his heart out there," Graham goes on. "He hasn't probably had as much experience. So he just kind of put it all out there. And I kind of liked that. Actually, it was fun, just sort of just felt like real."
Graham said she felt a need to "nuture" MGK on set, seeing as they share tender moments as mother and son -- even though her bank robber of a kid is a pretty bad guy himself.
The Last Son, which also stars Thomas Jane, opens today.