by RYAN McCRIMMON
SAN ANTONIO — Blazing guns, tough talk, cowboys riding into the sunset — the Monday night premiere of “Texas Rising” at a red carpet Alamo event was vintage Texas with a bit of Hollywood flair.
A Lone Star-studded audience including Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Cecilia Abbott, the first lady of Texas, got a sneak preview of the new miniseries about the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers. (Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly got hung up in Austin.)
“It’s one thing to play a hero in a movie. It’s quite another to be a hero in real life,” said Bill Paxton, who plays his ancestor Sam Houston in the series.
“Tonight we come together at this place, this hallowed place, to celebrate and honor the true heroes who fought so that Texas could be free,” Paxton told a crowd of nearly 1,000.
The premiere doubled as a fundraiser for the Alamo Endowment, an organization working with the Texas General Land Office to maintain and operate the Alamo complex. The state recently took over management of the Texas shrine after ending its longstanding partnership with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
“There is no arguing that the Alamo has come to embody our willingness to fight and die for independence,” said San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor.
Bush said preserving the Alamo is one of his top priorities.
“Right here is where all Americans became Texans,” he said. “Texas doesn’t just have history; we truly have a legend.”
A 10-part series, Texas Rising first airs next Monday on the History network. The series stars Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Kris Kristofferson and Olivier Martinez as Santa Anna.
RYAN McCRIMMON reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.
COVER: Bill Paxton portrays Sam Houston in “Texas Rising,” which premieres on the History network on May 24. PHOTO by CARLOS SOMONTE.