A Tête-à-Tête with Bill Paxton at the Dallas International Film Festival Opening Party

Every time a celebrity function is held in Dallas, people can pick up on the scent. It’s like, catching a whiff of Italian leather amidst the usual stench of cowhide. This is how last night I ended up in an elevator with Bill Paxton.

We were on our way up to the 9th floor of the Hotel Palomar for the opening gala of this week’s International Film Festival. The Ft. Worth native was dressed appropriately in a vest and pearl button-down (maybe the pearl part is an exaggeration) and maintained the air of a true Texan, beyond his hype as movie star and uber-successful polygamous personality Bill Henrickson of the series “Big Love.”

Paxton was there to support the local film scene, particularly his good friend Tom Huckabee, who directed a film entitled Carried Away set to premiere at the Angelika this Friday as part of the festival. Amid the frequent interruptions for group shots and iPhone pic ops, Paxton divulged a couple key things about his current projects, including the Soderbergh film Knockout he just wrapped with Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas and Ewan McGregor. “It’s going to be like the female version of Bourne Identity,” he said. Did he manage to get his ass kicked by the kick ass female lead?  “No, I played her Dad, so thankfully I was the good guy.”

As for the upcoming season of “Big Love,” Paxton says he is thrilled that the family is “out” so maybe his character can become more liberated. “I don’t like having to be the guy that keeps everything together. I want to see him branch out and experience things.”