“Possibly because I’m a Western fan and because I’m named after Gary Cooper and Randolph Scott, I thought ‘3:10 to Yuma’ had some really interesting themes. Christian Bale is one of the finest actors, as is Russell Crowe. What was very interesting is the change in dynamics in their characters: Crowe is the evil guy who, in the end, turns out to be the good guy. Bale, who you think is some sort of hero, actually is the coward, and in the end, he turns around to be the most heroic character of all.

“Everybody talks about Westerns, but the studios don’t let you make them. You go in to pitch one, and they go, ‘No.’ They always point to the fact that Westerns don’t make money, and yet you point out ‘Dances With Wolves’ and ‘Unforgiven.’ But it doesn’t really matter. They think audiences won’t go for them. And it is a shame. So, that’s why I pick ‘3:10 to Yuma.’ It was a bold move to make a Western in this day and age. For (producer) Cathy Konrad to pick a British and an Australian actor to portray characters from the American West was also really interesting. From a producer’s aspect, you’re dealing with period and a Western and where you set it and how you go about shooting this thing. Those are very noble things that she was able to pull off.”

Popular on Variety

Gary Scott Thompson is creator-executive producer of “Las Vegas” on NBC.