Trace Adkins reflects on the fire of 2011 and gives back to veterans: ‘It has been the great privilege of my career’

Country music’s tough guy is heading for a tornado.

Trace Adkins stars in Lindsay Gossling’s natural disaster film “13 Minutes,” which explores how a monster twister wreaks havoc in a small town in Oklahoma while revealing the growing social problems affecting the population. The film stars Amy Smart, Thora Birch, Anne Heche and Peter Facinelli, among others.

While the film premiered last Friday, the singer is already back at work. It was recently announced that the 59-year-old had to cancel his concert at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort in South Dakota on November 11 because he has been cast in a TV show called “Monarch” due to premiere on Fox in January. Adkins plays alongside Susan Sarandon and Anna Friel.

Adkins spoke to Fox News about what fans can expect from his role in “13 Minutes,” what he learned after losing his home to a devastating fire in 2011, as well as his passion for supporting our veterans.

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Fox News: What was it about “13 Minutes” that made you want to get involved?
Spor Adkins: Well, first of all, when I found out I was going to work with Anne [Heche], I mean, she’s so respected by everyone. I wanted to work with her. And I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in a tornado movie?

Fox News: How important was it for you to be a part of a project that depicts the real struggles of the American heartland?
Adkins: I’m just looking at my role and whether I can contribute in some way and hopefully bring some realism to it and do the best I can with it – it makes sense to me.

Country singer Trace Adkins stars in the new film "13 minutes."

Country singer Trace Adkins stars in the new movie “13 Minutes”.
(Photo by Terry Wyatt / Getty Images for ACM))

And I trust that everyone else will do the same. I just hold my nose against the grindstone and try to do the best in everything I do. That’s what’s most important to me – that I behave in a professional way and take care of the business. And then I hope everything else works out.

But really, the reality of what devastation like this can cause to people, I would like to tell that story … If the audience could go out with a greater appreciation of what other people are going through – that makes sense to me. But this story also shows how people can come together in hard times and be united … We have to get together and work together, get past our differences. Hopefully people will go out and feel that way.

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Fox News: In 2011, you and your family lost your home to a fire. How did that experience change your outlook on life?
Adkins: Well, that confirmed something that I already suspected, namely that I am not a very materialistic person. That, I mean, when you get past something like that and the immediate aftermath, the only thing you’re really grateful for is that everyone came out OK. That everyone is well, no one is hurt, or that you did not, God forbid, lose anyone. And that is the most important. Everything else, the things you lost, those were just things. It really does not matter as long as everyone is okay. And that was the most important thing that it did for me.

Trace Adkins lost his home to a fire in 2011.

Trace Adkins lost his home to a fire in 2011.
(Photo: Gary Miller / Getty Images)

Fox News: It must have been a surreal experience for you to make this film.
Adkins: I can certainly empathize with people going through something like that because I lost everything in a house fire. But just seeing it all scattered before your eyes, it must be a different kind of destruction. It is very profound.

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Trace Adkins is eager to take on more acting roles.

Trace Adkins is eager to take on more acting roles.
(Photo by Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)

Fox News: How has it been for you as a country musician to make your mark in Hollywood?
Adkins: I do not know if I have left much trace, but thank you for saying that. I really enjoyed doing it and it’s something that challenges me and gets me out of my comfort zone. And I believe that is the only way we can grow – to put ourselves in situations where we have to challenge ourselves to do something that we are not comfortable doing. That’s what acting is to me. I’m enjoying it. And I hope I do it well enough that people will pay me to do it.

Fox News: It does not take long before a director asks you to be a part of a country music biography. If you could tell the story of any country musician, past or present, who would it be and why?
Adkins: Well, I think Ronnie Milsap’s story is fascinating. I have always been a big admirer, a fan. And the relationship I’ve had with him over the years is just something I appreciate. I think the story of the challenges he had to overcome to be successful and show the world how talented he is … what an inspiring story. Someone should make a movie about his life.

Fox News: Superhero movies are also huge in Hollywood. Would you ever consider something like that?
Adkins: * Laughs * Well, my superhero days may be behind me.

Trace Adkins, surrounded by members of the U.S. military, is rehearsing for the 37th annual A Capitol Fourth, a celebration of Independence Day, on the western lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Monday, July 3, 2017.

Trace Adkins, surrounded by members of the U.S. military, is rehearsing for the 37th annual A Capitol Fourth, a celebration of Independence Day, on the western lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Monday, July 3, 2017.
(Photo by Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Fox News: Veterans Day is approaching and it is well known that you are passionate about speaking on their behalf. Could you remember a moment or meeting you had with someone who really made a lasting impression on you?
Adkins: Oh, there have been so many, so many. I appreciate all the work I have done with the veterans’ organizations that I have worked with over the years. I always feel like I’m better at it when I can give back to our veterans.

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Any kind of meeting where I interact with veterans, I always feel like they do more for me than I did for them. Nothing compares to it – nothing. It has been the great privilege in my career to be able to work with those people. And there have just been so many times that I have been so deeply touched that there are just too many to count.

Fox News: How can we give back to our veterans and say thank you?
Adkins: Giving to these veteran organizations, donating to them is a really good place to start. And just always tilt your hat and tell them you are grateful when you meet them. They always appreciate it. It is something so simple that goes a long way.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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