Garrett Hedlund of "Friday Night Lights" plays in a whole new arena in Kings of Leon's new video for "Beautiful War": the rodeo. Hedlund — also of "Tron: Legacy" — plays a disgraced cowboy in the vid, sentenced to prison for the accidental murder of his friend.
The video tells two intertwining stories: one in which a cowboy is preparing to compete in a prison rodeo, and one that explains how he ended up in prison in the first place. The video, directed by Casey McGrath, opens with Hedlund doing pull-ups in his cell, looking at a picture of himself, a girl and another man wistfully. It then flashes back to happier times: Hedlund heading to a bar with the girl and meeting the man in the picture, who happens to be the girl's brother.
As Hedlund prepares for the rodeo back in prison — putting on his hat with cuffed hands, letting the guards lead him through a cheering gauntlet of prisoners — the other tale unfolds as well. At the bar, the cowboy starts flirting with a pretty blonde, leading his girlfriend to undulate sexily on a mechanical bull — that shot is juxtaposed with Hedlund getting on the real thing in the rodeo ring. Jealous, the cowboy pulls his girl off the bull, and her brother intervenes. This leads to a "let's take this outside fight" that results in the brother's death.
One would think that after killing her brother, the girl would have forsaken the cowboy — but not so! When we flash back to the rodeo, she's in the crowd, cheering him on as the bull bucks and snorts. When he finally falls to the ground in victory, he races to the fence and clasps her fingers through the fence, indicating that he has won that "beautiful war" called love that KOL is singing about.
The video was modeled on Westerns from the '70s and was inspired by the '80s John Travolta film Urban Cowboy — specifically the mechanical bull, which ended Travolta's character's relationship in the flick.
We're also guessing that the cowboy-themed mini-movie is a nod to the title of KOL's newest record, Mechanical Bull.
The band previously performed "Beautiful War" at the 2013 EMAs in Amsterdam, where they subbed in real fireworks for emotional ones.