October 11, 2006

Beach prepared to play Hayes

'Flags' star Beach generates buzzHayes' story, told in the Johnny Cash-performed The Ballad of Ira Hayes and in the 1961 Tony Curtis film The Outsider, is a tragic one. Unable to get past the horrors of war or deal with being considered a hero, Hayes was an alcoholic who was in and out of prison until he died of exposure in 1955.

Beach had a lot to draw on in playing the emotionally burdened Hayes.

A member of the Saulteaux tribe from Manitoba, and born in Winnipeg, Beach lost both parents within months when he was just eight. His best friend died just before production began. And during shooting, moments ahead of a pivotal scene, Beach was told his grandmother had died.

"I had a huge heaviness that carried me through it," he recalls. "I couldn't mourn for anyone because I was working. I had to wait until the job was done."

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