“Bluff City Law” star Jimmy Smits and coworkers express gratitude for filming experience together in Memphis

Jimmy Smits talks Thanksgiving

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The cast of “Bluff City Law” has a whole new appreciation for Memphis after spending nine months here in 2019.

We sat down with “Bluff City Law” star Jimmy Smits at the Rendezvous alongside the two Mid-Southerners who worked closely with him every day. They shared some Thanksgiving reflections.

Gratitude became the centerpiece of our conversation with Smits and his right hand men, retired firefighter Thomas Woodley served as Smits’ driver.

“I got the best job in the world. I mean, that sums it up," said Woodley.

Princeton James, an aspiring actor, helped Smits practice his lines and served as his personal assistant.

“It’s literally been the best job in the world just to serve under him," said James.

The trio developed chemistry.

“That doesn’t always happen,” said Woodley. “I think it worked out quite well," said Smits.

“The word Thanksgiving says it all It’s what I’ve experienced here since I’ve been here in February I give thanks, of course, for being able to do what I love to do,” said Smits. “I give thanks to be in a town that has welcomed us with open arms. And then the giving part is what I have received from them. There was giving all over -- thanks and giving. That’s what I’ve felt the whole time I’ve been here. shooting. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I’m going to treasure this experience.

“I’m just thankful that I’m able to sit next to this guy right here and that guy right there and gain some brothers in the family," said James. "And just to be able to, you know a lot of times we look at a destination when the value is in the actual process -- the journey. And like the time that we spend together, the conversations we have, I’m just thankful for the actual process where ever it may lead. I’m just thankful to watch the process and go through it with these two guys.”

“It’s wonderful to watch him because he’s at the beginning. This is a springboard for him,” said Smits. “He’s at the beginning of his artistic flourishing in terms of what he wants to do in life and you’ll keep doing that. So keep doing that.”

James said, " I did a vision list. I put on there that I wanted to come in contact with an influential actor this year. So I did it January. I met Jim in February. I’m from Coldwater, Mississippi so there, we don’t really have a thriving film market there," he said. So I’m able to go there and share with other children of what I’ve learned. Be an idea -- a conduit that this is possible."

Woodley also chimed in.

“I’ve already had my Thanksgiving. I’m having it every day that I work. And then Princeton again, this young man does so much for his small town in Mississippi with the kids there,” he said. “Gives them opportunities they might not ever have if it weren’t for him. So I’ve learned a lot about giving in this whole process. There’s a lot of giving in here. Jim’s a giver. He gives a lot outside of his profession. I know he does because we talk about that. And Princeton same thing, so if anything, I’ve learned another lesson about how to give in different ways. Yeah so my Thanksgiving is taking place right now.”

If you’d like to encourage NBC to renew Bluff City Law for a second season, so does Mayor Jim Strickland.

The Memphis-Shelby County Film Commission has created an easy way for you to let NBC know you want a season 2. Click here for more info.

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