Young actor Zach Gilford is best known for his role as Matt Saracen, the unlikely choice for a starting quarterback on TV’s Friday Night Lights. Over the course of a few seasons, Gilford took Saracen from being a shy, mumbly-mouthed, and in-over-his-head second-stringer to being a less shy, less mumbly-mouthed star player with aspirations toward being an artist; so you know the kid has the chops. But even if you’ve already proven your skills on the small screen, you don’t just jump right into meaty Hollywood roles, you’ve got to pay your dues. To that end, Gilford has recently signed on to play Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sidekick in the upcoming action showdown Last Stand.

Last Stand is the Kim Jee-Woon-directed Western that has been described as a cross between Die Hard and High Noon. It stars Schwarzenegger as an aging, small town sheriff who finds himself mixed up in some nasty business with a Mexican drug cartel. You see, one of the cartel’s big wheels has broken out of a U.S. prison, and Schwarzenegger and his sleepy town are the only things that stand between the escaped con and his pathway of destruction back into Mexico.

I haven’t heard it mentioned until now, but apparently Schwarzenegger also has a bright-eyed young deputy under his command. This is the role that Gilford will be playing. It may not be a glamorous part, but you’ve got to break out of the stigma of being a TV and indie film actor somehow, and jumping into a Schwarzenegger project is probably a pretty good way to start being seen as mainstream enough to get cast in the big blockbusters.

Plus, this movie actually sounds pretty cool, Die Hard and High Noon are two of the best action movies ever, so maybe Gilford will get really lucky and find that this is his first step on a long career of shooting guns and getting super powers on the big screen. Super powers, that’s where the big money is. [Deadline Dillon]

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