Peter Coyote Riffs on ‘Country Music’ and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

  • Variety
Peter Coyote Riffs on ‘Country Music’ and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns
Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” and “The Pacific Century,” it is Ken Burns’ work where Coyote’s tones are most welcomed. In a collaboration that started with the 1992 documentary “The West,” Coyote has gone on to narrate 11 of Burns’ PBS film series, becoming almost a DeNiro to the documentarian’s Scorsese.

Being a musician and musical collector since his adolescence made Coyote an apt choice to narrate Burns’ epic new “Country Music” series. But it is the actor-writer’s activist past in the 1960s, cofounding the Diggers — the anarchist communal group that sought
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