EXCLUSIVE: Actor Rob Mayes speaks about shooting “Neon Highway” in Columbus with Beau Bridges

Rob Mayes stars in "Neon Highway" which recently wrapped up filming in Columbus
Rob Mayes stars in "Neon Highway" which recently wrapped up filming in Columbus((Source: WTVM))
Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus is heading back to the big screen. The newest film being shot in the Fountain City is “Neon Highway” starring Beau Bridges and Rob Mayes.

You might recognize Rob Mayes from films like cult-classic “John Dies at the End,” “Burning Blue” and even a brief scene in “Thor: Ragnarok.” He also starred in two seasons of ABC drama “Mistresses.”

Mayes recently sat down with News Leader 9 to discuss the new movie, filming during a global pandemic and whether or not Columbus was the perfect place to shoot his new movie.

In “Neon Highway,” Mayes stars as Wayne, a musician who was pursuing his dreams in Nashville alongside his brother, but a tragedy sets him on a different course. Twenty years later, Wayne has turned to installing cable in people’s homes to help make ends meet. One of those people just so happens to be the legendary Claude Allen, played by Bridges. Claude, a washed-up musician who’s seen better days takes Wayne under his wing and they head on up to Nashville to record a song together.

“There’s so many parallels to my own life. Doing what I do there’s a lot of rejection every day as an actor, as a songwriter, as an artist. There’s always that battle. That was something that I really resonated with really really strongly right off the bat and just knew I had to be part of this movie in any capacity and it turned out that capacity was the lead,” said Mayes.

As for the rest of the plot? Well, you’ll just have to wait until the movie comes out. We wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers.

The 36-year-old actor told us this is the fourth or fifth project he has been part of during the COVID-19 pandemic, none of which he says ran as smoothly as this one. With at least three COVID-19 tests a week for just over a month, Mayes is grateful for the precautions being taken to protect them and thankful to get through the film without any hiccups.

COVID-19 did keep Mayes from exploring Columbus as much as he would have liked, but despite the ever-changing temperatures, the Fountain City made for the perfect set for “Neon Highway.” It wasn’t all work and no play, Mayes did tell us that he was either in front of the camera or on a golf course.

Acting isn’t the only passion Mayes is pursuing. As a musician himself, he says he wants to continue using his talents to “make people happy and give them some hope.”

We also asked Mayes about his thoughts on how Georgia’s controversial new election law could affect the Peach State’s future in the movie industry.

“I think it gives us all pause. First and foremost, we’re in the business of telling stories that are human...It’s our business that unites people,” responded Mayes. “The film and TV industry is huge there, so I really hope the powers that be get everything figured out.”

“Neon Highway” doesn’t have a premiere date just yet, but you can check out Mayes’ upcoming single “No to a Beer” here.

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