His ability to translate the felt experience of drinking, lovemaking, law-breaking and loneliness into song made him a magnetic figure for many folks. Filmmaker Dennis Hopper sought him out to star in The Last Movie. An obscure songwriter named John Prine sought him out as a mentor, and Kristofferson got Prine a record deal and wrote the liner notes for his debut.
At a later Big Sur Folk Festival, Joan Baez sang a duet with Kristofferson on Prine’s “Hello In There,” also included in The Complete Collection. Superstar Barbra Streisand invited him to co-star in her remake of A Star Is Born. Directors such as Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Todd Haynes, Sam Peckinpah and John Sayles cast him in movies.
An adventurer such as Kristofferson couldn’t resist such opportunities, but the combination of touring (often with singer Rita Coolidge during their 1973-1980 marriage) and making movies prevented the single-minded devotion to songwriting he had enjoyed between 1965 and 1971. His third album,1972’s Border Lord, marked a definite drop-off, but later that same year he rebounded with