by Jennifer Squires Biller
Somebody pinch me. It’s like Christmas in April here. Actor Matthew Fox hit Huntington, W.Va., this week to film his role in the upcoming Warner Bros. movie We Are Marshall.
Yes, I’m a little giddy, despite being a “serious” professional reporter with years of experience. Cut me some slack; it’s Jack from Lost and Charlie Salinger from Party of Five, one of my favorite former shows. So, sue me if I’m a little smitten. I’m not made of steel you know.
Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox — or “Moxy” as I like to call them — have the town aflutter. People are lining the streets to watch filming, and I’ve never seen so many locals who just happen to be hauling around cameras and Sharpies on their way to Starbucks or the library. Hey, I’m not mocking, folks. I’m right there with ya.
Locals are eager to share their “sighting” stories, too: McConaughey was spotted at Subway earlier this week. (He ordered tuna on wheat, supposedly.) Actor David Strathairn attended a Marshall University student play production. And Fox said at Friday’s press conference that he was eager to take in the sights of Huntington and take some pictures of his own, before departing on Sunday.
The celebrities have been friendly and willing to take photos and give autographs, some locals say. I’m not sure if the actors are used to this kind of hysteria, but in a town of 50,000 where star sightings are rare, it’s inevitable. On behalf of all the star-struck fans, I’d like to thank the celebrities for taking time to be kind. There is nothing worse than meeting one of your favorite actors and then he or she turns out to be a Nellie Oleson.
As for Fox, well, I couldn’t be happier he snagged a role in the film. He’s been an underrated actor for years, in my opinion, and I think this part will finally give him his due. Fox stars as Red Dawson, a Marshall University assistant football coach, who was not on the plane that crashed on Nov. 14, 1970, killing all 75 football team members, supporters and coaches on board. Dawson had been recruiting players and had driven home from the game in North Carolina, rather than catching the flight with his team.
Fox dyed his hair red for the role and was still sporting the ‘do at Friday’s press conference. The real-life Dawson recently flew to Hawaii, where Fox is shooting Lost, to spend time with the actor. The two have formed a close bond, Fox said.
Fox is scheduled to leave town on Sunday. If you don’t hear from me, I may have stowed away in his plane, so I can make my way onto that Lost island to do some covert recon. Kidding, people.
Stay tuned for more fun stories from the filming of We Are Marshall.
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Friday, April 07, 2006
by Jennifer Squires Biller