by Jennifer Squires Biller
Photo: Actor Matthew McConaughey and director McG do the traditional Marshall University pre-game walk .
The movie We Are Marshall will be featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show before the film’s Dec. 22 premiere, according to star Matthew McConaughey. We Are Marshall tells the story of a 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Marshall University football team, coaches, and several community members and chronicles the rebuilding year that followed.
McConaughey told a group of reporters in Huntington, W.Va., last week that he watched the film with Oprah and that she is planning a special show about the tragic story. McConaughey did not know the exact date of the special, but said it would be before Dec. 22.
“She did enjoy the movie. We both shed a good tear over it,” he said. “The show ended with the whole studio audience (cheering) our chorus ‘We Are... Marshall.’ It was beautiful.”
McConaughey and director McG were in Huntington for the Marshall/Central Florida game Wednesday. The duo did the pre-game walk with the team, as thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the stars and support the Thundering Herd.
During the game, ESPN2 gave plenty of promotion to the upcoming film. McConaughey talked with announcers about the movie and what it means to the community. The film trailer also played during the game, for television viewers.
At the stadium, McConaughey and McG introduced the crowd to a four-minute clip of the movie. The two stood together, arms around one another, facing the big screen, as the scene played. The clip shown was an inspirational speech from Coach Jack Lengyel (McConaughey) to his team at the gravesite of six players killed in the plane crash. The crowd watching the clip, sat silently, wiping tears, before erupting in cheers, as McConaughey’s words found resonance with fans who have watched their team face some tough losses this season. Lengyel told the team that despite what the scoreboard said, if they played with heart, they would not be losers.
Despite all the Hollywood magic and the heartfelt memories at the stadium, the Thundering Herd couldn’t pull out a win. They lost to Central Florida 23-22.
McConaughey has not been shy about proclaiming his adoration for the upcoming movie in recent interviews.
“There are two scripts I’ve read in my career — I’ve made 37 films — that as soon as I finished the last page, I said, ‘I’m in, no matter what,’” he said. “The first was my first film, Dazed and Confused, the second was this.”
You can view the film clip below that was shown at the game.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
by Jennifer Squires Biller