December 11, 2006 11:00 ET

CPNewsLink Interview: "We Are Marshall"

NEW YORK--(Collegiate Presswire - December 11, 2006) - The following are excerpts from a Dec. 10 online chat for college journalists with Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, stars of the upcoming drama "We Are Marshall," and the film's director, McG.

Question: How involved were the folks from Marshall University? Did you encounter any hesitation or resistance to the movie?

McG: There was a great deal of resistance. This story belongs to Marshall and Hollywood has a bad rep. We had the truth on our side, and we opened our hearts and we asked the community to come in the film process.

Matthew McConaughey: We included the community, we opened the script to the community. We couldn't be telling the story without them. They became part of the time.

McG: We got to a place where we earned the support of the community

Question: Matthew McConaughey, how would you describe "We are Marshall"? Tragedy? Triumph? Or both?

Matthew McConaughey: Both. You don't get triumph witgout tragedy. You don't get the win without the failure. The light is bright and more victorous b/c you have failed before. If things come for free you don't respect them as much

Question: How did filming in West Virginia affect the mood and emotion on the set?

Matthew Fox: It was of utmost importance to start there and set the early tone of the greatest experience of ever working on a set. There was a spirit there that was rare.

McG: It was hard to shoot there. We were insistent of treating the town as a character. I wanted to start there to get our head right.

Matthew McConaughey: It did a lot for the crew as well

Question: For Matthew McConaughey - Did your football background influence your character Jack Lengyel? Did your experiences as a player help or inhibit creating your role as a coach?

Matthew McConaughey: Yes and it helped. I love the psych of sports and football is a great team sport. I'm 37 but I feel like I can still make the pass. College sport and anyone younger, a coach is more a teacher than they are a coach. Sometimes a father figure, a big bro, but always the chief.

Matthew McConaughey: You have to have a macro plan for what kind of discipline for what rules you want to treat your team and staff, Theres different way to treat everyone: "I will treat you all farily but I will not treat you all the same." - Herman Edwards

Matthew Fox: (who played football for Columbia): If I hadn't played I would've had to do a lot more research. The way McG set it up, it was so much fun. Everything was really organic. You reacted to the truth in front of you. The chaos of football and the evergy of it. I enjoyed that. It was fun getting back into it.

Question: There are so many college football movies and adaptations, what makes "We are Marshall" so distinctive?

McG: We always considered this film more than a football picture. 75 lives were lost in a blink of an eye and that creates a lot of separation. The stacks involved. This film is about the triumph of the human spirit -- football just happens to be an excellent vehicle for telling the story

Matthew Fox: You said that nicely. I agree. I never felt that this was a sports movie.

Matthew Fox: The movie and the themes the movies is about could have been 75 people on that plane that weren't involved in football, and the surviving families would have had to find the strength to look on and live their life

Matthew Fox: A football team is a small family - it only works if everyone plays their role. And comes together and plays like unit. Literarally, family is a team if every kid does his role and his chores. A community is a team that will only work for the same reasons and you can expand that as far as you want to go: a town, city, nation, mankind.

Matthew McConaughey: This story extends its from team to family. But the same morals of the story applies as broad you want to make it.

Matthew McConaughey: Just keep livin.

Matthew McConaughey: Watching a movie in a theater is also a community event. This is a great movie to see in a theater b/c you will have the communal experience. You might introduce yourself to the person you sit next to!

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