Blind Side: The Michael Oher Story - ABC News
The story of Michael Oher, the NFL player who went to live with a wealthy family in Memphis after a difficult youth and was able to Michael Oher is easy to pick out on pro football highlights reels. "He thinks I birthed him," joked Leigh Anne Tuohy. . "Everybody looked alike for the first couple of weeks.". For Michael Oher, the true story of his life was much different than what In the film, race is mentioned a couple times: once by Sean Tuohy when he the film glossed over the hard work he himself put into reaching his goals. The real-life Michael Oher is seen here with the real-life 'SJ' Tuohy, when how his relationship with his younger adopted brother has evolved.
In the film, Michael Oher appears to take to the Tuohy family immediately. The Tuohys see him as the perfect son and sibling, and Oher accepts them as the nurturing parents he never had. Sadly, things were not as sunny as the film might have you believe. Tension existed between them and likely never broke. Even so, things were far from terrible either. Oher still thinks fondly of his adoptive family. He ended up bonding pretty well with both S.
However, it all took time and did not quite happen overnight. Again, that Hollywood illusion of instant perfection can be alluring but deceiving. While Tuohy did play a major role in shaping the young football star, he did not gain all his training and all he needed to learn about the game from her. Vulture Michael Oher felt that in an attempt to milk out a touching mentor-and-mentee story, the director left out a lot of background information that would have shed some light on what it really took Oher to achieve what he did.
As far as he is concerned, the film glossed over the hard work he himself put into reaching his goals. After all, she even won an Oscar and Golden Globe for her performance. But even she had her doubts about the part. Pinterest Sandra Bullock was offered the part several times but declined because the thought of portraying a pious Christian made her nervous. Bullock thought her mind was made up until she met the real Leigh Anne Tuohy.
After that, she finally took the role. Sandra Bullock took her place in the end, giving an exemplary performance that would reshape her career for the better—as will be even more evident further along in this list. Just Years Apart Most people who fell in love with the film and who were reasonably-devout football fans can see how Quinton Aaron might pass as as the football legend Michael Oher.
They have the same build, after all, and stand pretty close in height.
Ravens tackle Michael Oher takes big brother job seriously
However, there is a small thing that separates the two. Amirite Quinton Aaron is actually slightly older than Michael Oher. His birth year iswhereas Michael Oher was born in Still, the ages match up close enough for the difference to matter very little, right?
Quinton Aaron still makes one fine Michael Oher! Famous Friends Although Michael Oher was not a fan of the film overall, he appears to harbor no ill feelings toward the actors and actresses who helped bring his story to life. ABC News — Go. Little did he know he would enjoy the spotlight after all. It is not just because of how the film ended up portraying him as a person and as a football player. It is also because of how people perceive him today. To his dismay, he feels that too many view him as that player who had a movie made about him.
In real life, though, it was a little more complicated than that. His coach did advocate for him, yes, but he had to complete some rigorous academic assignments before he could be officially admitted. How else did this movie veer from reality? The Truth Comes Out Michael Oher did everything possible to correct the errors that were made in the film. The film portrays her to be quite the high achiever herself as a cheerleader and a member of the volleyball team.
Not only did she end up becoming a cheerleader at Ole Miss, she also was a state champion in the sport of pole-vaulting while in high school. Like her adoptive brother, she went on to attend Ole Miss. When Michael Met Sean As is becoming clear, what we see on the screen is not always what really happened.
At the game, Oher is cleaning up the debris left behind by hungry spectators. In reality, Tuohy first visited Oher at his school. Mighty Preparation for a Mighty Role As tough as Quinton Aaron was at the time, there was still plenty of work to do to get him to the top of his physical game. To do this, he trained with a real, top-notch college football team in order to really get into the role.
For this incredible role, getting to know the field was as important as knowing the fellow actors and actresses. Doubts from Briarcrest Authorities at Briarcrest Christian School were less than enthused about the name of the school being used in the film.
News — The Commercial Appeal As fans know, the school was still represented fully in the film. Director John Lee Hancock was even sure to remember one subtle detail: Not only would he play the leading role in an Oscar-nominated film, he would enjoy the glitzy life that came with such an honor.
The Hollywood Reporter Before he accepted the role, Quinton Aaron had never flown on an airplane in his life. He would get to experience that when he returned for the second audition for the part. At that time, he would get to experience another first: Pushed Along Supportive parents can be a real blessing. Quinton Aaron learned that quickly, as he might not have even gotten the chance to try out for the part as Michael Oher if it had not been for his doting mother.
She read the description of what they were looking for, noted the towering size requirement, and knew instantly that the part was made for Aaron. Thus, she submitted his name for him, hoping that good news would come to her and her son. Determined to Make It Work Intense training, lots of practice, and more. That is what it took Quinton Aaron to ready himself to play a convincing Michael Oher on the big screen. In total, he lost pounds in order to get in shape for the role.
But Aaron considered that a small price to pay for such a great opportunity. Thus, he shed a significant portion of his body weight over the course of just three months. Sean Tuohy To some, Sean Tuohy in the movie might look pretty familiar — especially if those people are fans of country music. That is because the actor portraying him is none other than the country music sensation Tim McGraw. Who knew that he had a flair for acting as well? You probably recognized another famous last name from the music world: The actress already had plenty of credits to her name.
She also got to see a record be broken. For the first time ever, an actress would have the spotlight to herself. The film not only made a name for itself at prestigious award events like the Golden Globes and the Oscars. It also broke a significant record at the box office. It ended up bringing in way more than that: Michael was years-old when Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy welcomed him into their home. Does the real Leigh Anne Tuohy work as an interior decorator?
Leigh Anne works as an interior decorator and is a graduate of the University of Mississippi. Was the Tuohy's daughter Collins really a high school volleyball player? In real life the Tuohy's daughter Collins was a state champion pole vaulter. She was also a high school cheerleader, as seen in the movie. Did Michael Oher really never have his own bed prior to living with the Tuohy family?
Being one of twelve children growing up in the projects, the real Michael Oher never had his own bed. Like Sandra Bullock's character does in the movie, Leigh Anne bought him a futon to sleep on since her husband told her that the larger pro athletes use them if they can't find a bed big enough.
As in the movie, most people who knew Michael Oher referred to him as "Big Mike". This included the people he knew back in Hurt Village where he grew up and the people he met at Briarcrest Christian School. Did Michael Oher really have to learn to play football when he first joined the high school team? This was grossly exaggerated in the movie.
Michael did not have to learn how to play football, and Leigh Anne never walked onto the practice field to inspire Michael by telling him to protect his team as if he was protecting their family. The film's suggestion that he needed to be taught how to play football upset the real Michael Oher, "That part right there, it really got me because it was never like that.
I've always known how to play the game of football. I've always had a passion for the game. You know, it's Hollywood, so I mean that's what they do, but at the end of the day it's still a good story. Either you have that toughness and aggression or you don't. As the real Michael Oher stated above, he already knew how to play football.
Actor Jay Head, who portrays S. He was by no means the pipsqueak that we see onscreen. Did Michael really remain silent when taunted by racist fans at a game? As Michael Lewis states in his book, when racist fans were taunting him, the real Michael Oher flipped them the bird. Did Michael really lift up a trash talking opponent and carry him off the field by his pads?
During a scrimmage against a team from Munford, the defensive end who lined up across from Michael delivered a hefty dose of trash talk with every play, threatening Michael and calling him fat. Like in the movie, when the opportunity arose during a play later in the game, Michael lifted his trash talking opponent up by his pads and began to carry him off the field, through the Munford bench, across the cinder track and toward his bus.
In real life, Michael got the Munford player up to the fence but not over it unlike what we see in the movie before a group of Munford players piled on top of him.
True behind-the-scenes facts from The Blind Side - Sports Retriever
Unsure what penalty to call, the refs penalized Michael for "excessive blocking", the same unusual penalty called in the movie. Did the library scene really happen with Leigh Anne's daughter Collins? The real Collins Tuohy never had to overcome taunting at school because of Michael staying with her family. Collins Tuohy, an honor student, rearranged her entire class schedule in order to help Michael.
She dropped all of her AP advanced placement classes to be in Michael's English and math classes, so that she could understand what his assignments were.
She spent several hours at night helping him with his homework. Collins isn't quite as timid as her onscreen counterpart and being seen with Michael at school was never an issue. She was a cheerleader and he played football, and they both were on the track team together Huckabee. Did Leigh Anne really have to deal with haughty women questioning her decision to take Michael in?
In the movie, Leigh Anne's Sandra Bullock friends ask her intrusive questions about Michael during a lunch gathering.
Evolution of a Game, "We knew people were going to have issues because we had a daughter exactly the same age," Leigh Anne admitted. Leigh Anne faced countless questions from people she encountered at shops, restaurants and school events, all typically asking, "How have you handled it? Eventually, Leigh Anne let her opinion of this line of questioning be known, "You just need to mind your own business.
You worry about your own life and I'll worry about mine," she said. Was Leigh Anne Tuohy conscious of where Michael came from and the fact that he was black? Yes, but in real life this happened on a regular basis, as Sean Tuohy pointed out in an interview.
But if we were going to spend time with him, we'd come eat at the table. We haven't eaten at the table since he left," Sean stated jokingly. Gang members never taunted Leigh Anne. However, once when she was dropping Michael off after taking him clothes shopping, he did tell her to stay in the car like his character does in the movie.
The main gang member in the movie, Alton, is loosely based on Delvin Lane, the leader of a gang that hung around the Hurt Village housing projects. As emphasized somewhat in the movie, Michael never associated with such individuals.
His closest friend from his old neighborhood was Craig Vail, whom he often told the Tuohy's about and later brought to their home. Craig was a person Michael could trust, who never expected or asked for anything. How does Michael react to black people who criticize the notion of the wealthy white family helping the poor black kid? Was Michael really included in the family Christmas card like in the movie? The actual photo is shown on the right.
Like in the movie, Leigh Anne says that her cousin called her to ask her about the photo. Who's the black boy in the Christmas card? In real life, Sue Mitchell spoke about her routine with Michael, "We worked hours and hours every day. He would come home, he'd take a shower and we would work until at least And we did this six nights a week.
Was the tutor really a liberal, or was that Hollywood injecting its views? Sue was a retired public school teacher and cheerleading coach. It's true that Sue Mitchell was turned down a job at Briarcrest Christian School because she didn't share their religious beliefs.
It's also true that she was a liberal, to which the real Sean Tuohy replied, "We had a black son before we had a Democrat friend! In the movie, a distracted Michael Oher Quinton Aaron doesn't see a landscaping truck backing out in front of him as he and S.
Michael Oher Tells A Whole Different Story About 'The Blind Side'
The Blind Side true story reveals that the accident actually happened in icy conditions when Michael's truck skidded across the divide traveling at 25 miles per hour and crashed head-on into a big van, which was also moving at 25 miles per hour.
When Leigh Anne first arrived on the scene of the accident, she approached Michael who was sobbing uncontrollably to the point she could hardly understand what he was trying to tell her. In addition to blood being on his shirt, S. Surprisingly, despite the swelling, no bones were broken. When Leigh Anne came home from the hospital, she delivered the news that S.
It was then that Michael held out his arm to show Leigh Anne the unsightly burn mark that ran down the length of it. He also has seven years experience serving as a broadcast analyst on radio programs at Ole Miss, in addition to working on national broadcasts for Westwood One and CBS Radio. Inhe was drafted by the New Jersey Nets but instead opted to continue his career overseas before returning to the US to be with his father during his final days.
Although it's not focused on in the movie, Michael Oher's basketball talent made him runner-up high school Player of the Year in Tennessee.The truth about Michael Oher
Are the college football coaches who recruit Michael in the movie played by the real coaches? The southeastern conference SEC coaches who appear in the movie are portrayed by the actual coaches who recruited Michael Oher. Michael had nothing but D's and F's until the end of his junior year. However, he made all A's and B's during his senior year, but with no more classes to take, he could at best only finish with a 2.
This was a problem since the NCAA required a 2. Regarding Michael and the Tuohy's questionable academic efforts to fix this problem, columnist Harris focuses on day internet courses that Michael took his senior year from Brigham Young University, in order to replace existing F's on his transcript with A's.
Harris refers to the courses as "an NCAA eligibility trick. Evolution of a Game. All that each course required students to do was to read a few brief passages from famous works or speeches and then answer five questions on it. A's that Michael earned in these character courses could be used to replace existing F's that he had earned in high school English courses. She was particularly concerned with how Michael was going to become NCAA eligible given that his high school transcripts still contained eight Fs.
She wanted to know more about the Brigham Young study program see above questionbut Michael wasn't speaking up and Sean Tuohy claimed that he didn't know the details since Michael's tutor, Sue Mitchell, had been handling it. The NCAA investigator was also interested in discovering if the Tuohy's had pressured Michael into attending their alma mater, Ole Miss, which is similar to what is depicted in the movie.
When interviewer Deborah Roberts suggested to Leigh Anne that some people think that she and Sean took a black teen in to mold him and make him what they wanted him to be, Leigh Anne responded by saying, "Nobody has the guts to say that to my face. No one has ever said that to my face. And if they did, I would tell them don't let the door hit their butt on the way out.
Michael did not get into a fight with gang members in his old neighborhood. However, after researching The Blind Side true story, we discovered that while he was in college at Ole Miss, Michael got into a fight with teammate Antonio Turner who had visited the Tuohy's home. At some point after his visit, Turner called Michael a cracker for living with a white family. Antonio also made comments to Michael suggesting that he was going to have sex with Michael's white sister and white mother similar to the comments made by the gang member in the movie.
This infuriated Michael who chased after Antonio and eventually tracked him down hiding at the study hall where the football players studied with their tutors. Michael threw the pound Antonio into the ground, picked him up by the throat, beat him in the face and threw him across the room.
In the process, the 3-year-old son of one of the tutors was knocked to the floor and suffered a bad head wound. The small white boy laid on the floor in a pool of his own blood. When Michael saw what had happened to the boy, he ran off. Antonio was taken to one of the coaches homes for protection.