Actress researches role at Briarcrest - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Actress researches role at Briarcrest

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Hollywood star visited the Mid-South Monday to research her role in an upcoming film.

Sandra Bullock is scheduled to star in an upcoming film about the life of Ole Miss football player Michael Oher.

Oher, a former student at Briarcrest, probably never imagined his impoverished childhood would put him at the center of a Hollywood motion picture, and neither did his former principal, Steve Simpson.

"When you see someone that comes from a background such as Michael, it's very pleasing and heart warming to see him achieve success," Simpson said Monday.

The movie is based on the best selling book, "The Blindside: Evolution of the Game" by Michael Lewis.  "Blindside" tells the true-life story of Oher, who will likely be one of the first players selected in this year's NFL Draft. 

Oher was an orphaned teen adopted by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy.  With help from his new family, he overcame a number of obstacles, including learning how to read and write.

"He was very deficient in his academic background," Simpson said. "He attended a lot of different schools.  It was just a combination of a lot of things."

Sandra Bullock will play Leigh Anne Tuohy, the affluent mother of the Tuohy family who took Oher in.  Monday, Bullock paid a visit to Briarcrest Christian High School where Oher attended.

"It was very surprising for Ms. Bullock to come by," Simpson said. "She and Ms. Tuohy were visiting the school, trying to get a feel for the school and culture Michael experienced when he was here."

Meanwhile, Simpson said, he's hoping the movie will offer inspiration and hope.

"I hope it'll serve as a motivation and an example to others about what can happen when you defy the odds," he said.

The movie is tentatively scheduled for release in 2011.

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