“50 to 1” is a real underdog story of the little horse that could and the ups and downs that the people who believed in him went through.
Very much like the story of the making of the movie itself. Director Jim Wilson and cast and crew all believed in this little film that could despite budgetary issues and big blockbusters ruling cinema box offices they fought for their film, backed it and pushed it to its theatrical release.
Along the way Christian Kane, Madelyn Deutch, Todd Lowe, Hugo Perez and Faith Conroy took a grassroots approach met fans one on one and took time out to talk about the making of “50 to 1,” what they would name their very own race horse, moments in their life when they were the underdog and their history in horse racing.
La Prensa: How many of you were into horse racing prior to “50 to 1”
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Noah Wyle to Executive-Produce and Reprise Recurring Role from The Librarian Movie Trilogy
Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, John Kim and John Larroquette to Star in Series, With Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin Set to Reprise Roles and Matt Frewer to Recur
TNT is returning to the world of its hit movie franchise The Librarian with a brand new series from Electric Entertainment and executive producers Dean Devlin, John Rogers and Marc Roskin. Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, TNT’s King & Maxwell) is set to lead the cast of the new series, which is entitled The Librarians. Noah Wyle (Falling Skies, ER) will executive-produce and play a recurring role in the series, reprising his role as Flynn Carsen from TNT’s movie trilogy. Christian Kane (TNT’s Leverage, Angel), Lindy Booth (Dawn of the Dead, The Philanthropist) and John Kim (Neighbors, The Pacific) are set to round out the cast as the newest protectors of the world’s mystical treasures, with Emmy® winner John Larroquette (Night Court, Deception) slated to play their reluctant caretaker. Also appearing from the movie trilogy will be Emmy winners Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory, The Bob Newhart Show) and Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie, 3rd Rock from the Sun). And Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, TNT’s Falling Skies) is set to play a recurring role. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of The Librarians, with plans to launch the series in late 2014.
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And now for an unsolicited testimonial: Christian Kane says he is shout-from-the-rooftops proud to be featured within the pages of Cowboys & Indians because “I am a Cherokee Indian on my mom’s side and a cowboy, so I’m your poster boy.”
And there’s more: Kane says he owes a debt of gratitude to a C&I reader favorite for teaching him an invaluable lesson about getting into character as an actor from the outside in.
“You put your wardrobe on and you prop up?—?and it’s 99 percent easier to become that character,” Kane says.
“And you know who introduced me to that? Mr. Tom Selleck. We did a western together called Crossfire Trail. That was one of the first movies I ever did. And Tom put down a table full of guns, he put down a table full of knives, he put down a table full of holsters, and he put down a table full of hats. And me and [costar] David O’Hara just walked through and we picked our guns. And then we walked to the next table, and we picked our holsters. And so on.
“And when we got done, we were standing there with all this stuff. Tom said, ‘OK, there’s your character.’ And you know what? He was right.”
The lesson has served Kane well throughout dozens of TV and movie gigs?—?most recently in 50 to 1. Kane appears in the fact-based film as co-owner of a promising gelding who’s molded by a maverick trainer (Skeet Ulrich) into a Kentucky Derby contender. In real life, neither owner Mark Allen nor trainer Chip Woolley was a member of the horse racing elite when they showed up at Churchill Downs. “These guys were punching bags for all those Kentucky blue bloods,” Kane says.
So when it came time to dress for the occasion, Kane says, “The most important element was a black hat. That’s the honest-to-God truth. And I’ll tell you why: Both of those boys?—?Mark Allen and Chip Woolley?—?wore black hats. So me and Skeet wore them, too.
“And that was very important to me, because these people were viewed as long shots. They were viewed as the outsiders. And they were viewed as kind of a joke when they got to the Kentucky Derby. Everyone else was dressed to the nines?—?great tuxedos, Giorgio Armani, all that stuff. And these cats had on leather sport coats and black hats. Nobody wears a cowboy hat to the derby. And these guys kept them on the entire time.
“They were outsiders. And that’s what we were playing.”
Source: Cowboys & Indians
El Paso, TX — EDITOR’S NOTE: Felipa Solis is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. This review appears as a special to NewsChannel 9.
There is a great line towards the end of the immortal film classic, ‘The Wizard of Oz,” where Dorothy says, ” If you look for your heart’s desire… don’t look further than your own backyard.” The film, “50 to 1″ produced and directed by Jim Wilson, is an example of that statement. No need to put on the 3-D Glasses, when you have the most perfect story to tell that takes place in one’s own backyard. In this case, at the Sunland Park Racetrack, just down the road from El Paso, Texas whereby a very ordinary horse became part of what is clearly the most exciting two minutes in sports.
It is very easy to take pride in a story that begins so close to what I call home. “Mine that Bird,” a horse described by many as an odd looking crooked hoofed gelding, made his way to the finish line lengths above the rest of the pack at the Kentucky Derby of 2009. His owner, Mark Allen, played with a wonderfully genuine exhuberance that you don’t see every day on film by versatile actor Christian Kane, managed, through the most unconventional ways, to find the perfect trainer for his young horse in the form of Chip Wooley,played with sheer determination, honesty and heart by Skeet Ulrich. The horse was as prepared as he could be under the most unusual of circumstances, and then, literally by accident, managed to have enough points to qualify for the Derby… How does that happen? Is there ever enough time to prepare? And can you just hook a horse trailer up to a pick-up and take a horse for a cross country ride at the last minute?
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During an interview in San Antonio with Wilson, screenwriter Faith Conroy and actors Christian Kane, Madelyn Deutch, Todd Lowe and Hugo Perez, we talked about the incredible 2009 race, the challenges the film faced during production and got an update on how Mind That Bird is doing these days as a retiree living on a dude ranch in New Mexico.
There’s been a film about horse champions Seabiscuit and Secretariat already. What was it about Mind That Bird’s story that resonated with you to want to make a film about him?
Christian Kane: Let me tell you, I love those stories. Everybody loves a horse story. I feel like those horses were supposed to win. I look at those stories as documentaries. [“50 to 1”] is “Rocky,” man. This is the underdog. This horse was not supposed to be [in the Kentucky Derby] much less win the race.
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