HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (October 5, 2006) — Matthew McConaughey says he immediately committed to a role in the upcoming film “We Are Marshall” after reading the script.
McConaughey plays coach Jack Lengyel, who took over the Marshall University football team after a plane crash killed 75 players, coaches and community members in November 1970.
“There’s 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,’” McConaughey said Wednesday.
He named “We Are Marshall” and his first film, 1993’s “Dazed and Confused.”
“I finished the script and I couldn’t get it off my mind,” he said of “We Are Marshall.” “I had emotions that I haven’t had in a while. I didn’t know this story.”
The film tells the story of the football program’s rebuilding.
Lengyel was hired in March 1971, four months after the team’s chartered jet crashed into a hill short of Tri-State Airport in rain and fog.
Lengyel oversaw a patchwork quilt of players. There were three dozen walk-ons former servicemen, a soccer player, basketball players and transfer students.
They joined the few returning players who were not on the plane and a group of freshmen who were not allowed to play the previous fall due to NCAA restrictions.