USA : FORMER AMERICAN FOOTBALL STAR HOWIE LONG TAKES HIS FIRST STARRING ROLE IN A MAJOR HOLLYWOOD FILM IN "FIRESTORM"Record ID: 387419
- Title: USA : FORMER AMERICAN FOOTBALL STAR HOWIE LONG TAKES HIS FIRST STARRING ROLE IN A MAJOR HOLLYWOOD FILM IN "FIRESTORM"
- Date: 11th December 1997
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 7, 1998) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) EXTERIOR OF PREMIERE THEATRE "FIRESTORM" POSTERS SUZY AMIS WITH TV CREWS HOWIE LONG POSING FOR PHOTOS WILLIAM FORSYTHE AND SUZY AMIS POSING DIRECTOR DEAN SEMLER WITH THE MEDIA (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) SEMLER SAYING, "HOWIE IS A MILLION DOLLARS, HE IS LARGER THAN LIFE ON THE SCREEN. HE IS AS CHARISMATIC AS HELL. THE CAMERA WORSHIPS HIM. HE'S JUST WONDERFUL." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) LONG SAYING, "WELL, THE THING THAT DREW ME TO THE FILM WAS, QUITE SIMPLY THAT IT HADN'T BEEN DONE BEFORE. A LOT OF THESE ACTION FILMS YOU SEE ARE KIND OF RE-HASHES OF THE SAME PLOT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH A SUBTLE TWIST. SMOKE JUMPERS ARE REAL AMERICAN HEROES THAT I DON'T THINK A LOT OF FOLKS KNOW A LOT ABOUT." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) AMIS SAYING OF DOING HER OWN STUNTS, "I DID DO A LOT, YEAH, THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY EXCITED ME ABOUT GETTING THE ROLE, IS I'VE DONE A LOT OF ACTION FILMS AND I'VE NEVER REALLY BEEN ABLE TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PHYSICAL SIDE OF IT. SO I GOT TO DO THAT IN "FIRESTORM" WHICH WAS GREAT." ( (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) FORSYTHE SAYING, "NO, IT WASN'T DANGEROUS. UM, I SAW SOME OF THE FILM AND IT'S SEEMED AS IF YOU KNOW, WE WERE ABOUT TO ROAST ANY SECOND, DURING AND EVERYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT, I NEVER REALLY FELT ANYTHING. IN FACT WHEN WE WERE IN CANADA, A LOT OF THE TIME, IT WAS SO COLD UP THERE, WE WERE FILMING AND IT WAS STARTING TO TURN INTO WINTER TIME, WHEN THEY TURNED THE FIRES ON, IT WAS SORT OF LIKE A WELCOME FIREPLACE." WILLIAM FORSYTHE, DEAN SEMLER, SUZY AMIS AND HOWIE LONG POSING
- Reuters ID: LVAB2SX284SM4RF4VR9X85EEWNA
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:45
- Story Text: - Not content with two dream careers already under his belt, former American football star Howie Long has found time to star in his second feature film, whilst still playing the real-life role of a top television sports commentator.
Following his movie debut in "Broken Arrow", Long joined co-stars Suzy Amis and William Forsythe in Dean Semler's new action adventure, "Firestorm", which had its world premiere in Los Angeles on January 7.
Long plays fearless smokejumper Jesse Graves, a man whose job it is to parachute into the middle of forest fires and fight winds which whip flames into tornadoes of fire rising up to 600 feet.
But as Graves is preparing to fight the latest blaze, he is unaware that convicted murderer Earl Shaye, played by William Forsythe, posing as a firefighter, is using the firestorm to implement a daring escape plan.
Caught up in the middle of this life-or-death fight is Jennifer, played by Suzy Amis, a ornithologist who is taken hostage by Shaye and his band of escaped convicts during the escape attempt.
Also in the cast is Scott Glenn, who plays Graves' mentor and friend, Wynt Perkins. Both Glenn and Long share a respect and admiration for real-life smokejumpers. They both travelled to the smokejumper training base in Missoula, Montana. Long was surprised to discover several common points between football and the firefighters.
"Doing a film is a lot like going through an entire football season because it's three, four months and you build a lot of relationships and you come together as a team over that four months," Long told Reuters Television.
Director Dean Semler shot "Firestorm" over the course of 14 weeks in the forest wilderness on the outskirts of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
He was impressed with Long's performance in the movie. "Howie is a million dollars... larger than life on the screen. He is as charismatic as hell, the camera worships him," Semler said.
This is his first time in the director's chair, having previously made a name for himself as one of Hollywood's most respected cinematographers. He won an Oscar for his photography on Kevin Costner's "Dances With Wolves." His other credits include "Waterworld," "The Road Warrior," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," and "The Last Action Hero." Suzy Amis can currently be seen on movie screens in James Cameron's epic "Titanic." Her other credits include the action-adventure "Blown Away" and underground hit "The Usual Suspects." William Forsythe has appeared in more than fifty motion pictures and television productions. He co-starred as an FBI agent in the box office hit "The Rock," and created the role of Flattop for Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy." He gave a critically-acclaimed performance in "The Waterdance," which earned top honours at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared in "Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead" opposite Andy Garcia.
This is not Howie Long's first film role. He made his professional acting debut in John Woo's box office hit "Broken Arrow," opposite John Travolta and Christian Slater. He was subsequently signed to a three-picture deal with 20th Century Fox.
He was a member of the Los Angeles Raiders for 13 years and was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 1983.
After retiring from football, Long became a broadcaster, hosting "Inside Pro Football", a national weekly sports radio show. He hosted the pre-game and post-game shows during the 1996-1997 Super Bowl. His other broadcasting credits include ESPN's "Up Close", HBO's "Inside the NFL", and NBC's "NFL Live".
He currently serves as one of the hosts of "Fox NFL Sunday," the most-watched pre-game show in America.
"Firestorm" is due to be released on 24 March 1998 in the United Kingdom.
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