USA : FORMER AMERICAN FOOTBALL STAR HOWIE LONG TAKES HIS FIRST STARRING ROLE IN A MAJOR HOLLYWOOD FILM IN "FIRESTORM"Record ID: 387421
- 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 (DECEMBER 11, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) LONG SAYING, "THE ONE THING ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY, IT'S NOT REALLY PREDICTABLE. I'D LIKE TO DO SMART ACTION FILMS, I THINK HARRISON FORD DOES REALLY GREAT STUFF AND HE'S A REAL CHARACTER AND HE'S SOMEONE WHO'S VULNERABLE AT TIMES AND SHOWS FEAR, AND, UH, IF I COULD GET ANYTHING OUT OF IT, I WOULD LIKE TO PORTRAY MYSELF AS BEING REAL IN WHATEVER I DO."
- Reuters ID: LVA3M60562ULTDG9FMO07PWWI738
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:21
- 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.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:26th December 1997 12:00
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None