McFarland, USA, which comes out in theaters this Friday, is about Runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California, who give their all to build a cross-country team with the direction of Coach Jim White.
We got the chance to sit down and have a talk with actors Johnny Ortiz, Sergio Avelar, Kevin Costner, Director Niki Caro, Carlos Pratts, and Hector Duran to talk about the movie. See what a few of them had to say below:
Carlos talked about how the training went when preparing for the movie:
“As far as the training, we all know diets are horrible. I would say In the mornings we went to Santa Clarita and run like five or six miles, and I cried more than I cried when I saw Bambi. But you know, Sergio being a runner really helped me out, as well as Hector and Johnny and everyone. Then after rehearsals I would drive to Redondo Beach and go through a lot of pain at Brick Fitness, which helped me with strength and nutrition. And for three months I couldn’t have a carb.”
Hector was then asked what it was like to work with actor, Kevin Costner, and he proceeded by saying:
“Working with Kevin was obviously an amazing experience. He’s such a humble guy and one of the greatest memories I have on set, which really shows his character for me, was when we were on set at 4 in the morning, and it was really cold outside as Kevin asked me if I was cold as I answered yes, and he offered me his jacket off of his back which really showed how much he cares about his fellow actors.”
Kevin talks about what appealed to him when he was playing Jim:
“Well, I had read the story some time ago in Sports illustrated and I remember being very taken by it. I actually played baseball in high School but I was taken by the story then of course closed the page and moved on with my life, but then this movie came up. Playing this character, who knew there’s these men and women all over America who are affecting our young people and the relationships that coaches establish with young people is something that carries through their life if its done right. There are not a lot of Jim whites but there are Jim Whites, and he represents the best of the best. There’s a moment in time where kids really don’t want to hear anything from their parents but a coach can take on that and somehow let them know what was possible.”
Niki then talked about how the one thing that attracted her to make this film was that she was inspired. Not only by Jim White but also by the team and the scale of their achievement. She was also inspired by how hard the people work and by the commitment to their families, their faith and their community.
Catch McFarland, USA in theatres on February 20th and hopefully, you too will feel inspired!