Granted, it’s a great song, but no one sang “Fort Worth Blues” at Monday night’s world premiere. 12 powerful orphans at the ISIS Theater in downtown Cowtown. No, the mood at this event was fiercely optimistic, and why not? 12 powerful orphans is a rarity for Hollywood these days: it was shot entirely in Texas, in and around Fort Worth, where the story takes place. It is a 1930s Depression-era orphanage that fielded a football team that made it to the state finals. Based on Jim Dent’s bestseller Twelve mighty orphans, the film version opens in Texas on Friday.
So, yeah, Monday night’s VIP premiere was full of items that we don’t see much of in Texas – one being a red carpet. Some of the celebrities who walked it Monday night included Luke Wilson of Dallas, the film’s lead man, who plays legendary orphan trainer Rusty Russell.
His co-star, Martin Sheen, couldn’t make it, but Oscar winner Robert Duvall, who made an appearance in the film, showed up, bringing a bit of Hollywood royalty to the proceedings. . Duvall is 90 years old and received a huge standing ovation when director Ty Roberts gave his keynote address.
Sitting next to Duvall during the screening was Margarita Olympia McConaughey, a young girl whose father is a friend of Duvall’s named Michael “Rooster” McConaughey, who plays Pop Boone. Margarita also appears in the film, and in her scene she sits next to Duvall, who plays Mason Hawk. Rooster is the older brother of Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, making Margarita Matthew the niece.
Other stars who walked the red carpet included Wayne Knight, one of Hollywood’s leading actors, whose most famous role was Newman the Postman in Seinfeld. And yes, even in Fort Worth, at least one person couldn’t help but greet Knight with Jerry Seinfeld’s famous “Hello, Newman”, delivered with all the sarcasm the line required. Newman plays the villain in 12 powerful orphans, and it is, in a word, chilling.
“What a magical evening!” said Houston Hill, the Texas producer of 12 powerful orphans, who lives in Hideaway Lake, near the field where he played as a football player for Lindale High School. “The City of Fort Worth and the State of Texas have truly come to celebrate this wonderful true story of the Mighty Mites.”
One of our favorite lines from the movie gave us the best joke about the city where the story is based. “I know goats don’t need a lot of grass,” Luke Wilson’s character tells Sheen’s, as they inspect the orphans’ hard football pitch, “but I’ve never known one. who liked to eat stones. ” To which Sheen replies, “They were Fort Worth goats, Coach.”