Michael Oher, the football player who inspired the movie that earned Bullock an Oscar for Best Actress, is speaking out about how the Hollywood retelling of his story ultimately harmed his career.
"I'm not trying to prove anything," Oher said in a new interview with ESPN. "People look at me and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don't really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That's why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field."
Oher, a tackle for the Carolina Panthers, first told his story to journalist Michael Lewis for his 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. The drama, starring Bullock as a wealthy Tennessee woman who adopts troubled high school football star Oher, based on the story in the book, came later.
"This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not... that has nothing to do with football," said Oher, who has struggled with injuries during the last few years of his football career. "It's something else off the field. That's why I don't like that movie."
All of Oher's issues are with the big screen adaptation and not the book — at least, according to Lewis, its author.
"Michael liked the book, but when the movie came out he was just starting his rookie year, and I think he was hazed [about the movie] constantly in the trenches," Lewis told Bloomberg news in 2010. "So he refused to go see it, he didn't go to any of the premieres, he didn't come to the Oscars — he didn’t identify himself with it."
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