MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/10/14) — You may go to the movies, sit back with your popcorn, daydream about what it might be like to be a glamorous star, assume every actor is high-maintenance, well-paid, and from Hollywood.
Well, you thought wrong.
"Have you ever been a movie?" Carolyn Ferrell was asked by her friend, MaryLou Boal, both of Madisonville.
When Carolyn said "No," MaryLou had the perfect response.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
Boal's husband's niece, Faith Conroy, was one of the writers and co-producers of the film, "50 to 1," based on the true story of Mine That Bird, the surprising 50-1 winner at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Conroy needed extras for the film's scene at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Boal asked several of her friends to make the trip and astonishingly enough, Ferrell and her husband were two of the very few who jumped at the chance to be seen on the big screen.
"They all missed a thrill of a lifetime," said Boal told SurfKY.
The journey began when Conroy's partner, Jim Wilson — who won an Oscar for "Dances With Wolves," starring Kevin Costner — had an affinity for the amazing story of Mine That Bird and decided to buy the rights and start the screenplay. The process took more than two years and $8.5 million dollars.
The movie has since drawn critical acclaim. "50 to 1" was featured in The Wall Street Journal and in magazines such as Cowboys and Indians and Kentucky Monthly.
Ferrell and her husband, Phillip, spent one long 12-hour day back in the fall shooting the same scene in the boxes of Churchill Downs around eight times. Boal and her husband, Bob, ended up spending seven days shooting, and were shown in several scenes. The first day, Boal told SurfKY she came in with a black eye from a fall she had previously, and to her delight, she was assigned a personal makeup artist.
Boal, with the help of Conway, got to see the ins and outs of film production first hand.
"We saw how hard they work," she said. "We go to the movies and think it's all just glamour."
The Ferrells and the Boals attended a black tie, red carpet premiere of the movie in Albuquerque, N.M. in March, but would they now consider themselves actresses?
"I would consider myself having been a part of the process," said Ferrell.
Boal agreed with stars in her eyes.
"I would try it again any day. I would love to be another extra. I would do it in a minute."
Boal said she tries to always "jump" at every chance thrown her way.
"Every day should be an adventure," she said.
"50 to 1" is currently making tour stops at racetracks all over Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. It will continue its tour April 17 at the Kentucky Derby Museum and April 18 at Keeneland.For more information, go to 50to1themovie.com.
(Flickr photos courtesy Carolyn Ferrell)
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