By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"In the movie I shouted at him a few times, and that would have never happened," Billingsley says later, laughing. "He's an intense, tough guy, and I knew when he meant business, but it wasn't like that. In dealing with the movie, though, that was the most intense thing, watching that on the screen and going, 'That's nothing like him.' But at the same time I'm trying to think about 'OK, this is based on a story. This is not the real thing. Every movie has to have an antagonist.'...But still, it doesn't sit real well."
Winchell likewise tells the filmmaker that he's not fond of the movie's suggestion that his mother "ain't right." She's simply a quiet woman who doesn't let others know how she's feeling or what she's thinking.
"If you're not in it, it's a great movie," Winchell says. "But when you're in it, there are a couple of hard things to look at, honestly. I feel bad for my mother, who's never uttered a word to any of these people, including Buzz. I think they make her character look likable, but they make some inferences to her mental state, and that was kinda rough." Billingsley has already sent out e-mails to friends and family to let them know what's truth and what's absolute fiction in the movie. He and Winchell have also warned their folks, who will likely not see the movie.
"Besides," Billingsley says, "Dad doesn't think Tim McGraw is pretty enough to play his part, anyway."
But both men, and two other former Permian players, like the movie enough to take part in its promotion: This week they will go to New York to tape a segment for Jane Pauley's show, then to Los Angeles and Odessa for the premieres.
"People are going to ask your side," Winchell says, "and you wanna be there to give it." --Robert Wilonsky