Matthew Fox Honors Marshall Football Coach

Matthew Fox gained fame through his roles in two popular TV dramas. He starred in "Party of Five" in the '90s and today stars in "Lost." Recently, he made his first foray into theaters with his role in the film, "We Are Marshall."

The movie, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, is about Huntington, W.Va.'s struggle to move on after almost the entire football team from Marshall University died in a plane crash in 1970.

Fox plays an assistant coach, Red Dawson, who escaped death when he offered his seat to another coach who wanted to return home sooner so he could see his granddaughter's recital.

Fox said he developed a friendship with Dawson and was proud to portray him. He said the entire Huntington community encouraged the crew and the actors to tell their story.

"I think there was initially some suspicion about a big Hollywood outfit coming in and making a movie out of a story that is so close to their heart, a story that is their story and they owned it," Fox told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "A lot of people would come up and introduce themselves and tell you how they were connected to the story and to the event in 1970 and then wish you well."

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After the crash, Dawson decided to come back and coach the new team the next year. It was a difficult choice as Dawson acted as team recruiter and knew all the players very well.

"He said he recruited these kids and sat in 20 living rooms and 20 mothers and told them I would take care of their kid. Now they are all dead," Fox said.

Fox, who will be spending the holidays with his family in Hawaii, where "Lost" is filmed, said he wanted the movie to make Dawson proud.

"I was waiting for that phone call from Red and getting that phone call was amazing," Fox said. "He's very, very happy with the movie. I am just so proud. It was an inspirational story. It's incredibly uplifting and the kind of movie I hope people walk out of and feel more connected to the people they love, which is the only thing in our lives, the most important thing. This time of year, it's a good thing for people."

  • Caitlin Johnson

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