Ok, not really, but she has been tapped to work on the upcoming film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book, The Blind Side.
The book and upcoming film discuss the evolution of football from a run-heavy game to a more balanced and even pass-centric game which relies on, among other things, solid pass blocking. In covering this "evolution," our very own Michael Oher was examined as the prototypical left tackle and used as the feel-good story necessary to make Lewis' work something more than just a dork yammering on and on about football.
If the last two sentences were news to you, leave this blog and never come back.
Bates, known best for playing a batty Alabaman in Fried Green Tomatoes and revealing her
gravity-ravaged funbags bosom in About Schmidt, will play a "no-nonsense tutor" hired by the Tuohy family to educate the young Michael Oher. The film, which is slated for a 2011 release, has already signed on Sandra Bullock and a bunch of other people you haven't heard of to play the people involved in the Michael Oher story.
Since the cast has not yet been fully assembled, I would like to offer some of my very own suggestions to the studio and producers to hopefully make this the most accurate and inspiring film it can be.
My suggestions are:
James Gandolfini as Ed Orgeron - Erik of DeepSouthSports jumped all over this one a while ago. I think it's brilliant in that you've got an actor with experience playing a girthy, grumpy guy who can sleazily get the job done... sometimes. Of course, Gandolfini might sound too "Jersey" to play the part well, so I'm suggesting he take voice lessons from Paul Prudhomme.
Tom Cruise as Nick Saban - As is well documented, Nick Saban and Phil Fulmer both heavily recruited Oher so one would naturally assume them to have, at the very least, minor roles in the film. In casting St. Nick, I tried to find a Tom Cruise role which perfectly embodies the character of Coach Saban, only to shortly thereafter realize that practically all of his characters are short, self-important douches with nice haircuts.
COMMIT TO LSU!!! COMMIT TO LSU!!!
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Phil Fulmer - Hoffman is one of the greatest actors out there today, so he could easily pull this role off. He has played roles as complex as Truman Capote and as asinine as Ben Stiller's creepy friend in Along Came Polly. In combining the two, he'll become the perfect aloof, myserious asshole. Also, he's fat and named "Philip."
Morgan Freeman as Robert Khayat - Let's not kid ourselves; that would rule.
John Goodman as Sparky Reardon - I doubt Sparky will have anything to do with this movie, but just look at Goodman's character Big Dan Teague from O Brother, Where Art Thou and tell me that it wouldn't be a perfect fit.
Albert Haynesworth/Keenan Thompson as Michael Oher - I know there is some guy who they've already casted to play the All-American left tackle, but if this is going to be the "football comedy-drama" (footbramedy) it has been slated to be, we're going to have to really re-think who plays our protagonist. As the on-the-field Oher, Albert Haynesworth would provide more than enough football drama with his face stomping, screaming, and general thuggery. As the off-the-field Oher, Thompson will make goofy facial expressions and do his Bill Cosby impersonation to give the audience the laughs they expect. Also, they're both girthy and black which has to count for something.
ETA: I know that Albert Haynesworth is a defensive tackle. Tom Cruise isn't the former head coach of the LSU Tigers, either. Shit, it's called "acting" for a reason.