Tim McGraw is both a bona fide country star and a movie star these days, having starred in Tomorrowland, Country Strong and the Oscar-nominated The Blind Side. But in 2004, he was an aspiring actor trying to score a role in the 2004 sports drama Friday Night Lights.
At a recent event in Austin, Texas captured in the video above, McGraw recounted how he got the role in the movie based on the H.G. Bissinger book of the same name. He also discusses how his time on the film set now reminds him of one of his signature songs.
"I couldn't get Pete Berg, who's the director of that movie, to even take a phone call from me. He didn't even know who I was, which was a good thing, I think, at the time," McGraw told the crowd. "I found out his office was (in Austin, Texas). I made an appointment with him -- I finally got his assistant to make an appointment with me."
By the time the singer auditioned for the part of Charles Billingsley, an alcoholic former football star, the role had already been filled by another actor. But McGraw must have impressed the director because he was eventually cast in the role and went on to impress critics with his acting chops.
McGraw told the crowd that another actor just starting out was familiar with his music career and constantly insisted on doing a duet with the country superstar.
"On the set, Garret Hedlund -- who played my son in the movie -- he wanted to sing to me every time we were on set. He was like 18 years old...Bless his heart, he's a good singer now. But, boy, he couldn't sing then at all," McGraw joked.
McGraw explained that the young actor, who would later co-star with him in Country Strong and his "Truck Yeah" video, became a good friend. And the song Hedlund was so insistent on singing with McGraw? That would be the 1994 smash hit "Don't Take the Girl," which was McGraw's first No. 1 hit.
McGraw says being in Austin, Texas reminds him of his early film role and Hedlund's hilarious appreciation for his '90s hit. He then treated the small crowd to an acoustic version of the tune.
McGraw is currently working on a new album. Last year, he released "Neon Church" and "Thought About You" from the currently-untitled project.