Tag Archives: Michael Oher

SANDRA BULLOCK GIVES – AND RECEIVES – TUOHY FAMILY SUPPORT AS ‘THE HEAT’ AND ‘FAMILY ADDITION’ LAUNCH

Leigh Anne TExpect to see members of “Team Tuohy” out en force to support Sandra Bullock at the premiere of her new action comedy flick, “The Heat,” May 26.  That’s the word from the Tennessee and Mississippi-bred blond dynamo known as Leigh Anne Tuohy, whom Bullock portrayed to Oscar-winning excellence in 2009’s “The Blind Side.” Since then, they’ve remained close pals — though it’s only rarely that the public gets a glimpse of that closeness, such as when Bullock was on hand to cheer with the Tuohys at this year’s Super Bowl, when son Michael Oher and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens won.

Lately, it’s been Bullock lending her support as Leigh Anne prepares to launch her new “Family Addition With Leigh Anne Tuohy” reality show centered on fostering and adoption of children.

“She has held my hand through every episode. She gave a wink and nod with every family,” Leigh Anne tells us. “I just spent five hours layin’ side by side with her on a couch Thursday night, talking about it.  I couldn’t ask for a better friend.  She is an amazing lady and I’m still humbled and honored that God connected us, because it’s a powerful relationship.”

The series follows some pretty extraordinary families across the nation who are fostering children and are on the verge of adoption — families the show tries to help, whether in terms of redoing homes, finding jobs, or coping with the system.  In a couple of instances, the show’s cameras have been in court when a child became a permanent part of a new family.

Leigh Anne is adamant that foster care in the U.S. is fixable.  “There are a lot of different situations that aren’t manageable; this one is,” she declares.  “The average citizen can get involved and make a difference.  There are 400,000 kids in the foster care system.  We have 450,000 faith-based organizations in this country.  If every faith-based organization would get off their butts and place one kid in a loving home, we would wipe out the need for foster care.”

Leigh Anne says that she and her family “are very cognizant that we have been granted stewardship of a message, that there are Michael Ohers in every nook and cranny of this country — and every night we go to bed and think, ‘Wow, if someone who is as immensely valuable as Michael almost slipped through the cracks, imagine who gets left behind?’ So our goal and desire is to make sure people know there are no unwanted kids, just unfound families. How do we hook ’em up? How do we make a difference?  Because we know when you invest in a kid’s life what can happen.”

Asked whether she’s ever concerned over the possibility of exploiting youngsters already in difficult straits for the sake of a TV show, she replies, “We’re never going to put a kid in a bad situation.  I would never do that.  That’s not who we are.  We’re doing this for their benefit.  Some of these kids, the system is trying to take them away from a loving family. And if we’re at the point where we have to tell a little bit of their back story in order to accomplish our goals, I’m going to say, ‘You’re going to have to put on your big boy pants today, because we’ve got to go through this river to get to the other side, to make a difference in your life.'”

Six episodes of “Family Addition” are already in the can, and Leigh Anne says that so far, she’s had positive experiences with the production — or, as she puts it, “It’s all cupcakes and cartweels.”  The only negative is going away:  the GMC network name “is going to be changed to UP — because GMC is such a bad name.”  In fact, Leigh Anne so dislikes the name GMC, she pressed for the name change to take place in time for “Family Addition’s” launch rather than in fall as originally planned.

Come June, “We’re going to get on social media loud and proud in advance of the first air date June 7,” she promises.  “I’ll get my boys tweeting and Facebooking and everything else.”

Her daughter Collins will be seen on the show.  Son S.J. came in for an afternoon.  As for Michael, who was occupied with NFL chores during shooting, Leigh Anne says, “My goal will be if we get this picked up that we can get him for an episode before July 24 or whatever day they go back to camp — or we go up to Baltimore where he is and get him involved in it.”

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Two Years Later, ‘Blind Side’ Actors, Personalities Close

Sandra Bullock, Leigh Ann Tuohy

Sandra Bullock’s “The Blind Side” was unveiled two years ago  now — but the impact of the beloved film that won Bullock her Best Actress Academy Award lingers on.

For one thing, the friendship between Bullock her real-life counterpart is thriving.  Leigh Ann Tuohy tells us she’s hoping to get together with the actress again over the holidays.  “We have a couple of potential dates, maybe a Ravens game.  She is a Michael Oher fan,” notes Tuohy, referring to the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle who is her adopted son — whose story was depicted in the film.  “We watch the football games and talk on the phone about what did or didn’t happen.  She is a member of this family, a great lady.” 

Tuohy and her husband, Sean, are also friends with “Blind Side” leading man Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill.  “It’s easier to see them, because they live just down the road in Nashville.  We sat with Tim and Faith at a Titans game a couple of weeks ago,” she reports.

The Tuohys have also worked to parlay public attention from the movie into help for more of “the Michael Ohers out there” — with their Making it Happen Foundation for underprivileged kids, and with scores of public speaking engagements she makes before corporate, school and community groups.       

“I really feel like the person who has the cure for cancer or Parkinsons probably lives in an inner city somewhere, and just needs a chance, an opportunity,” says Leigh Ann.  She would love to help the 400,000 children in foster care in this country “find forever families.”  However, she adds, “You don’t have to adopt to make a difference.  It’s not hard to unearth people who need help.  Last week, I met a seven-year-old boy who’d never seen a cupcake before in his life.  I’ve shown lots of kids the ocean for the first time and it  always takes my breath away.”

Leigh Ann, formerly a member of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” design team, has several prospects on the table that would put her in a position of greater prominence in 2012.  Among them:  a stint on “Dancing With the Stars.”  There’s also a possible Leigh Ann Tuohy talk show.   “The more we’re in the public eye, the more good we can do,” declares the Tennessee live wire.  “If I have to go out and do a little song and dance and make a fool of myself, I will.”