A movie with meaning. In September 2000, Remember the Titans debuted in theaters and soon became a favorite. Not only was it led by an all-star cast, the story line was a powerful one.
The flick is based on a true story, following African American football coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) as he attempts to integrate a high school in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971. Bill Yoast (Will Patton) is moved to assistant coach, as star players Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) and Julius Campbell (Wood Harris) are put in place to run the team. In addition to being a great sports film, it also includes a strong underlying theme that together, no matter the color of one’s skin, more can be accomplished.
The film also kicked off many other stars’ careers, including Donald Faison, Ryan Gosling, Ethan Suplee and Kip Pardue, all whose characters played on the football team. Hayden Panettiere and Kate Bosworth also starred.
“You want to do movies that teach youth, society and people about how other people feel and the right way to treat each other,” the Scrubs alum told Us Weekly exclusively in 2017. “You want to do projects that have topics like that. It’s really challenging to hear people call you negative things regardless if they are acting or not — that’s very challenging to do. But you want to be a part of something that means something to people. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was challenging. It was a joy to be a part of something like that.”
In addition to the very powerful theme of the film, there was another part of the project that stood out to Faison: The training.
“The one thing that we didn’t know before starting the movie was that they threw all of the actors into a football camp. We had to go through it — each and every one of us,” he told Us at the time. “Some of us got injured really bad. We couldn’t understand why we were working so hard. We learned how to play football even though we had stunt doubles to do all this stuff. We got into fights, it was crazy! But we got out of it and we were a tight group. We hung out together. It made us very much like a team. We didn’t know each other before we started the camp. To go through all that brought us together and helped us out.”
Just like in the movie, the stars were up at sunrise and had six-hour practices.
“When you push a sled with a football team, it’s like 30 guys pushing a sled for maybe 10 yards. It was sometimes nine of us pushing a sled for 100 yards. They worked us ridiculous,” he shared. “It was weeks of that so first week we did that, the second week they brought in the stunt doubles and worked out with them and last week we kind of had off and the stunt doubles learned all the plays and stuff like that.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see where the cast is today.