Luke Collins is a former champion to professional bull rider, who is dying to make a comeback. Sophia Darko is a college graduate who has just landed her dream job in NYC’s art world. When the two meet at a bull rider competition, sparks fly in a way that make galaxies crash. When their vastly different worlds collide, they start to realize that their match might not have been made in heaven.
As they struggle through their conflicting ideals of relationship, Luke and Sophia meet a surprisingly interesting man named Ira Levinson. Ira’s memories of his decades old romance with his beautiful wife transform Luke and Sophia’s views on their relationship.
Directed by George Tillman Jr, who brought us Men of Honor and Notorious, is based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks (author of The Notebook and The Last Song). The Longest Ride is a heart throbbing generational dual love story that will deeply inspire us all. Sohpia is played by 24-year-old Britt Robertson (Under the Dome’s Angie McAllister). Luke is acted by 29-year-old Scott Eastwood (Fury‘s Sergeant Miles). Legendary actor Alan Alda (MASH’s Captain Pierce) plays Ira.
Here are 10 facts you might find interesting before you see The Longest Ride this weekend!
- Scott Eastwood is the son of the famous cowboy, Clint Eastwood. “Yeah I think it did but mostly because I was brought up an outdoorsman. Because of that, I felt comfortable being in the bull riding world with the guys. I like to go horseback riding or go fishing on my dad’s ranch in Northern California. Doing stuff like going salmon fishing every year with him allowed me to connect with the role before we even started shooting.”
- Robertson said, “I read the book shortly after they told me that I was going to be Sophia. I had a little over two months, which is a good amount of time, to prepare for the role. During that time, I would read the book on and off. I would read portions that I wanted to incorporate into the character. I tried to incorporate things from the book that the audience would want or miss from the book. But I also always want to create a character separate from the book.” Sparks noted that not every actor wants to read the book first.
- MPAA rated the film PG-13 for some war and sports action, some sexuality, and partial nudity.
- Eastwood mentioned his reasoning to join the project: “My agent called and said “You want to play a bull rider?” And I said, “Hell yeah I’ll play a blurred!” I was a big fan of the PBR. Even as a little kid I was a fan. Some of my fondest memories are watching bull riding.”
- Eastwood had actually tried riding the bull – he last 2.5 seconds (you need 8 to be considered a complete ride).
- On Alda, Robertson said, “He is just as wonderful on film as he is in person. He is the best example of how to have a good career with a happy, personable life. He is so proud of his life, and his career, and you can just see it radiate it off of him. He has had such a full life and has so much more ahead of him. What’s so inspiring to me about Alan is that he really makes the most of his time. He is willing to work his butt off on set but then take a plane right home so he can be with his wife. That is so incredible to make that effort in all aspects of his life.”
- This is the 10th adaptation of a Sparks novel. On his involvement he said, “…for this one I produced it. Behind the scenes, I primarily work with the studio, interviewing and hiring the screenwriter. Also interview and hire the director. We then we hire a producer who works with the studio to make the film. I then go and scout locations and set up a budget for the film. My work is generally done before the first day of shooting. I do go on the set every day and also watch the dailies.”
- The film was shot throughout North Carolina.
- The Longest Ride is from the same producers that brought audiences The Fault in Our Stars starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.
- Robertson and Eastwood shared some insight about when they first connected with their characters:
Robertson: “The gallery scenes is where it clicked for me. The day before we shot the gallery scenes, they brought me some new material where I was going to have to talk about some paintings to a man. The monologue was so incredibly long and while it was stuff that I had researched, but to have to memorize all this information and be passionate about it was so challenging. I worked hard on the monologue, and it ended up not being in the movie. So the scene that got cut was where I thought, I think I have this.”
Eastwood: “I think I got when I was shooting the bull riding sequences with the PBR guys. I had done quite a bit of prep work, by going to Vegas and seeing the PBR events up close. And I went to some of the smaller events, so I was around it for a good length of time. So then when we went to shoot the bull riding scenes and the bulls were bucking in the chute, and they guys were sweating, that’s when I felt like I was in sync with the role. At that point, I felt I was built for this, I was born for this role.”