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Protecting "The Blind Side"

Sister of football player Michael Oher visits USU, tells story behind blockbuster movie

By staff writer

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02

collins tuohy

India Earl photo

Collins Tuohy talks about the true story behind the 2009 movie, "The Blind Side," which was based off her family's adoption of now NFL football star Michael Oher.

The Evan N. Stevenson Ballroom was packed during Wednesday’s Common Hour featuring Collins Tuohy, sister to adopted brother Michael Oher, whose story was turned into the 2009 movie “The Blind Side.”

Tuohy said no matter where she goes, she always gets asked two questions: What everyone in her family is up to now, and was the movie accurate?

“My little brother is playing college basketball in Baltimore,” she said. “So I have two brothers in Maryland. They are about 10 minutes apart. Michael is in Phoenix right now training. He’s trying to get back to the Super Bowl.”

Tuohy said she and her mom Leigh Anne just wrapped up a TV show about adoption and foster care. They both travel around the country and speak. Tuohy has a sugar cookie business and opened her second location yesterday. Her dad franchises tacos and broadcasts for the Memphis Grizzlies.

“The movie is really accurate. The director and producer lived with us on and off for two years,” she said. “There were a few minor mistakes.”

There is a part in the movie where Collins is playing volleyball. Tuohy said she has never played volleyball in her life. Also, in the movie, Michael was depicted as older than Collins.

“Michael and I are actually the same age,” she said. “It’s great because when we’re 40, people will think I’m 36.”

In the movie, there is a part when Leigh Anne is eating a salad with some other ladies at a restaurant. Tuohy said that didn’t actually happen, but the things said during that scene were actually said to her mom six months after Michael came into their home.

Michael would walk a quarter of a mile to get to school before they knew him. The main street in Memphis is comparable to Fifth Avenue in New York. 40,000 to 50,000 people would drive down that street everyday, Tuohy said.

“10 years ago, scarily enough, if something had happened to Michael, no one would be contacted and no one would have cared,” she said.

Tuohy said Michael is so valued now by so many people. She said people use her to get to him.

“Who do we misappropriately value?” she asked. “We do it to everyone — restaurant workers, teachers we don’t like. We do it to garbage men all the time. My garbage men get turkeys at Thanksgiving. They love me.”

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