The new movie “Super 8” was released in theaters this past
weekend and ranked No. 1 in ticket sales. Some film critics are
calling it the blockbuster hit of the summer.
And no, you didn’t reach for sports and pull out the lifestyle
section instead. This is no movie review. If it were, I certainly
wouldn’t be promoting yet another flick about brave earthlings
saving the planet from invading aliens. I’d rather have my appendix
removed with a butter knife than waste two hours of my life
watching such an overblown cliche.
Rather, this is a “local boy makes it big” story.
The star of the show is Kyle Chandler, who plays a dad trying to
save his kid and town from some sinister government experiment gone
awry (yawn...zzz). While “Super 8” represents the pinnacle of
Chandler’s career to this point, he’s performed in other hit movies
like “King Kong,” and he played the lead role in the TV series
“Friday Night Lights.”
But before he made it big and spent 21 years living in Hollywood
to ply his trade, he was just a mixed up local kid trying to find
his way after a pair of life-changing events.
After being born in New York and having spent several years
living in Chicago, Chandler and his family moved to a 22-acre farm
in Loganville when he was 11. Despite the culture shock, he
adjusted easily to his new surroundings and fell in love with the
But three years later, Chandler’s father died unexpectedly and
his life spiraled out of control. He began drinking, doing drugs,
crashing cars and getting arrested.
All the while, he attended George Walton Academy, where he was a
lowly freshman and back-bencher on the school’s first state
championship football team in 1979.
That, as it turned out, was the height of his sports career,
unless you consider playing a successful coach on TV a great
After graduation from GWA in 1983, he went on to the University
of Georgia where he discovered his love for stage and screen. And
the rest, as they say, is history.
Chandler’s roller coaster ride of a life is chronicled in this
month’s Men’s Journal magazine (his stubbly, macho face graces the
cover). He also appeared recently on “Late Night with David
Letterman,” where he gave a shout out to Monroe and his high school
Clearly, his time in Walton County had a profound impact on his
life. He recently re turned to his Loganville roots, moving his
wife and two kids from the glittering lights of L.A. and setting on
a 33-acre farm in Texas.
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