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Terry Fox Movie Films In Wawa
- Brenda Grundt

If you were travelling the Highway 17 corridor yesterday, June 28, 2005; you may have thought that you had stepped back in time to August of 1980. With an OPP cruiser following, Terry Fox was making his way up that long, arduous hill...

Filming was taking place at Old Woman Bay all day for the TERRY movie produced by Shaftesbury Films. The movie is being directed by Don McBrearty, and in recognition of Terry's charitable and heroic spirit, TERRY's financial participants (Shaftesbury Films, CTV, COGECO Program Development Fund and The Shaw Rocket Fund) are proud to announce that all net profits derived from worldwide sales of the movie will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Shawn Ashmore has taken up the challenge to play the starring role as Terry Fox. A very important role as Terry and his Marathon of Hope touched so many Canadians during his run across Canada in 1980. This movie attempts to reveal the young man behind the driven athlete who completed a marathon a day for 143 days, running 3,339 miles, until just short of Thunder Bay he was forced to stop; his cancer had returned.

This has been a very emotional part for Shawn to play, although he has the support of the Fox family. Family members have been on the set in different locations. When asked about how it is affecting him emotionally taking on this role, he responded, "It's been really tough in a sense. I feel a responsibility to do Terry justice and his family. It's not easy, you don't want to screw it up."

In order to portray Terry physically, Shawn prepared by doing extensive physical training - learning to walk/run like Terry, for example. As for playing the part of Terry as a person, Shawn explained, "I talked to his brother before we started. I needed to know who he was. I can see the documentary footage, I can read the articles, and talk to the people who researched it and did all the reading. But no one knows him better than his younger brother (Darrell) who was with him the whole time. He (Darrell) said that his brother was an athlete to the core, very driven, but that's a side that everyone sees. The thing that a lot of people didn't know was his sense of humour. At the start of the run, it was him, his brother and his best friend on the road, no support, nothing. They goofed around like twenty year old guys will, food fights and did all that dumb stuff and had fun. He was a real guy, he had ups and downs, and was funny, sad, driven, and all that stuff. Darrell said, "make him a real person". And that's what I'm trying to do."

Filming has been a whirlwind event, with the crew in North Bay yesterday, Wawa today, and then for the last three days of shooting in St. John's, Newfoundland. The majority of filming has been done in southern Ontario. In order to portray Terry, Shawn has had to overcome some difficulties. The largest being the fact that Terry had one leg amputated due to his cancer. A body double wearing a prothesis modelled after Terry's helps in some shots, in others, computer magic will be used. Shawn has also had to wear 60 SPF sun block so that the makeup artists can adjust his tan level to coincide with the depth of tan Terry would have had as the run went on. Filming is also very tight, yesterday they had to get the shots, as that was the only day planned. Although it did rain briefly in the morning, the fog aided in the lakeside shooting, and did burn off slightly for the filming on the Old Woman Hill.

With the shooting completed late in the evening, their chartered plane left shortly after 9:00 p.m., and trucks carrying the remainder of the gear to Toronto and the next day's shooting in St. John's, Newfoundland. The "Terry" movie is scheduled to air in September on CTV.