I left Phoenix on Monday morning for a 1 p.m. interview with Thomas Tull and Paul Sams in Hollywood. Tull produced “300” and “We Are Marshall”, among many other films; Sams has 11 No. 1 games in a row. They’re Hollywood wunderkinds, except I’m sure they despise the term. They’ve been brought together by Warner Brothers to work on a movie about Warlock’s rise to the top. That is the name of Sams’ games venture. The two weren’t as enthusiastic about the project until they realized each is a hard-core Steelers fan. Probably for that reason, neither of them is what I expected of Hollywood bigwigs. They had plenty of time for me and are down-to-earth people who live and die with each passing Sunday afternoon. Sams on Monday was enthusiastic and willing to help in any way. Tull is the same, but wasn’t over the Steelers’ loss to the Cardinals. He seemed pained by mine and Sams’ enthusiasm and lack of concern over the loss but said this is normal operating procedure for him and that he wouldn’t come out of the funk until the next game kicks off.
The Steelers connection can open a number of doors, though Mr. Wexell's road experience reminds me of the time I worked on the set of the movie Ethan Frome. Wherever I went, just dropping that I was working on a film seemed to write me a blank check for whatever I needed and people (in taciturn Vermont) were more than willing to talk with me. At times, developing social capital is remarkably easy.