Chat Room - David Dwyer

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By Lance Coleman

David Dwyer of Blount County is going to die in a plane crash on Dec. 22. He hopes readers come and watch.

Dwyer, 54, plays a coach who dies in the first part of the upcoming movie "We Are Marshall" which opens nationwide on Dec. 22. The story is about the Marshall University football team and the plane crash on Nov. 14, 1970, that killed 75
people, including 36 ball players, staff, boosters and the flight crew.

Dwyer said his character isn’t on the screen for long before the crash occurs. "I’m one of the coaches that goes down in the beginning," he says. "Everyone has to have their popcorn and be seated when it starts."

Dwyer was born in Boston and grew up in New England. His father was in the military and often would take him out of school on Fridays to go skiing or do other fun activities for the weekends.

"My dad was special guy," he says. "We were always going somewhere on Fridays. It was great beginning."

His father died when Dwyer was on 9, so the family moved back home to Chattanooga where Dwyer’s mother’s family lived. Dwyer came to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee in 1970.

Dwyer said much of his character was developed by what he saw in his mother after his father died. "Mom was a very impressive person and very strong," he says. "I credit a lot of what I am today to her."

Dwyer said his first movie, "Winter People" in 1987, he got to work with Kelly McGillis, Kurt Russell and Lloyd Bridges. Dwyer said one of the best movies he has been in of late was the "Runaway Jury.’

"This Friday I’ve got one on CMT called ‘Broken Bridges’ with Toby Keith," he says.

His part of the film "We are Marshall" was shot in Atlanta after filming in West Virginia was wrapped. "It was a great week. We were the last week of shooting when they did the plane wreck and the stuff leading up to it," he says.

Dwyer and his wife Marilyn married in 1980. They have two sons, Nick, 24, and Ethan, 20.

Here is David Dwyer:

What was your most embarrassing moment?
"I’m an actor. I don’t embarrass easily."

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"I like people and making movies is a collaborative art. Besides, all the really cool jobs were taken. Where else can you be around so many creative, independent and slightly psychotic people? They play and work hard and live fully. Marilyn used to stress over what I wore on a set but they (actors) are the most sloppily dressed people. They’re worried about substance. If you love what you do, think about what happens to domestic abuse, drinking or drug abuse - it drops. So much stems from whether you’re happy with what you do in life."

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
"Gregarious is one of the few printable in a family paper."

What’s the best thing about Blount County?
"Its beautiful heritage and tremendous potential. Blount County is beautiful, and its heritage is beautiful. I think the people in Blount County need to be able to cherish the heritage and change as it occurs."

What is your passion?
"Making new friends and living life to the fullest with my fellow travelers."

To what do you attribute your success?
"Success is a funny word. If you mean getting up and doing what you want to do, having enough to live simply without expensive gadgets, houses, cars and clothes, recognizing the joy of life, family and friends in abundance, and doing it all with a smile on your face and in your heart, then it must be pure dumb luck."

What was your first paying job?
Dwyer worked at an amusement park near Chattanooga called Lake Winnipesaukah and manned the dart booth and was the tilt-a-whirl operator. "I was king of the tilt-a-whirl. You could isolate any one of those saucers and make them spin like a mad man. Don’t play darts with me. I’m deadly."

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"My father, who died when I was 9. He was a captain in the army, an instructor in riflery, equestrian and snow skiing. I have a few questions for him now."

What do you hate?
"Hate, like worrying, is useless and counterproductive. I don’t have the time or stomach for it."

What’s your favorite quote?
"Never put off till tomorrow that which you can do today. If you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow."

What is your dream vacation?
"I’d love to go on a sailboat cruise and go island hoping in the South Pacific. I want me and my wife and another couple to be the crew."

What is your favorite toy?
Dwyer says his favorite toy is a 1967 Ford Fairlane convertible with "nearly half a million miles on it."

What is your all-time favorite movie?
Dwyer says his favorite all-time movie is "Being There" with Peter Sellers.

If you won a big lottery jackpot, what is the charitable donation you would make? How would you splurge?
Dwyer says he would encourage children’s literacy, donate to the United Way, make his dream vacation of a sailboat cruise, restore his toy and put another half million miles on it.

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
"It would be great to be around when the Declaration of Independence was being hammer out, and I’d like to have been at the Continental Congress."

If you couldn’t live in Blount County, where would you like to live?
Dwyer says he would live in Central Oregon. "It’s as beautiful but different than here."

Who has been the best United States president of the last 100 years and why?
"JFK. He inspired people to believe in themselves and what might be."

What is your favorite sport and your favorite sport’s team?
"I’m a big fan of Lady Vols. I wished the Titans had picked up Peyton Manning but I’m glad they got Vince Young."

What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"This, too, shall pass."

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