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Tim McGraw Initially Turned Down ‘Country Strong’

Scott Garfield for Sony Pictures

Tim McGraw received rave reviews for his roles in ‘Friday Night Lights‘ and ‘The Blind Side,’ and is now getting arguably even more critical acclaim for his acting in the upcoming film, ‘Country Strong.’ Tim plays the husband and manager of Gwyneth Paltrow‘s character, Kelly Canter, and while the movie features a lot of country music, he’s the only actor who doesn’t sing on screen.

What may be more surprising, though, is that Tim turned down the role twice before he finally said yes. “It’s tough enough to be in a film and not have everybody look and say, ‘That’s Tim McGraw,’” he tells The Boot. “So, it’s hard to hide and find a character that way, and then to put yourself in your own world, it’s tougher to hide behind a character.”

He finally accepted the role when he read the entire script and discovered the story was more complex than what he had previously thought.

With several movies under his belt, Tim has truly found his second calling as an actor. He has also reached the point where he knows what he’s doing.

“My favorite part is the blocking before you actually shoot the scene where you spend an hour going through the scene, and the lines change and the positions change, and you have this image of what the scene’s gonna look like,” explains the entertainer. “And you get in there and start working on it and you see it evolve and change, and the artistry of everybody in the room down to the lighting guys and everybody about how it’s gonna look. You start developing a sense of what the feel of the scene really is compared to what you had in mind, and then you start trying to draw that out inside you, and that’s magic.”

‘Country Strong’ opens in limited release in Nashville and Los Angeles December 22, and nationwide on January 7. Watch a preview of the movie below.

In the meantime, Tim is set to hit stores with his new hits collection November 30. The double-disc, ‘Number-One Hits,’ features 22 of the star’s chart-topping singles, such as ‘Don’t Take the Girl,’ ‘Not a Moment Too Soon,’ ‘I Like It, I Love It‘ and ‘Southern Voice,’ along with two bonus tracks, including his latest single, ‘Felt Good on My Lips.’

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