Sean “S.J.” Tuohy Jr., who is the real-life kid whose story you saw in the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” is all grown-up and opening up about the movie based on his family.
The film follows the Tuohys and NFL star lineman Michael Oher, who was adopted by the affluent family from an impoverished upbringing. Oher went on to play at the University of Mississippi before he was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens in 2009 and brought home his first Super Bowl ring in 2013. He later played for the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers and is currently a free agent.
The success of the film may have made some fans question if that’s what life was really like in the Tuohy house, but according to Touhy Jr., what you see is what you get!
“You look back at it and think, ‘I wasn’t really like that. That’s not how it was. [But] that’s what it was like,'” he told KATV. “[Oher] excelled in football; he excelled in basketball; everyone socially loved him. He was someone you look at like, ‘Man, I hope I can be like that one day.'”
So the movie’s depiction of goings-on in the Tuohy household was pretty accurate, but what about Sandra Bullock’s portrayal of the family’s mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy?
“She’s much worse in real life than Sandra Bullock was in the movie. That was two hours of my mom. Think about that as a 24-hour day, all the time,” Tuohy Jr. joked. But one thing about Bullock’s acting haunted him throughout his own football career.
“‘Good job, Sandra’ chants, and I remember we were warming up one time playing a school in football, and they played the whole ‘Blind Side’ soundtrack before the game,” he said. “I can’t control any of that stuff and just laugh it off.”
Tuohy is now the assistant director of football operations with the University of Arkansas, but he said that being that cute, spunky kid in the film still follows him all these years later.
“Everyone wants me to stay as this 11-year-old kid,” he said. “Some people think I ‘Benjamin Button’-ed it, never aged or went backwards. I think it’s disappointing to someone when I say that’s me. ‘Oh man, I thought you were much smaller and cuter!'”