5-time Emmy Award Winning Director/Producer, Nick Nanton has created a new documentary feature film Presented by Real Heroes and DNA Films/Dicks+Nanton Productions, titled, ‘Rudy Ruettiger – The Walk On.’
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the 1993 film, ‘Rudy’, this new documentary by Nick Nanton takes a closer look at the real Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. The film catches up with “Rudy” today, as he describes his faithful journey of following his dream to play football at the University of Notre Dame. It also details Rudy’s challenges in later writing his inspirational true-life story, and the process he took to having it made into a major motion picture. ‘Rudy Ruettiger – The Walk On’ also features interviews with a variety of people – both famous and unknown – that were touched, or, inspired by Rudy’s true-life story in a way that changed their own outlook on life, or, how they were motivated to pursue their own dreams.
One of those featured in this new film is me, Thomas Lowrey (at the time), a 14-year old drummer from Orange County, California. This is my own ‘Rudy’ story.
I hope that you have seen the movie, ‘Rudy?’ I can assure you that it is not what I expected! People that don’t know, assume that it is a football movie, but it is not. In fact, Rudy Ruettiger himself told me that the film ‘Rudy’ is a love story. I like that description. ‘Rudy’ was a boy that was a very poor student because he suffered from Dyslexia, that dreamed of playing football at the University of Notre Dame, even though he was only 5’6, 165 pounds. ‘Rudy’ is without a doubt one of the most inspirational films ever made! I saw the movie several times as a young musician and athlete, and it really put me in a great place, mentally. Watching that movie is uplifting and I feel it helped me believe in myself. I too am on a journey – although not with football – but with music and the drums. Music is my life’s passion. And speaking of music, the ‘Rudy’ film score by Jerry Goldsmith gives me chills when I hear it! The truth is that ‘Rudy’ inspires people. To this day, thousands of people take tours at Notre Dame, and I would bet you that a majority of tour groups have people that ask about ‘Rudy’ to this day! I know, I was there.
A couple of years ago, I attended the Notre Dame Ice Hockey Camp on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana. I had been playing ice hockey since I started skating when I was 3 years old, and when my parents offered me to attend the Notre Dame hockey summer camp, I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to be there, and walk around the campus, just like “Rudy” did. It just happened that one of my camp mates was Danny Ruettiger, the son of “Rudy” Ruettiger. I was fortunate to have met ‘Rudy’ while I was at Notre Dame, and we talked about life and how much I loved his story. Rudy asked me, “what was the message of the film?” I told him that the message was to believe in yourself, and to work hard and anything can happen. Dreams can come true! Rudy told me to “Believe in your dreams, and, it is always too soon to quit!”
Rudy listened to and liked my story. He liked that I had my own dream of playing the drums professionally, and the steps I was taking to help make that dream come true. We spoke about how you have to go for it yourself, that no one will give you anything. You have to want it, and you have to work for it. We stayed in touch, and almost a year later, Rudy asked me to be part of his new documentary film! I was thrilled!
I met with Director Nick Nanton, and his film crew for ‘Rudy Ruettiger – The Walk On’ in Los Angeles about 2 weeks after I turned 14 years old for the filming. In my interview, I spoke about my dream. I spoke about Rudy, and how he inspires people to believe in their dreams. I said, “If you don’t have a Rudy in your life, you need to get one.” I meant that you should surround yourself with positive people. People that will support you, and help you on your own personal journey.
I am humbled and honored to be part of this new film. I am honored to be able to call ‘Rudy’ my friend. I hope that by being a part of this film project that I am in some way representing the next generation of kids that have a passion, and have been inspired, and are chasing their own dreams, just like Rudy did! – Thomas Lowrey
“Thomas is a talented drummer, and has a unique ear for the rhythm and sound of music! -Very Gifted! And besides being a great drummer, Thomas is a great young gentleman that speaks to our youth through hard work and belief! Hey Thomas, don’t abandon your feeling for the dream!” – Rudy Ruettiger
“It was great to have Thomas’ perspective on Rudy. The movie is 25 years old this year, but it is still every bit as relevant today. I love how Thomas used Rudy’s message to inspire him to continue fighting for his dream to play drums, and I hope Thomas in turn inspires many others to fight for theirs too.” – Nick Nanton, Director, ‘Rudy Ruettiger – The Walk On’