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2010 Rewind: No. 7 — Tim McGraw, Ryan Bingham Lead Country At The Movies

Gwyneth Paltrow & Tim McGraw from the upcoming movie, Country Strong, in theaters January 7, 2011. Photo by Scott Garfield, courtesy of Sony Pictures USA & Monarch Publicity.

From Crazy Heart to Country Strong, Hollywood and Nashville were tightly linked in 2010.

Tim McGraw, Julianne Hough, Trace Adkins and Carrie Underwood all went in front of the cameras. And artists as diverse as Ryan Bingham, Billy Currington, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney got their music on the big screen in one way or another.

Country’s role in a large number of movies ranks No. 7 in GAC’s countdown of the dozen top stories of 2010.

Tim’s work in Country Strong can currently only be seen publicly in two cities — Los Angeles and Nashville — though it goes national on Jan. 7. Since it was a country music-based pictured, he was asked to give his insight on details during production, but he also showed a huge amount of commitment by making overnight trips to and from Nashville during a tour to shoot his parts in the middle of a ridiculously difficult schedule. Actor Garrett Hedlund has said that Tim never once complained.

“He had every reason to not be as professional as he was,” director Shana Feste says. “He’s Tim McGraw — and he was the first one to get on set and the last one to leave. He would do 100 takes if I wanted him to. He wants to be a good actor, and he will do whatever it takes. He takes it so seriously, and I so respect him for that.”

Here are some of the highlights in country’s connection to the silver screen in 2010:

Gwyneth Paltrow made her debut as a country singer during the Country Music Association Awards in November to promote Country Strong, in which she plays a vocalist whose alcoholism has caused a downturn in her career. In addition to bit parts for such country figures as Lari White, Jim Lauderdale and Ed Bruce, the movie also thrust Chris Young, Ronnie Dunn, Patty Loveless and Sara Evans, among others, onto the soundtrack.

• Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett won a Golden Globe and the Oscar award for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart).” Jeff Bridges played a country singer on the downside of his career. Sound familiar?

• Carrie Underwood contributed “There’s A Place For Us” to the movie The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. It earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song as one of the three songwriters. Co-writer Hillary Lindsey is actually a double finalist in that category. She also co-authored “Coming Home,” one of the songs that’s central to the Country Strong plot.

• Carrie also shot scenes for her first movie, Soul Surfer, but she wasn’t alone in that regard. Julianne Hough wrapped up production on Burlesque, which is already in theaters, and on a remake of Footloose, due April 1. Trace Adkins took a role as the leader of a biker gang for the forthcoming Matthew McConaughey movie The Lincoln Lawyer. And Travis Tritt has shot some footage for a picture titled Fishers Of Men.

• Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy” got some decent screen time in the movie Due Date. Music supervisor Randall Poster nudged that song into the production while he was also overseeing music for Country Strong.

George Strait made some cameo appearances as himself in Pure Country 2: The Gift, starring Katrina Elam. George, of course, was the central character in the original Pure Country in 1992.

The Social Network is likely to make a big impact on the awards circuit. One small moment in the picture also involved country music: An Ivy League glee club did an a cappella rendition in the movie of the former John Michael Montgomery hit “I Swear.”

• Kenny Chesney had a hand in two films — Kenny Chesney: Summer In 3D and Boys Of Fall.

• Taylor Swift did double duty at the movies, too. Her song “Love Story” appeared in Letters To Juliet and she was one of numerous stars — including Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Ashton Kutcher and Jamie Foxx — in Valentine’s Day. The soundtrack to the latter included a pair of Taylor songs, plus material by Willie Nelson, Jewel and Steel Magnolia.

Billy Ray Cyrus had a part in The Spy Next Door.

Keith Urban went to the movies, too — literally. He accompanied wife Nicole Kidman on the red carpet at several premieres for her picture Rabbit Hole.

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