He’s a country music superstar, married to one of the music world’s leading ladies, Faith Hill.

And, although Tim McGraw may be best known for his 2004 blockbuster hit, “Live Like You Were Dying,” he’s actually sold more than 33 million albums and seen 26 singles hit number one since teaching himself to play guitar as a drop-out college student 18 years ago. 

Like many singers, however, McGraw – who happens to be an outspoken political activist and staunch Democratic supporter – isn’t content to perform onstage.  He wants to be on the big screen, as well.  In the upcoming “Flicka,” he plays a hardworking, loving man attempting to rein in a willful daughter.  Based on the 1941 children’s classic of the same name, “My Friend Flicka” (which was also a television series from 1956 to 1958) centers around a young boy’s love for a wild Mustang while growing up on his family’s Wyoming ranch.  In the remake, Maria Bello (“Thank You for Smoking,” “Coyote Ugly”) plays McGraw’s wife.  Alison Lohman ("White Oleander,” “Matchstick Men”) plays his daughter.

Raised in Louisiana by a waitress mother and truck-driver stepfather, Samuel Timothy McGraw grew up unaware that his real father was actually the late Tug McGraw, a major league baseball player who set records with both the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.  A young fan of the All-Star, Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Tim discovered the truth after finding his birth certificate in his mother’s closet.  And, while father and son did not share a relationship until Tim was 18, they were reportedly close until Tug’s death almost three years ago.

In 2004, McGraw’s performance opposite Billy Bob Thornton in “Friday Night Lights” met with strong critical acclaim.  Now, with three films under his belt buckle and a fourth in the works, this former high school ball player is tackling Hollywood, too.  He’s even just received his own star on the walk of fame, just one day after actor Bruce Willis got his.

I sat down with McGraw at Big Sky Ranch, outside of Los Angeles, California, where “Flicka” was filmed.  He arrived sporting a beret, a goatee and his trademark sense of humor.  Here’s what he had to say. …



Well, Tim, you look very French today.
Oui, oui!  Hanh, hanh!

Zee French beret and zee goatee.
Oui!  Zee goatee.

So how is it seeing yourself on screen?
Oh, it sucks.  Oh!  Sorry! 

I don’t think that’s a cuss word.
Right – it isn’t for an actor anymore, is it?  Nah, I don’t like it too much.  It’s very…disarming, I think, is a good way to look at it.  It’s kinda embarrassing.  I don’t mind a little flash every now and then but to be up there that long, I start analyzing everything I did wrong.

What did you do when you were watching yourself in the crying scene?
Uh, actually, I cried the first time I saw it.

How’d you make yourself cry?
I just did.  I mean, it’s a pretty intense scene.  And being a father of three daughters – it just sort of puts you there anyway.

Did they come and visit you on the set a lot?
Yeah, they came out quite a bit.  Yeah.  We were living out here so they were out quite a bit.  We were around horses and they fell in love with the horses.