Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris starred in the 2000 football film Remember the Titans and recently reflected on its legacy 20 years after its release. The two also took a look back at a racist incident that happened while filming the Denzel Washington-led movie. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Hurst and Harris talked about the interactions they had with a White woman.
"[Harris] said, 'Just watch how she treats you, watch how she treats me,'" Hurst recalled. "We went in there, I sat down, and I was talking with her, and she was on her elbows leaning close to me. Then Wood walked over, and she moved her chair back a little, leaned back, crossed her legs, crossed her arms, and Wood looked over at me and nodded at me." Hurst went on to say that experience was eye-opening for him. "It just showed me, it doesn't matter how socially aware [you are]. Experientially, as a white man, you're born to be f—ing ignorant," Hurst stated.
Harris also weighed in on the incident. "I realize white people don't think about it because they don't have to," Harris stated. "You can wake up in the morning and think, I want to study and get a job. You can just go think about money. But I never had that as something I could do. I don't have the advantage of just being able to think about the necessity." Harris then said that "we belong to a criminalized culture," and it "comes from 100 years of ideological placement."
Remember the Titans tells the story of a high school being integrated and the White and Black football players on the team coming together and winning a state championship. Hurst played linebacker Gerry Bertier and Harris played defensive end Julius Campbell. At the start of the film, the two were bitter rivals but became good friends as they got to know each other.
"The moment that I shook Wood's hand, I was like, 'Wood is electric','" Hurst said when talking about meeting Harris for the first time. "He has electricity, and it rebounds outward and outward. I met him, looked in his eyes, and was like, 'Yo, who are you?' Wood is a poet, Wood is a musician. Wood does everything, and he does everything with passion."