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Trivia / Country Strong

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Chiles parents are revealed to have served time in prison. Leighton Meester was in the same situation.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: Leighton Meester's "Summer Girl" is better remembered than the film.
  • Doing It for the Art: Both Garret Hedlund and Gwyneth Paltrow learned to play guitar and trained their voices for the film, so as not to rely on doubles.
  • Dueling Movies: With Crazy Heart.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: Tim McGraw, a successful country singer, is the only one of the four leads who does not sing in the film.
  • Method Acting: Garrett Hedlund actually stayed in Tim McGraw's ranch and had guitar rehearsals there so he could fully immerse himself in the mindset of a country singer.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: A music video for the song "Summer Girl" contains a few shots of Chiles performing in the bar that don't appear in the final film. She's shown only performing the end of the song in the actual scene.
  • Oscar Bait: Troubled country singer? Check. Mentally ill female? Check. Redemption Quest storyline? Check. It didn't take, and only got a Best Original Song nomination.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Beau was based off country singer Hayes Carll, who ended up writing most of his songs in the film.
    • Leighton Meester was also in the process of releasing her first album, giving her a few parallels to Chiles.
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  • Star-Derailing Role: The successive failures of this movie, Monte Carlo and That's My Boy ended any chance Leighton Meester had at becoming a bankable Hollywood star. She has found a little more success as a singer.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The two female singers are Expys of Britney Spears - who was attempting to make a comeback after her very public mental health and substance abuse problems - and Taylor Swift - who was still known as a country pop singer at the time. Chiles being able to hide her past, such as her parents being in prison, shows the movie to be made before the internet was as widespread as it is today. Not to mention a lack of social media or smartphones, which would certainly have been in the singers' lives were the movie made even five years later.


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