what you want is only a problem if you have nowhere to go
next. Dreaming is a lifetime occupation." - Rudy
Questioning the Story:
Was the groundskeeper played by Charles S. Dutton a real
Rudy answered no to this question himself during an interview
with the Pigskin Post by saying the following, "He
was a composite, but that was reality. And thats what
happened in my life
all through my life. I would encounter
people like that and they would help me get through the
tough times through their wisdom and their encouragement."
Was there actually a priest who helped Rudy get into
Holy Cross Junior College?
In the same Notre Dame Pigskin Post interview as above, Rudy Ruettiger replied
to this question by saying, "There were several who
played important roles, but, again, you cant develop
them all in one two-hour movie."
Did Rudy really sleep in the maintenance room of the
Rudy actually slept in a room in the basketball arena. The
school had the room there for someone to stay during off-hours
for insurance reasons.
Was coach Dan Devine really that cold-hearted against
dressing Rudy for the last home game of Rudy's college career?
In Devine's autobiography, Simply Devine, he writes
that it was his idea to dress Rudy for the final game of
his college career and also to play him. Devine says that
the screenwriter, Angelo Pizzo, told him that the plot would
only work if Devine became the heavy. He agreed in order
to help out Rudy, someone whom he calls a friend. "I
didn't realize I would be such a heavy," he writes.
Does the real Rudy Ruettiger appear in the film?
Yes, Rudy does appear in the movie. He can be found near
the end in the stands behind Ned Beatty, who plays Rudy's
father. The real Rudy is the man Ned turns around and beats
on when Rudy gets in the game. He is wearing a little hat
and blue jacket.
Did the studios approach Rudy to make the film or did
Rudy approach the studios with his story?
Rudy in fact approached the studios with his story. In an
interview with the Pigskin Post he said, "It took ten
years to get it to the screen. Many rejections, many ups,
many downs. Getting involved with people who should never
have been involved. Every legal problem you can imagine,
we experienced. People stealing my rights and selling my
it was unbelievable."
let you portray the underdog.
The tees resemble the Rudy Football Jersey.
What does Rudy Ruettiger do today?
Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Rudy spent one year as
a grad assistant and then went on to work in the insurance
industry. Today, Rudy works primarily as a motivational
speaker, often appearing to speak in front of large corporations.
He has also co-authored several motivational books (right).
How much would it cost to have Rudy motivationally speak
in front of your company?
According to the Premiere Speakers Bureau (link
to Bureau's Rudy page), Rudy's keynote fee is roughly
$17,500. It could vary based upon length of presentation,
location of event and other factors. Usually,
travel and expenses are additional costs above speaker fees.
topics include athletes, inspiration, motivation, and overcoming
Was there anyone else in the running to play the character
Rudy answered this in an interview by saying, "Chris
O'Donnell had the role. The only reason he wasn't picked
was there was something about Astin at the last moment that
changed their mind. I think it was his naive type of appeal.
He did a great job."
Is it true that Rudy was the only player to ever be carried
off the field at Notre Dame stadium?
Yes, it is true. The filmmakers recreated the scene
with real fans during a break in the 1992 Boston College
game. Some 60,000 fans stood and cheered as actor Sean Astin
was carried off the field.
Rudy Ruettiger Images:
Off the Field
to Rudy Talk About his Life and the Film:
In a radio show interview Rudy talks to Rama Fox and Dan
Acuff (two motivational speakers and educators) on their
radio show Rama and Dan's Conversations With Greatness.
The interview is long, but there are some interesting tidbits
throughout, at least when Rama and Dan aren't speaking.
(.ram, 54:36 min)
Rudy Ruettiger was born in 1948 in Joliet Illinois into
a lower class family of steel mill workers. Upon graduating
from high school, Rudy worked at a power plant both before
and after serving in the Navy. After losing his best friend
in an industrial accident at the plant, Rudy decided to
no longer waste time by putting off his dreams. He set out
for the University of Notre Dame with hopes of one day playing
football for the Fighting Irish.
After getting admitted into Holy Cross Junior College in
South Bend, Rudy spent his time studying and working as
a groundskeeper at Notre Dame's Knute Rockne Stadium. During
his time at Holy Cross, Rudy learned that he suffered from
a mild case of dyslexia, which may have contributed to his
previous academic struggles. He worked around his disorder
and received good grades during his two years at Holy Cross.
It took Rudy three semesters to be granted acceptance into
Notre Dame as a transfer student. He almost didn't make
it because Notre Dame does not accept seniors as transfer
students. He then won a spot on the scout team, against
who the varsity team ran its plays. Through two years of
hard work, he earned the respect of the Fighting Irish players
and coaches, and in the last home game of his senior year,
Rudy dressed for the game. During the last moments of the
game, Rudy tackled the Georgia Tech quarterback.
Rudy Ruettiger received his bachelor's degree in sociology
from Notre Dame in 1976.
Roger Ebert's Review
the Rudy Movie Trailer: