C. Thomas Howell, standing on the front porch of The Outsiders House Museum last weekend, reminded the crowd about a project that focuses on one of his former cast mates.
Referring to Patrick Swayze as “my brother,” Howell said this: “I just got back from San Antonio for the world premiere of ‘I Am Patrick Swayze.’ Two boxes of tissue. Not one. Two boxes.”
“I Am Patrick Swayze” is a documentary about the too-short life of Swayze, an actor who died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. He was 57.
“You’re only on this planet for so long,” Swayze said in a trailer for the film. “Go for it now.”
Swayze was one of the most popular film stars of the 1980s and 1990s. His body of work includes “Dirty Dancing,” “Red Dawn,” “Road House,” “Ghost” and “Point Break.” Swayze, Howell and Rob Lowe portrayed the Curtis brothers in “The Outsiders,” a 1983 movie that was filmed in Tulsa.
“I Am Patrick Swayze” premiered Aug. 2 at the San Antonio Film Festival. Texas is Swayze’s home state. The documentary will debut on the Paramount Network (8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18) on what have been Swayze’s 67th birthday.
According to promotional materials, the documentary is a loving tribute to a prolific actor and it showcases his life and career through untold stories, exclusive interviews, heartfelt home movies and family photos. The film explores his childhood in Texas and his enduring relationship with widow Lisa Niemi, whom he met as a teen at his mother’s dance studio.
“I Am Patrick Swayze” features interviews with Swayze’s friends, family, and co-stars. Among interview subjects are his widow, brother Don Swayze, Sam Elliott, Jennifer Grey, Howell, Lowe, Kelly Lynch, Demi Moore, Lori Petty, Marshall R. Teague, director Roland Joffe, agent Nicole David, manager Kate Edwards, personal assistant Rosemary Hygate, stunt man Cliff McLaughlin and bodyguard Frank Whiteley.
Howell used the word “awesome” — and repeated it — when describing the film.
“Rob Lowe slays it,” Howell said. “His wife talks about how getting the role of Darry in ‘The Outsiders’ was so pivotal in his career. It changed their lives forever, as it did all of us.”
“The Outsiders” was Swayze’s second film role. It came four years after he appeared in “Skatetown U.S.A.”
“I Am Patrick Swayze” is a continuation of a documentary series. The award-winning franchise from filmmaker Derik Murray’s Network Entertainment began in 2012 with “I Am Bruce Lee.” Other figures explored in the series include John F. Kennedy, Jr., Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve McQueen, Evel Knievel, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Paul Walker, Chris Farley, Heath Ledger and Richard Pryor.
On the date "I Am Patrick Swayze" debuts, Paramount will show "Ghost" at 2:30 p.m. and "Dirty Dancing" at 5:30 p.m.