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Marlow Man makes “roughneck” out of Matt Damon for new film

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A man from Marlow played a role in helping Matt Damon’s new movie Stillwater come to life, by teaching Damon how to walk, talk and act like a roughneck.

Kenny Baker, the oilfield worker from Marlow, talked about his time working with Damon, and his experience getting to walk the red carpet with him in New York City for the premier.

The movie, which hits theaters this Friday, is about an Oklahoma oil rig worker named Bill Baker, played by Matt Damon, who travels from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter who’s been accused of a murder she claims she didn’t commit.

But to truly embody what it is to be an Oklahoma roughneck, Damon needed to learn from a true Okie. And that’s where Kenny Baker comes in.

“I wouldn’t have thought anybody could double how I act but he did pretty good,” Baker said.

It began in 2019 when he got a call from New York, and then director Tom McCarthy planning a trip for he and actor, Matt Damon to visit Baker at his hometown of Rush Springs.

Baker said they drove all over Oklahoma visiting oil rigs, and taking them to the best eating spots around.

And in true Oklahoma fashion, that included a stop at Sonic.

“They asked me ‘Kenny what’s your go to you know’,” Baker said. “And I was like ‘if it was me I’d order a footlong chili cheese Coney with mustard and onions.’ Then Matt came and asked me ‘so how would you order it?’ And I said ‘I needa.’ [Matt Damon] ‘Ineeda? Who’s that?’ I was like ‘no I needa footlong chili cheese coney.’”

Baker invited the crew back to his home for a cookout with his family.

“The first time we got out of the pick up everybody was in the backyard waiting and you know Oklahoma fashion there’s about 4-5 boys out playing football in the backyard and then we’ve got all the women, all the men setting up the food, and when Matt comes around the house, the first thing he’s sees is all these boys playing football and that was the very first place he went he didn’t say nothing to nobody,” Baker said. “Just went straight to playing football with the boys.”

The trip was to allow Damon and McCarthy to get to know Baker, and to study how Baker walks, talks and acts, which Damon emulated in the movie with his character.

“Like you don’t know how you walk talk and I saw even asking this question I said how how do you see he said when you walk your hands or down like this he said when you walk your hands or straight down there not turned his where turn away there’s the way they turned away my shoulders are,” Baker said.

After the film release date was pushed back due to the pandemic, Baker figured that would be the end of his time with the movie stars, but then he got a call asking if he and his family wanted to come to New York for the movie premier over the weekend.

“I thought you walk down the red carpet but I learned that you don’t walk down the red carpet to scoot sideways down the red carpet so we get there and they throw us on the red carpet and what you do is there’s just there’s photographers lined up and they got him all in these little plastic bubbles ‘cause of covid and her taking pictures and her hollering at you hey look here look here,” Baker said.

And while the movie isn’t about Kenny Baker from Marlow, America. The character does share his last name, but whether or not it’s named after him, we may never know.

“The name was going to be ‘Swartsky’ or something like that,” he said. “But they changed it after they met me.”

And when asked about the character, Baker isn’t sure about the character’s name being after his.

“Well, I don’t know that, I never really asked the question,” he said. “The only time I...so we was just going out to the set or looking at a rig, and I got time to ride with them, so I said hey Tom what’s this deal about Bill Baker and he just laughed and I never said anything else so.”

Kenny Baker, his wife and his daughter all got to be extras in the movie. While in New York they got to visit McCarthy and Damon’s homes.

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