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Lansing man relishes ‘Oz’ strongman role

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 12, 2013

Tim Holmes worked hard to get right look

By: Mike Hughes

Oz-the-great-and-powerful

So there was Lansing’s Tim Holmes, asked to strip for some of the most important people in movies.

Sam Raimi — the Michigan State University alumnus who directed the “Spider-Man” films — was there. So was Joe Roth, producer of movies with Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise.

They were casting him in “Oz,” but wanted to be sure he’d look fine in a circus strongman suit. The reaction when he removed his shirt? “Sam said, ‘You are going to work out, aren’t you?’ ” Holmes said.

YES he would, Holmes said. “You only get one chance like this. … Film is forever.”

Especially this film. “Oz” was No. 1 in its opening weekend, making an estimated $80 million in the U.S.; the next nine films combined for $45.5 million. It’s heading toward $300 million, with about the same overseas. Then comes TV, cable and more.

Holmes, 45, wanted his forever image to be right. “I worked out seven days a week” for 10 weeks.

Then filming started, on seven sprawling sound stages in Pontiac. He hit a gym at 5 a.m. daily; by 7, he was in his trailer … which had more barbells. This strongman would be large and menacing.

And that, a friend said, is the opposite of the real-life Holmes. “In high school, he was pretty much a band geek,” Laura Farhat Bramson recalled fondly. “He was a gentle, kind guy.”

She worked with him at the Country Parlour ice cream restaurant and they hung out afterward. “He was a real goofball,” Bramson said. He was also, she said, “ridiculously good-looking.”

That may have led to a sometimes-wild youth. “I was a problem child,” Holmes granted.

Read the rest of the article at Lansing State Journal

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