CORINTH, N.Y. (NEWS10) —Saratoga Springs and Corinth have been bustling production locations for a new film starring Owen Wilson, and it’s been a dream come true for one local teen with special needs and her mom.
Emily Nick has been a superfan of the star since she was a toddler. She carried around a Lightning McQueen—cartoon character voiced by Wilson—toy everywhere she went throughout her childhood and still watches his cartoons Cars 1,2,3 religiously.
Emily and her mom, Cynthia, have been following the cast and crew of PAINT—Owen Wilson’s latest indie flick ever since the production began filming in Saratoga Springs a few weeks ago.
“It doesn’t cost money, and it’s just us being together, and we laugh, and we have fun with it, and we meet the best people,” Cynthia said.
Emily is an 18-year-old of few words, but her smile is undeniable when she hears the name Owen Wilson.
“So, she’s been through a lot. She was born with Spina Bifida Occulta. So, she had seven missing vertebrae in her back,” Cynthia said.
Additionally, Emily was born with several learning disabilities and spent her childhood in and out of the hospital. However, in 2017, she had surgery to create new vertebrae.
Cynthia said there were no guarantees, and many patients don’t fully heal. Nevertheless, Emily was successful and recovered even earlier than expected.
Since then, Cynthia said they make her passions—like her fandom for Owen Wilson—an adventure.
One night while following the production, they waited in the rain for five hours just to get another glimpse of the actor.
“We’re not here to bother him. We’re just here to see how a movie is made, and Emily loves him,” Cynthia said.
Wilson’s manager noticed their commitment and got signatures for Emily’s pictures, paintbrush, and her beloved Lightning McQueen toy.
When News10 reporter Stephanie Rivas asked her what she thought of the moment, she said, “It was cool,” and added that it was her favorite day.
“People say he’s not a people person, but you know what. He was a people person to my daughter. And that night, she gleamed,” Cynthia said.
Emily and Cynthia can’t wait to see more behind the scenes and eventually go to the movies to see Owen in PAINT.