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McLennan County Sheriff relives his time at the Oscars

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Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 13:41:17-05

WACO, TX — The Oscars will always have a special Waco connection in McLennan County Sheriff's Parnell McNamara.

The 2017 movie Hell or High Water, nominated in four different categories, featured a character based off of Sheriff McNamara.

Sheriff McNamara's movie counterpart, Jeff Bridges, was nominated for "performance by an actor in a supporting role."

The movie tells the story about two brothers who rob banks in an attempt to save their late mother's ranch from foreclosure. A Texas Ranger and his partner are working the case.

Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the movie Hell or High Water, grew up in Bosque County and is the cousin of Sheriff McNamara.

Driving down to the Oscars in style, Sheriff McNamara noticed many people lined the streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of Hollywood fame.

He also noticed no one was waving at those people, so he decided to.

"I rolled down the window and I take my hat off and boy they're cheering me on and just waving and hollering and I'm hollering back at them," McNamara said.

Sheriff McNamara says he got a kick out of it because no one knew who he was, but later someone told him he look liked Buddy Ebsen from the Beverly Hillbillys from inside the limo.

"Well that didn't sit too well with me," McNamara said, laughing it off.

Sheriff McNamara had the opportunity to meet many A-List Hollywood stars, even getting to hang with the cast of LaLa Land.

Even on a night of entertainment, the Sheriff was still quick to notice the safety of the event.

"There's a lot of security and they have these barrels set up where you have to run a maze there toward them where somebody can;t come barreling through and run into the crowd," McNamara said.

As the award show went on, Sheriff McNamara was mistaken for his movie counter part, Jeff Bridges.

"Ya know but they were drunk they say I know who you are," McNamara said, "Any way they wanted my autograph so Jeff Bridges signed a lot of things that night."

Today Sheriff McNamara can't thank his cousin, Taylor Sheridan, enough for writing a movie inspired by him

"It was an incredible experience I love the whole thing and we flew back and we were going did that really happen ya know it was just over the top," McNamara said.