Jodie Lynne McClintock, Actress

On September 11, 2001 I was here in NYC. For many hours I thought my husband was buried under the towers. When he arrived home late that afternoon, I was overjoyed. But that joy was cut short as we learned two of Arthur’s best friends had perished in the crash of United 93 in Shanksville, PA (ironically not very far from Johnstown, PA where both my parents were born and are buried). This made my connection to that day, that plane, and that place all the more personal. I remember reading a story in New York Magazine that stated that everyone has a story to tell of 9/11 and that we should let each one tell his or her particular story over and over again. And only in that way could we all come to terms with our grief and begin to forge ahead. Leo Tolstoy once said “Art is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” I serendipitously came to be cast in the film United 93. It was never just a job for any of us involved. It became our personal responsibility to tell the story of those 40 souls as truthfully as possible. As this story keeps growing, mutating, mysteriously moving- heaping coincidence, connection, happenstance, and irony one upon the other, I have chosen to devote a special portion of this site to its’ retelling.


Actress feels role was fated
By Ed Blank
Friday, April 28, 2006

Wilkinsburg native Jodie Lynne McClintock can tell you something about chance, or whatever you choose to call it.

"It's been life-altering -- the synchronicity of all these things coming together," McClintock says. "I firmly
believe there are no coincidences."

After dozens of theater productions in Pittsburgh and New York City, she's making her movie debut at age 51 in "United 93" as Marion R. Britton, one of the 44 people killed on the Sept. 11, 2001, flight that crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County.

Why that film at this time after 30-some years of acting? The answer begins with her own Sept. 11 story. The Westminster College alum was living with Arthur Pearson, her husband since 1986, at the Sunnyside, Queens, home they occupy to this day.

"I thought my husband was dead on 9/11," McClintock says. "I had gotten up with a horrible migraine at 5 a.m. that morning and was just going back to bed when Arthur left for work. ... I knew he had a meeting in Manhattan.

"I woke up at about 9:30, 9:45 and noticed the answering machine was flashing. There was a cell call message from Arthur trying to awaken me. He said, 'I have just seen a plane hit the World Trade Center from my rearview mirror.'

"I ran to the television and turned it on. ... I was transfixed. And then the second tower fell. It occurred me Arthur might have been in his car under the rubble. I sat here on the floor and cried.

"Six hours later, he walked through the door. His cell phone had been dead, and it had taken him six hours to get out of Manhattan. At 9:30 that night, Arthur turned on his computer while I was watching the coverage on TV. He said, 'Oh, my God' and fell to the ground sobbing. 'Look at the email.'

"It said his friends Linda Gronlund and Joe DeLuca were on Flight 93."

A few years passed before English writer-director Paul Greengrass began putting together "Flight 93," a film renamed "United 93" in post-production.

"Paul was exceedingly concerned that we all look as much like our characters as possible. I went in with red hair, and they stripped it on the sides and took all the color out so it would be white and then dyed it black."

McClintock was cast as Britton, a native New Yorker, and phoned the woman's next of kin. Surviving family members had been encouraged to share anything that might be of use in making the movie accurate.

"Her brother Paul is a Lutheran minister out on Long Island. Her nephew Wren lives six blocks from Arthur and me.

"Wren was very close to his aunt. When I met Paul and Wren after the filming, Wren said it was Marion's dream that she and he would share a little house together one day -- one floor for each of them -- in this (part of town)."

In between conversations with Britton family members, McClintock made her movie debut.

She had had a lot of acting experience even before she left Western Pennsylvania. She'd performed here at and with Sherwood Forest, Pittsburgh Laboratory Theater, Lovelace Marionette Theater and The Metro. Her many roles in New York include the maid Kathleen in the 1986 Broadway revival of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" with Jack Lemmon, Bethel Leslie, Peter Gallagher and Kevin Spacey. The production moved to London and then was taped and shown on TV in 1987.

McClintock returned to London to shoot "United 93" at Pinewood Studios, "the home of James Bond," as she says.

Some of the picture was filmed before her arrival. The air traffic controller scenes were done afterward.

"We (passengers, crew, hijackers) were there for six weeks in November and December." Filming was done with two handheld cameras in overlapping takes that sometimes ran as long as 55 minutes nonstop.

"Paul wanted strong actors who could be silent and still. We had to improvise in our auditions. Some screamed and jumped up. When it was my turn, I just took out my cell phone and made a quiet phone call." The reserved actors tended to be the ones selected, they noticed afterwards.

"In the beginning we had a bonding experience. With the hijackers we did the full 45-minute run" -- roughly the final 45 minutes of the movie. "Everyone went full out. It was hard to turn off.

"I was seated in the back of the plane. I noticed one of the (actors playing the) hijackers was sobbing. He was touching each of the actors passing him and said, 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry what this man did to you.'"

"I said to him, 'You're an actor doing a job, and you're doing it very well.' And then we did it three times a day for the next month.

"The last thing filmed at Pinewood was Linda Gronlund's phone call. I became great friends with Lorna Dallas, who played her. The most heartfelt, true work I have ever done was watching my new friend Lorna film Linda's phone call. It finally brought me closure."

Ed Blank can be reached at

'United 93' is intense, compelling filmmaking
By Ed Blank
Friday, April 28, 2006

You watch United 93 from fist frame to last with a knotted stomach, a level of real-world dread that I can remember having with no other movie. Well, maybe the ones about John F. Kennedy's assassination. But they weren't so intense from the opening seconds.
[read more]

Sunnyside actress debuts on screen in 'United 93'
By Nathan Duke

For Sunnyside's Jodie Lynne McClintock, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - especially the fate of the passengers aboard hijacked United Flight 93, whcih crashed near Shanksville, Pa. - hit close to home. Not only were two of her husbands' closest friends aboard the Newark-based flight, but the 51-year-old Queens actress can now be seen portraying passenger Marion Britton in the film 'United 93', which was released in theaters Friday.
[read more]

On board Flight 93
By Shaun de Waal
August 11, 2006

A film about the ill-fated 9/11 flight brings the horror to life as not even a documentary could.
[read more]

August 2006
"Parts of the film are an attempt to create a believable truth from what we can't know," Greengrass says. "Parts of it, of course, are what we absolutely do know. It's a melding of the two. In the air, much can be learned from telephone calls made by passengers - and there were a lot of them - cockpit voice recorders, the Common Strategy For Hijacks (how staff were trained to behave) and information from what happened on the other airplanes.
[read more]

'United 03'
By David Denby

As an ensemble, the players are stolid, but in a good way - they exhibit a combination of incomprehension and intelligence, befuddlement and alertness, that feels right. They live within the moment without over-defining it...
[read more]

Ain't It Cool News
By Derek Flint
April 13, 2006

There are certain seminal film going experiences in your life… movies that you never forget the first time you see them: “Psycho” or “Jaws,” “The Godfather” or “Star Wars.” Depending on who you are, the experience of sitting in a darkened theater and seeing a classic unspool before your eyes becomes permanently engrained in your memory. That’s the way I feel about a movie I've just seen: “United 93.”
[read more]

London Sunday Times
All that survives is love
Martin Amis finds "United 93", a film about the passenger revolt aboard a 9/11 flight, unremitting, stark and utterly moving:
Of the 3,000 who died on that day, only those on board the fourth plane had no doubts about the fate intended for them. The director of "United 93", Paul Greengrass, is right: they were “the first people to inhabit the post-9/11 world”. They rise up, and the plane comes down. At this point, 106 minutes in and with only seconds to go, you will find yourself, I am confident, in a state of near-perfect distress — a distress that knows no blindspots… Your mind will cast about for a molecule, an atom of consolation. And what you will reach for is what they reached for. Like the victims on the other three planes, but unlike them, because they knew, the passengers called their families and said that they loved them. It is an extraordinary validation, or fulfillment, of Larkin’s lines at the end of An Arundel Tomb:

...To prove

Our almost-instinct almost true:

What will survive of us is love.
[read more]

  click on a photo to enlarge  
Jodie McClintock in United 93 Jodie McClintock in United 93 The cast of United 93 The airplane set in motion
Jodie at Pinewood Lloyd Levin, Paul Greengrass &
Jodie at Wrap
World Premiere Tribeca Film Festival On the red carpet with
husband Arthur Pearson
Paul Greengrass and Jodie McClintock
Jodie, Lorna Dallas, Paul, Doris Gronlund Liza Colon-Zayas and Jodie Jodie and Friends & Families of
Flight 93 PNC Park 9/11/06
Jodie & Paul Shanksville 9/11/06




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