ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke fantasy football Stars Omari Hardwick and Rome Flynn on the film and working with Tony Gonzalez. The film will be available exclusively through Paramount+ on November 25th.
“Everything changes in this hilarious and heartwarming father-daughter sports fantasy when Callie A. Coleman (Marsai Martin) discovers that she can magically control her father Bobby’s (Omari Hardwick) performance on the football field,” reads the the synopsis of the film. “When Callie plays as her father, a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, in EA Sports’ Madden NFL 23, Bobby transforms from a fumblitis-stricken fellow to a star who becomes a superstar with his daughter and wife Keisha (Kelly Rowland). With the NFL playoffs approaching and the pressure mounting from Callie’s new commitment to her friends on the robotics team, the two must step forward to keep the magic a secret while juggling the ups and downs of their newfound success while enjoying it all rediscovering really means being a family.”
Tyler Treese: Omari, I know you were DB at Georgia. You tried the Chargers. Athletics and your love of art have always been closely linked. So how cool was it to put your football experience into this film?
Omari Hardwick: It was as cool as that question bro. It’s rare to be able to talk about all the things, or I guess the outstanding things that are in that bag that God gifted you with and have those conversations in podcasts, like The Pivot with Fred Taylor, Channing Crowder and Ryan Clark. We’re talking to Deion Sanders. You talk to these athletes, which is really cool, and they want to know more about what you think about the other things that are in some kind of gym bag. I think for me it was a great moment where I said ‘Wow’. Truly if you keep going in a marathon way, and I kind of convey that — I know I’m with Rome, and I have with other people who come after me who I think have a wealth of tricks this bag.
It’s the moment you realize it’s a marathon. That movie was the first time I could look in the mirror and say, “Oh yeah, my career has been a marathon.” Because here I’m finally at a point where, like you said, I’ve got all these goodies in could include a movie. My love of art [and] My love of athletics is united now and as an actor I can show them both at the same time which is pretty amazing. Especially not only with a great actor, namely Rome, but also with a great actor who also comes from the world of sports. I probably would have found a way if he couldn’t run up and down the soccer field, but he’s super athletic, fast, can catch. As a baller from soccer and I from the sport where he really flourished, which is basketball, it’s interesting for us to look at each other and say, ‘okay, we know we can take action. We can do that too.” And that was a lot for me. I immediately felt comfortable knowing I had a cohort that could draw from the same size bag. But big question man.
Rom, it had to be so cool working with Tony Gonzalez. This is the best tight end ever. He plays your coach in the film. How was working with him?
Rome Flynn: He’s a natural. Such a presence you know? Here’s the thing. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know who he is. But the important thing is… I think what’s a good sign for a person who has great integrity but also has a great career and resume like his is that if you didn’t know you wouldn’t know. Sometimes you walk around these people and they talk about these things. Like Tony, if you didn’t know he played football, you just didn’t, you would have thought he was an actor. He was super present and he just blew it out of the park man. I’m glad they have a guy like him because they could have gotten a coach who’s also in the NFL but just not a good actor. His role isn’t particularly big, but it’s really important because it ties everything together. [It] Connections throughout the team, connections in the scene between me and Omari as we walk into his office. Handling that kind of scene with two actors like me and Omari… I just think he did a great job. So I hope he keeps going, hopes he keeps going and keeps pushing himself to do more of these things.