ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke Fantasy football stars Omari Hardwick and Rome Flynn about the film and working with Tony Gonzalez. The film will be available exclusively through Paramount+ on November 25.
“In this hilarious and heartwarming father-daughter sports fantasy, everything changes 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 film’s synopsis. “When Callie Plays as Her Dad, a Running Back for the Atlanta Falcons, in EA Sports” Madden NFL 23, Bobby transforms from a fumble-plagued journeyman to a star running back on the road to superstardom with his daughter and wife Keisha (Kelly Rowland). With the NFL Playoffs looming and the pressure of Callie’s new commitment to her friends on the robotics team, the two must move forward to keep the magic a secret while juggling the ups and downs of their newfound success, all while rediscovering what it is. really means being a family.”
Tyler Treese: Omari, I know you were a DB at Georgia. You tried the chargers. Athletics and your love of art have always been intertwined, so how cool was it to implement your football experience into this film?
Omari Hardwick: That was as cool as that question bro. It’s rare that you can talk about all the things that, or I guess the salient things that are in the bag that God has given you, and have those conversations on podcasts, such as The pivot with Fred Taylor, Channing Crowder and Ryan Clark. We’re talking to Deion Sanders. You’re talking to these athletes, which is really cool, and they’re more interested in knowing how you feel about the other things that are in that kind of athletic bag. So I think for me it was an amazing moment where I said “wow”. Really, if you continue to walk in a marathon fashion, and I kind of convey that – I know I’m with Rome, and I’ve got other people coming after me that I think have a ton of tricks in that bag.
That’s the moment you realize it’s a marathon. This movie was the first time I could look in the mirror and say, “oh yeah, my career has been a marathon.” Because here I finally got to a place where, as you said, I could incorporate all those goodies into one movie. My love for art [and] my love of athletics is now combined and as an actor I can showcase them both at the same time which is pretty incredible. Especially doing it with not only an actor of great talent, namely Rom, but he is also an actor of great talent who also comes from the world of sports. I probably would have felt one way if he couldn’t run up and down the football field, but he’s super athletic, quick, can catch. As a ball player who comes from football, and I come from the sport that he really went down in, that being basketball, it’s interesting for us to be able to look at each other and say, “okay, we know that we can act. So can we.” And that was so much for me. I immediately felt comfortable knowing that I had a cohort that could draw from the same size bag. Good question though, man.
Rome, it must be so cool to work with Tony Gonzalez. It’s the best tight end ever. He plays your coach in the movie. How was working with him?
Rome Flynn: He is a natural. Such a presence, you know? Here’s the thing. You’d have to live under a rock not to know who he is. But the important thing is… I feel like what’s a good sign of a person, that he has great integrity, but also has a great career and a great resume like his, is that you wouldn’t know, unless you knew. Sometimes you go around these people and they talk about these things. Like with 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 knocked it out of the park, man. I’m glad they got a guy like him because they could have gotten a coach who is also in the NFL but just isn’t a good actor. His part isn’t super big, but it’s really important because it ties into everything. [It] bonding in the whole team, bonding in the scene between me and Omari when we walk into his office. To handle those kinds of scenes with two actors like me and Omari… I just think he did a great job. So I hope he continues to do that, hope he continues and continues to push himself to do more of those kinds of things.