Interview: 'Draft Day' Cast Swaps Sports Stories and Talks Football Fandom (Terry Crews, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Arian Foster)
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Interviews

Interview: 'Draft Day' Cast Swaps Sports Stories and Talks Football Fandom (Terry Crews, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Arian Foster)

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Draft Day stars Kevin Costner as

Sonny Weaver Jr., general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who is swept into a

day of intense negotiations with team staff, players and even family on the day

of the NFL draft. 

The cast, including Costner, Terry Crews, Jennifer Garner and Arian Foster gathered at a recent

press event to talk about the film in anticipation of its release on April 11.

I also had a chance to speak with Draft Day’s Chadwick Boseman about the film and his career. Find that interview

HERE.

Crews and Foster, who play father and son in the film, had both

been athletes drafted out of college and shared their real-life draft stories:

TERRY CREWS: I was drafted in the 11th round

back in 1991. I thought I was going to go way higher, I had a party, but the

first day everybody came and everybody left. The day was over and I didn’t get

drafted. I thought it was over and I literally collapsed in a heap.

Then my sister came in and said the LA Rams

are on the phone. They said you’ve just been drafted in the 11th round. I was

back happy and confident again and I said now that they’ve let me in, I am

going to blow this thing up

ARIAN FOSTER: Mine was very similar actually.

We had a little get together. And same thing, round after round went, the clock

kept kicking and I just tried to keep my mind off it. I’m of the new school

where there’s only two days of the draft, so the first day went by and I didn’t

get drafted.

Going through that experience and then

getting drafted in the movie, it was very surreal for me because you get into

that character. All those emotions from that day that I never had, that I

wanted to have, came out [in the film] and that’s what made it so special

for me and an honor even getting chosen for this role.

Garner, who plays the salary cap manager of the Browns, shared her

thoughts about high-ranking women in athletics:

JENNIFER GARNER: What makes women so great in

these higher positions on sports teams is that they can keep their emotions in

check and their brains can do a lot of things at once. Because if you’re going

to be a capologist you’re basically business affairs, you’re thinking of the

art of football, what’s your team’s future, you have to have so much going on

in your brain at once and let’s face it, we’re just good at that.

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On what the cast loves and hates about sports movies:

KEVIN COSTNER: I think if you want to make a

good sports movie you’ve got to cut down on the sports. You’ve got to make it

about people. Yes, you’ve got this backdrop of the NFL, but people start to see

themselves [in the characters].

CREWS: I enjoy sports movies that don’t

sugarcoat. One thing that irritates me about sports movies is that they’re like, “the

magic of the ball” and “the magic of the stadium.” It

ain’t that magical. When you get hit coming across the middle at 25 miles per

hour, the magic’s over.

FOSTER: It’s hard for me to watch football

movies because I play football. It has to be genuine and authentic. You’ll see

some movies and there are guys doing cocaine at halftime, stuff like that. It’s

like, come on man, it’s so unrealistic. The movies that actually portray

football players how they are, I think that’s what makes them great. It’s a

very emotional sport, and guys’ jobs are on the line every day.

The movie shifts across multiple cities, following the action of

different team negotiations as well as what’s happening on the draft floor in

New York City. On the chaos of filming in public:

CREWS: We were on the street and what’s wild

is, you can’t lock a New York street. You can lock any street in LA, but in New

York you can’t stop people from walking into the scene. And what we were

getting is people yelling in the middle of the scene, so it took a tremendous

amount of concentration.

FOSTER: That was my first scene I ever filmed,

by the way. So I’m intimidated by this guy [points to Terry], and then

everybody’s yelling.

CREWS: But Arian just blew it up. For most

football players it’s hard to humble themselves in a new field. You’re at the

top of your game, all-pro where you are, and then to come into a new field and

start all over again from the beginning, this man totally killed it.

On what to like about the film, whether you’re a sports fan or

not:

GARNER: In this movie, even though football

is the backdrop, it by no means makes it inaccessible. If you’re up on the

current events of what’s happening in the NFL, you’re going to recognize a lot

of stuff. There are going to be names dropped and references made that you’ll

be happy to have reflected back at you, but if you’re not a football person the

relationship and the story are at the center of the movie. It’s a ride that

you’re going to take no matter whether you know what draft day means at the

beginning of the movie or not.

COSTNER: I felt that Draft Day had a chance to be an American classic if we stuck with

it. I don’t know if it’ll be a box office hit, but it could be a classic movie,

which by definition means it’ll be shared from generation to generation, and to

me that’s the mark of a great movie.

Draft Day comes to theaters on Friday, April 11

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