On Christmas Day, Zachary Levi's new film American Underdog will hit theaters, and it will tell the story of how Kurt Warner became of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. While Levi enjoyed playing the role of Warner there was one big issue he had to overcome. PopCulture.com had the chance to talk to Levi about American Underdog, who revealed the one aspect of the film that was the most challenging.
"Oh, definitely the football," Levi laughed with PopCulture. "I love football. I've watched it my whole life. I've played other sports. I never really played organized football. And I certainly had never been a quarterback. I was learning how to throw a spiral at 40. I don't recommend that. And taking hits, I wanted to take some hits. I thought it was kind of necessary, to the extent that we could get some great shots, or that I could even, as a method actor, feel what it means to be a quarterback, taking some shots. I took some shots on the field. Those suck, but that's all part of it. That's all part of feeling it and doing it. That was probably the hardest bit."
Warner played college football at Northern Iowa and didn't make an impact until his senior year. He wasn't drafted when he came out of college in 1994 but was invited to try out for the Green Bay Packers. Warner was released before the start of the 1994 regular season and then started working at a local grocery store before joining the Arena Football League in 1995. He would spend three years in the AFL before signing a contract with the St. Louis Rams.
Warner was the backup QB for the Rams in 1999 but was named the starter after Trent Green went down with a torn ACL. The moment was not too big for Warner as he led the Rams to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl title. Warner did this with the help of his wife Brenda, and their relationship is also a big part of American Underdog.
"It's daunting," Levi said when asked about playing the role of Warner. "Those are big shoes to fill. You don't want to screw it up. You want to be as true to the story as possible. And do as much justice to he and Brenda and their love story, and the family, and all the football and all that jazz. But I don't know, I think that's part of the challenge. You want to challenge yourself. You want to take on things that are going to challenge you and grow you as a person and as an actor."