There are plenty of actors who have played football players, and there are plenty of football players who have had notable acting careers. It’s interesting, however, that when the differentiating point of a movie is that it’s going to be about Canadian football, it’s an American quarterback who never played in the CFL who’s announced as the first player picked for it. That’s what’s happened with planned movie Kick, with John Hodge of 3 Down Nation writing that former NFL QB Jake Plummer has joined that cast:
Canadian football movie Kick has secured the first star member of its cast.
Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer has agreed play the veteran pivot of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, described by Toronto-born writer/producer Chris Bickford as “old and grizzled.”
“It’s a cool script,” said Plummer in an exclusive interview with 3DownNation. “It’s really neat to be showcasing a league that doesn’t get a lot of respect for the amount of football that’s gone into it and the history behind the CFL, which is a really rich history up there in Canada.”
Look, there’s nothing wrong with Plummer (seen above with the Cardinals in 1998) wanting to get into acting. That piece goes on to talk about how he’s friends with college teammate Isaiah Mustafa (known for Old Spice commercials and more), who’s been trying to get him to explore acting. And Plummer’s an interesting guy (see his post-NFL career ventures into handball), and someone who certainly could conceivably do well in acting, and someone who’s excited about this movie and this role (he told Hodge he sees this as “the opportunity to do something that could be a lot of fun that I can add my energy and passion to”).
And at least Plummer’s saying the right things about how he values the CFL. This easily could have been much worse, with someone who took a “Football is football” approach to that question. And if he’d been one of several people to join this production, with others having CFL experience, there wouldn’t be much to complain about here. But, with all that said, it’s a little disappointing for some CFL fans to see a movie that’s billing itself as heavily focused on what makes the CFL unique (as per an interview Bickford did with Hodge in April) announce a former NFL player who never played north of the border as its first major casting choice. And that’s maybe especially true when that player doesn’t have a massive acting background to begin with; it’s not like they’re grabbing a proven actor with football experience, they’re grabbing a former football player, but from the NFL rather than the CFL.
There’s obviously still more casting to be done here, and maybe some of the other people they’ll pick will have CFL backgrounds. And it’s worth mentioning that the movie isn’t entirely about the pro team anyway; Hodge’s piece notes that “Kick will centre around a group of preteen boys who adore the Ticats, a downtrodden team that opens the season 0-7 before mounting an improbable comeback in the standings. Plummer will play the quarterback of the team in a supporting role.” But still, there’s a bit of disappointment from this corner that this is the first casting move they’ve announced. But the CFL’s often a stand-in for something else on American TV (CFL footage is used for background on TVs in countless sitcoms and dramas because it’s easier and cheaper to get rights to than the NFL), so maybe it’s to be expected that an ex-NFL player is standing in for a CFL one in a CFL movie.