While the trailers for the romantic comedy “Playing For Keeps” do a fine job of selling the film’s romancey-ness and its star-studded cast, which includes Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman and Dennis Quaid, it’s not all about the lovey-dovey stuff. There’s also “crazy” action involved, though the type of action to which we’re referring is not about fancy gadgetry, pyrotechnics or speeding cars. It’s about soccer. More specifically, child actors playing soccer.
When MTV News caught up with seasoned action movie actors Butler and Biel, we asked them to compare and contrast the complexity of getting a bunch of kids to film a fake soccer game vs. regular shoot-’em-up action sequences.
“It is its own level of action,” Butler admitted and explained that he had to put in a bunch of work to make himself look convincing as a soccer player and not get outplayed by the kid actors, who were hired to do so. “You need to put in training and preparation so that you look far better at something than you actually are,” he said with a laugh.
“The kids were crazy but also really respectful. Their personalities completely came out, they’re a big part of this movie and were great to work with but they were also nuts,” Butler continued. “There were times where you’d be like, ’Wait, will you get back here? Why are you eating your own foot?'”
Biel didn’t seem to sense any craziness, just legit soccer skills.
“The kids that they hired were all soccer players. They could pass to [each other] and be in certain parts of the field and they did it over and over again so I think the moral of the story is hire professionals,” she said. “These kids were on point. I would not mess with them.”
“Playing for Keeps” opens in theaters today.