Rex Ryan certainly wasn’t going to make any Oscar (or even Golden Globes) predictions about his performance in “That’s My Boy,” which hits theaters on June 15. But co-star Adam Sandler couldn’t heap enough superlatives on Ryan’s acting during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
“Rex kills it hard,” Sandler said.
It’s not like NFL players and personalities haven’t dabbled in the movies before. Terry Bradshaw, Brett Favre and Wayne Fontes are just a few of the men who have appeared on the silver screen.
But Ryan goes above your basic cameo in his portrayal of Jim Nance (the name of the former Patriots running back, not the CBS broadcaster — picked at the instance of Ryan), the shady lawyer who represents Sandler’s character.
“He fits the character,” Sandler said. “He has three big scenes in the movie. The first scene is good. The second scene is better. And the third scene is the best. It’s pretty neat, he crescendos in the picture. No matter where you live. I’ve seen the movie about four or five different places, different states and it just gets a quick buzz in the crowd as the crowd goes, ‘How the hell did they get the coach to do this part?’ ”
The idea came from Sandler, who thought it would be hilarious to have the coach of the New York Jets play a New England-based lawyer with a Bill Belichick bobblehead on his desk and a Tom Brady poster on his wall. (Both of the Patriots agreed to allow their likeness to be used in the film.)
The New England-based film crew wasn’t so keen on the idea, and was ready to trade barbs with Ryan when he came on set. But Sandler said Ryan was personable enough to win over the biased crew.
And now he’s hoping Ryan will appeal to wider audiences. His work is a little blue in the movie (it gets an R rating), but if you watched Ryan during “Hard Knocks,” you know working blue wasn’t going to be a problem for him.
So while it might not be the right movie for Tim Tebow to take Lolo Jones to on a first date, the rest of the Jets gave it a glowing review.
“They loved it,” Ryan said. “It’s a fun film. It’s a guy’s film. Every guy is going to love this movie.”
Well, I guess he still can’t help himself when it comes to making predictions.
“That’s My Boy” hits theaters on June 15, and stars Sandler, Andy Samberg and Leighton Meester.
Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.