ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Fantasy Football star Kelly Rowland about the film and sharing her works with her children. The film is now available exclusively through Paramount+.
“In this hilarious and heartwarming father-daughter sports fantasy, everything changes when Callie A. Coleman (Marsai Martin) discovers she can magically control her father, Bobby’s (Omari Hardwick) performance on the football field,” reads the film’s synopsis. “When Callie plays as her dad, a running back for the Atlanta Falcons, in EA Sports’ Madden NFL 23, Bobby is transformed from a fumblitis-plagued journeyman to a star running back bound for superstardom alongside his daughter and wife Keisha (Kelly Rowland). With the NFL Playoffs looming and the pressures of Callie’s new commitment to her friends on the robotics team mounting, the two must forge ahead to keep the magic a secret as they juggle the highs and lows of their newfound success, all as they rediscover what it really means to be a family.”
Tyler Treese: Kelly, there are some hilarious scenes of you going all-out and cheering. Was that from experience? How are you with real-life sports?
Kelly Rowland: When I’m into it, I’m into it. I went to a football game with a girlfriend of mine and funny enough, we thought that we were just going to probably sit behind our husbands and eat the whole time. But when you catch a play and you go, “go, go, go!” It’s like the feeling of the stadium, it’s like how loud the noise is in your ear, like the people and fans around you — you pick up on energy. So for me, that’s what I love the most about football games. Basketball games — I’ve always loved basketball — but football games … it’s the energy to me, for sure.
Marsai Martin, she’s so young, so talented. She didn’t just star in the film, she produced it. What was your biggest takeaway of watching her work and taking on all these different roles?
She’s so observant. Like there was one scene that was running behind and I remember — I don’t think we were supposed to know or I wasn’t supposed to know — and we were filming the scene, and she just kept looking at her watch. She kept looking at the way people were moving, and it was moving a little slow for her. She didn’t rush or anything, but she was just encouraging people to move faster because we needed to get the shot. It was another moment where she saw something on set and the lighting wasn’t quite right, you know what I mean? She’s like a real producer. She cares about what goes on the screen and is paying attention to all the edits. For her to be so young and have that kind of vision and have a specific place where she wants her art to be is just truly extraordinary to me. She’s a young visionary, for sure.
You just had the Curse of Bridge Hollow, which was so much fun and now Fantasy Football. How fulfilling is it doing these family-friendly films that also have great messages attached to them? Because this is something your kids can enjoy as well.
It is incredible. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to bring my youngest to go see the film with me, um, because it’ll be my first time seeing it this week. So I’m really excited about that, that I get to share these films with him. Funny enough, Titan was actually scared on the Curse of Bridge Hollow and I was sitting right next to him as he’s watching it. He’s going, “mommy!” The big pumpkin is trying to take me to the other side, and I’m like, “I’m right here man! I’m right here.” But to be able to share these moments is great and I feel really grateful and really blessed.
Omari Hardwick is so great in the film. How is it getting that chemistry between you because there’s a great loving and care there in those characters?
I mean, Omari is incredibly supportive. He keeps it real with me. When we were on set, it was going through the lines. If I had a question about something, I knew that I could ask him. I felt like I was a student. I still feel like I’m a student. I’m still learning. I’m still growing in this acting space. If anybody’s going to teach you or you ask anybody a question, Omari is the person that you ask the question to, because he’s so beautiful at this craft and he puts him his whole self in it. I really respect that about him. I really appreciate that about him and he knows how seriously I’m taking it too. So yeah, I appreciate it.