“American Underdog,” the story of Kurt Warner and his rise from stocking shelves to becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League, continues to change lives and inspire viewers, one of the film’s stars says.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it’s kind of brought their families together and that they weren’t expecting it, and they don’t even normally like football movies,” said one of the film’s stars, actor Ser’Darius Blain, who plays Warner’s friend, Mike Hudnutt.
“The movie is literally nothing about football,”Blain told The Christian Post. “It’s about faith, it’s about family, it’s about perseverance, holding on to the ones that you love.”
Prior to the movie’s release, Warner said something similar. He attributes his achievements to God working in his life and says, “First things first — faith and family — is my formula for success.”
“American Underdog” premiered on Christmas Day and is now available on streaming platforms. The film will be released on DVD Feb. 22.
The film tells the story of Kurt and Brenda Warner. Starting as an undrafted player, Warner became a two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP. He also is the only player ever inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Football Hall of Fame.
Though “American Underdog” tells the story of Warner’s rise to stardom, the film is not just about football — it’s about struggles in everyday life and faith that gets people through tough times.
Before Kurt met and married his wife, Brenda, her son became disabled at a young age. She was told he would never walk or talk. Two years later and eight months pregnant with her second child, Brenda discovered her husband was cheating on her. She left him and became a single mother with a newborn and a child with a disability.
“The person sitting in that chair watching this movie is going to relate to those times in my life,” she said. “I am not special in that way. I don’t have superpowers. I am just a person doing the best I can. [This movie] is going to show … that I’m a flawed person.”
Warner later adopted Brenda’s children and said he learned more about his own mother, also a single parent, as a result.
“[My mom] didn’t get to live the life that I know she wanted because of some of those stereotypes and things that went with [being a single mother],” he realized.
Jon Erwin, director of American Underdog, said, “I love the idea that Kurt Warner first became a champion off the field before he became a champion on the field. It was him discovering his faith, a relationship with Jesus Christ. It was him embracing his role as a husband, as a father, and realizing life was bigger than he was.
“So many of us think, ‘Well, I’ve made some mistakes in my life. God can’t use me because of the mess I made,’” Erwin said. “Brenda felt that way. She had been told when she was very young by someone in church, ‘Hey, God’s gonna do something great with you.’ She thought that ship had sailed because of the choices she’d made and the things she’d messed up.”
Erwin said he put himself in the same category but noted that if Warner “can accomplish His dream and endure, and they can stay together as a couple, maybe we can, too. Maybe my crazy dreams are not as impossible as I once thought.”
Erwin said he is living proof of fulfilling a “crazy dream.” A native of Birmingham, a city not known for filmmaking, Erwin didn’t attend college. Now he’s directing major motion pictures.
“So many people give up too early. You never know when that breakthrough moment that God has for you is right around the corner,” Erwin encouraged. “If you give up too soon, you’ll never experience it. If God calls you to something, even when everyone in your life says it’s crazy, maybe the great lesson is just to never ever quit — remembering that success is long obedience in the same direction.”
EDITOR’S NOTE – Reviews of films, books, music or other media that appear in TAB are intended to help readers evaluate current media for themselves, their children and grandchildren in order to decide whether to watch, read or listen. Reviews are not an endorsement by the writer or TAB Media.
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