Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Josh Pence, and Tom Welling are key players in the riveting, feel good film “Draft Day.” They all came to the table equipped and ready to play. Boseman scored with the successful “42” and will soon be seen in “Get On Up.” Beloved Crews is a former NFL player and is now a favorite of the big and small screens (“Terminator Salvation,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”). Running back Foster, for the Houston Texans, was ranked number eight in the NFL’s 2013 Top 100 players and is “regarded as one of the best running backs in the League.”
Pence made his acting debut in Robert DeNiro’s “The Good Shepherd” and appeared in “The Social Network” and “Gangster Squad.” “Smallville,” starring Welling, was one of the best TV shows and Welling, one of the best Supermen to be cast in that role. His best friend in the series, Pete, and the only one to know Clark Kent’s identity before leaving the show, was African American actor Sam Jones III. Welling was last scene in the heart-wrenching movie, “Parkland.”
Individuals experience every situation differently. How did you guys relate to “Draft Day”?
TERRY CREWS: I was drafted in the 11th round back in 1991 and I threw a party because I was like a typical narcisstic athlete. I thought I was going to go way higher. Had a party, a barbecue, the whole thing. The first day everybody came and everybody left. The day was over and I was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t get drafted,’ and had a lot of barbecue left. Then I went into the second day and it was in the afternoon and I thought it was over. I literally collapsed in a heap and I was just very, very disappointed with my life and my wife was like, ‘Yo, we gotta do what we gotta do. Hold your head up and wipe your tears.’ My sister came in and said, “Somebody’s on the phone. It says the L.A. Rams,’ and I’m thinking the draft is done ‘cause it’s so late and I think somebody’s playing a joke. I was told I had just been drafted in the 11th round for the L.A. Rams. I freaked and was back happy again, back confident. That was my draft day experience.
ARIAN FOSTER: It was very similar for me, actually. We had a little get together at a hotel in Arizona that my father managed. Round after round went. The clock kept ticking and tried to keep my mind off it. So the first day went by and I didn’t get drafted and I was ok with that. Second day I tried to keep my off it so I went golfing. I actually played one of the best rounds I ever played in my life but I was so upset that I didn’t get drafted yet that it didn’t matter.
So going through that experience and then getting drafted in the movie, it was very surreal for me. You get into character Terry Crews as your father, and he does an awesome job, coupled with all the emotions from that day that I never had in real life that I wanted to have came out on that day in that scene. That’s what makes it so special for me and that’s why it was an honor to get chosen for this role. It was a great experience.
TOM WELLING: This film makes you have a greater appreciation of what the players go through because before this, I had no idea. The severity of what it means to be picked, even one spot down from where you thought is a game changer. It’s a life changing experience for these people and these teams every season.
JOSH PENCE: I watched a lot of NFL footage of the draft because most of what happens to my character is during the draft. The whole world is watching you to either get your dream or take this huge tumble. There are cameras right in your face. I didn’t actually live through this. So for me to watch somebody—I’m not gonna name names, but there are some pretty high profile guys who’ve taken a big tumble and that’s a pretty tough thing to do in front of the whole world, with people scrutinizing you, especially if you are a quarterback because you’re so often put into these high pressure situations where you have to make decisions and keep your calm.
TW: It’s ironic that we both played quarterbacks and I like you, I didn’t play football. My dad played all the way through college and didn’t let my brother play or me. My knees probably thank him for that.
Marie Moore is a syndicated journalist who reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]