ST. LOUIS — A movie that's been in the works for almost 10 years is bringing a message of faith on Christmas Day. We're talking about “American Underdog,” the inspiring story of Kurt and Brenda Warner and how they knew God's hand was in every move they made.
By now you know the Cinderella story of Kurt, from stocking grocery shelves to winning a Super bowl with the St Louis Rams and now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The roots of what made this superstar are deep in faith and the many obstacles he and Brenda faced along the way.
"There's so much to the story and you realize you can't show everything, there's part of you that says, ‘Oh I wish they could have shown that and that,’” said Kurt.
Movie goers will love what made the final cut. A chance meeting at a bar that led to Kurt's unwavering devotion to this woman whose strength he greatly admired.
"With my son with special needs, the accident, if it didn't happen, the tornado that took my parents, I mean everything, everything is just one moment from changing down a different road,” said Brenda.
"We would sit back and go, ‘Why us, why do we have to go through this, why can't it be easy for us?’” Kurt said.
The Warner's have a saying in their house: "Don't let your circumstances define you.” For those who have been told they're not good enough, they don't deserve this or that, Kurt said he hopes you will walk away from this movie and truly hear the message on inspiration to never give up.
"You can look at all the things that went wrong in my football career but I always believed, I know what I'm capable of, I know who I am and I just need the right opportunity and I can do anything I want,” he said. “The movie and our family is full of underdogs and all of us together were able to do some really amazing things.”
There are so many endearing moments in the movie, especially getting to see how this incredible family unit began. Brenda, a divorced mother of two, said she was always very protective of herself and her children, especially Zach who has special needs.
"There was a love there and it didn't matter from the very beginning. From the moment that I let Kurt in, that connection happened which was scary because he could have walked away or hurt us but watching that love affair was beautiful in itself,” she said.
We had a little fun with the Warners asking Brenda if his dance moves are what drew her to him early on.
“Well if you saw Dancing with the Stars you know what I'm dealing with, but at the bar it was me watching how all the women were drawn to him and that wasn't something I was necessarily looking for, not wanting a person who was the center of attention,” Brenda said. “Everybody's drawn to him and it became inspiring. He'll teach you something, he'll inspire you and he is the best person I have ever met.”
So after the movie debut, what's left for the Warner's?
"We want to have impact on people and my wife wants to travel more when I actually do retire,” Kurt said.
Brenda's smile and shake of her head means that is most likely not any time soon.
The timing of the movie couldn't be better with Christmas just days away. They hope your faith will help you keep going no matter what you are facing in your life.
One helpful tip – bring the tissues, you'll be inspired by their love story and when you see what their son Zach gave them on their wedding day, you will need them.
You'll enjoy aspects of Kurt's football career, but this is much more about a message of never giving up no matter what life throws you. The movie is just shy of two hours.
Zachary Levi plays Kurt, Anna Paquin plays Brenda and Dennis Quaid plays Dick Vermeil. The Warners were super impressed with who was cast to play them and even said there were times they and their children had to take a double take as they thought Levi and Paquin looked so much like them.