ST. LOUIS — St. Louis saw it play out in real life, but now the Kurt Warner story is finally about to get the big-screen treatment.
"American Underdog", the Kurt Warner biopic, is set to hit theaters for everyone this Christmas, but the film had an exclusive St. Louis screening on Monday night at the Tivoli Theatre.
The release was a long time coming.
"For so long we sat there with our story going, 'Why do we have to go through this and be here?'" Kurt said at the premiere. "And when you get to the other side of it and realize that your story can impact people, encourage people and inspire people especially at this time with where our society is, I'm excited about sharing our story. I'm excited about the impact it can have on people. And I'm excited for people to see it. I don't think they really fully understand the story. They know parts, but they don't know all of it and I'm excited to kind of release that to everybody."
Actor Zachary Levi plays Kurt in the movie, and his wife Brenda is played by Anna Paquin.
Kurt told 5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano in an interview for Sports Plus that working with Levi on how to portray an NFL quarterback was a major point of emphasis.
"When he first came for about three days when he was cast for the movie, we went out in the backyard and threw the football around and I gave him pointers here and there," Kurt said. "And then at the same time you take a step back and go, well this is still an actor who has never played football. And to expect him to portray an NFL quarterback is not an easy thing to do. But it was fun to have him around the family and feeling out our dynamic and being able to apply all of that to his role."
One of the most crucial relationships in the movie is between Warner and Rams offensive coordinator at the time Mike Martz, especially after Warner had to take over for injured Trent Green.
"I thought the whole dynamic between me and Mike in the movie was really really well done. It was key in a lot of different ways to my development and for me to get ready for that role was for Mike to ride me a little bit," Kurt said.
Of course, "American Underdog" isn't just about football. The movie dives into the relationship between Kurt and Brenda, and why it was so crucial to their success.
"She helped me to grow into a complete person and know there was more to life than just football. As much as I wanted it, there is more to life than just football," Kurt said. "And I became a more well-rounded person because of our relationship and because of the way she challenged me."
Brenda said she hopes the movie and their family's story can inspire others to chase their dreams.
"Basically keep going. Life isn't easy or fair to everyone, but just keep going and go after those dreams no matter what they are. Find your way," Brenda said.