• Thomas Bonifield

Zachary Levi "Very Blessed" by Role in "American Underdog"

He stars as Hall-of-Fame and Super-Bowl-Winning former quarterback Kurt Warner in this faith-based movie.

Kurt Warner (left) and Zachary Levi appear on "Good Morning Football" together to discuss "American Underdog."
Kurt Warner (left) and Zachary Levi appear on television together to discuss "American Underdog." Image: "Good Morning Football"/NFL Network.

With a Christmas release date, publicity is now heating up for American Underdog, the movie about retired National Football League great Kurt Warner. Actor Zachary Levi, of Chuck and Shazam fame, will portray the devout Christian athlete on the big screen and the two of them got together this morning on the small screen for an interview about the picture.


The movie tells the incredible story of Warner's journey from an undrafted quarterback from a second-tier college who was at one point stocking grocery store shelves before ultimately making it to the then St. Louis Rams' roster and leading them to a Super Bowl title. The film also stars Anna Paquin as Warner's wife, Brenda, and Dennis Quaid as coach Dick Vermeil, and Levi told the NFL Network's Good Morning Football show "It was awesome" to work with them.


The 41-year-old Louisiana native describes Warner's story as "very powerful," adding that the movie is "25% football and 75% family and relationship." He worked closely during production with the retired player, who - together with Brenda - is an executive producer of the film, which is based on a book Warner wrote. In this morning's interview, Levi stated that the movie project is a special one.

"I just feel very blessed. I feel like the whole thing felt very fated. I felt God's fingerprints were all over it."

At another point, the discussion turned to Warner himself. Levi acknowledged that the former QB is a dedicated Believer, but added that Warner is also very competitive, which prompted some amusing repartee between the two men.

Levi: "He's an incredible man - I'm super honored that I get to play him - but he is an incredibly salty competitor. There's no doubt about that. Warner: Salty? That's kind of a strong word. I've never thought of myself as salty. Levi: Oh, you can get salty, Kurt. (Warner laughs at the retort.)"

This film is co-directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, the brother team that's among the top filmmakers in the Christian genre, and who have another film starring Levi - Unbreakable Boy - coming out next year. As for American Underdog, it hits theaters across the nation on December 25th, Christmas Day, and the trailer below will whet your appetite in the meantime.