If the prospect of a football strike has you feeling sentimental, let the "The Replacements" cast (2000) bring back the memories of the 1987 Pro Football strike depicted in this charming, if slightly predictable, ensemble comedy.
Keanu Reeves Say what you will about Mr. Reeves’ acting abilities or career choices, but no other actor has inspired such good will that an official “Cheer Up Keanu Day” was created on June 15, 2010. Inspired by a sad looking picture, fans from across the internet shared concern and encounters with Keanu stories. Reeves' unusual mix of humble workman ethos and movie star looks made him the perfect choice for quarterback Shane Falco in “The Replacements.” His unusual mix of stoner dude (“River’s Edge" and “Bill & Ted’s”), determined good guy (“Point Break” and "Speed"), and chosen one (“The Matrix” trilogy and “Little Buddha”) has made him a leading man and one of the richest stars in Hollywood for going on 25 years. Go ahead and mock him; he does it himself, but he’s likely to still be around for another quarter century.
Jon Favreau as Daniel Bateman, the hard-charging cop turned football player in “The Replacements” brings his solid, if schlubby, comedic charms to the movie. Since “Swingers” (1996), Favreau has been a reliable comic performer in roles from the TV show “Friends” (as the millionaire/Ultimate Fighting contestant that woos Monica) to side parts in “The Break-up” (2006) and “I Love You Man” (2009). But, it is his talent as a director that has brought him to the Hollywood A-list. With blockbusters “Elf” and the two “Iron Man” films, he has his choice of big films and big budgets. Next up for Favreau, he directed the sci-fi/western hybrid “Cowboys & Aliens” (2011) based on the cult comic book.
Gene Hackman as Jack McGinty, like the coach he played in “Hoosiers” (1986), is the spark that fuels an ordinary team into a winning team. The two-time Academy Award winner (“The French Connection” 1971, “The Unforgiven,” 1992), has relied on everyman looks to work in an impressive range of roles and films from the era defining “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) to heroic epics like “The Poseidon Adventure” and the “Superman” series (as uber-villain Lex Luther) to comedic gems like “Young Frankenstein” (1974) and “The Royal Tennenbaums” (2001).
Rhys Ifans Much like the football character he plays in “The Replacements,” Nigel 'The Leg' Gruff, Ifans does not make an impressive first impression, but his cocky attitude has taken him from small town Wales to the London stage to his upcoming part as the villain The Lizard in “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012). His ordinary looks make him a perfect comic foil and scene stealer in a variety of star vehicles from “Notting Hill” (1999), “Greenberg” (2010) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” as Xenophilius Lovegood. His charm also seems to extend to the ladies, as he was briefly engaged to the lovely Sienna Miller, before she returned to Jude Law.
Jack Warden had his final role in “The Replacements” as team owner Edward O’Neil, capping a 50 year career in film that spanned from early roles in John Huston’s “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) and the classic “12 Angry Men” as an MGM contract player. From the early TV years in the 1950s through the early 1970s, he was a steadily working character actor, appearing in every type of program from "Twilight Zone" to "Bewitched." Then in 1972, he garnered attention and an Emmy win for his performance in “Brian’s Song” and began appearing regularly in feature films, usually as a gruff but basically heartfelt character. He was nominated twice for Academy Awards for his supporting performances in “Shampoo” and “Heaven Can Wait.”
- Marina Chavez