One of the more challenging roles for a serious actor is to play a character who is handicapped. How do you realistically portray the lifelong struggle and quiet bravery that can often accompany a limiting physical disability? While it can be one of the more difficult roles, it can also be the most rewarding.
On the flip side, you can star in a football movie. Talent required? None. There have been a lot of actors who have tried on the role, these are the top 11 fictional quarterbacks of all time. As is the case with any list that I produce, this is based on science and are quantified rankings. This is non-debatable.
#11 Any Given Sunday – Jamie Foxx
I also didn’t buy that he came in for like a game and a half and all of a sudden was on the cover of every magazine. Or wait… did I miss the subtext? Were they so astounded that a QB could be successful and have a mustache? Because that makes sense. Shit, that was pretty subtle though.
Realism Factor: 4 / 10
#10 That one episode of the Simpsons where Bart is in a football league- Nelson
Nelson is probably humanity’s finest quarterback. He has an arm like a rocket, he can run the ball, he can block for himself, and apparently he can run fast enough to receive his own passes. He doesn’t rely on the razzle dazzle, he’s very much an old school player who moves the ball by sheer force of will. The rest of the team is really just there to pour Gatorade on him after he wins the game.
Having said that, he loses a ton of points for being a cartoon and also I think they make reference to him being a smoker. QB’s do not smoke.
Realism Factor: 5 / 10
#9 Something about Mary – Brett Favre
I just didn’t buy him as a quarterback in this movie, mostly because he did very little quarterbacking. While I can see him nailing Cameron Diaz, I can’t see him losing her to Ben Stiller. He looked awkward out there, and it came across on screen. If you put him in a real game, he’d probably be killed inside of the first 4 plays. They should have gotten Vin Diesel.
Realism factor: 6/10
#8 Friday Night Lights, movie or TV show – ??
I saw the movie and barely remember it, something about one of the guys wanting his fathers respect and then he found his ring. I never saw the TV show. Regardless, whoever played this quarterback I think did a good job because I imagine that QB’s are always trying to earn their fathers respect and probably have trouble keeping track of their rings because you can’t wear a ring and throw a football at the same time.
Realism Factor: 6.5 / 10
#7 Keanu Reeves in the Replacements
This one is difficult for me as I loves me some Keanu. I think he’s a brilliant, expressive actor who brings layers of complexity to any role he’s in. I’m also the only human on earth who feels this way. You know when you were a kid you had those moments where you’d look around and say “am I the only one who’s not a robot”? and then you’d try to catch people turning into robots when you’re not looking? Like you’d look away and then turn around really fast, and go “AH HA!” hoping to catch people in robot form? But you never could? That’s what it feels like to actually enjoy the acting of Keanu Reeves.
Am I the only one who did this?
Anyway – I can’t remember this movie very well, but in general Keanu is quite athletic and has a good QB build.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10
#6 Necessary Roughness – Scott Bakula
The first time I wrote this, I typed “Scott Baio” so I’m subtracting a ton of points for that. I only buy Scott Baio as Chachi and Bob Loblaw, not as a QB. To a much lesser extent I slightly buy him as Charles in charge of my days and my nights. Scott Bakula has the same problem. If he’s not quantum leaping into bodies, I don’t want to know about it.
As I recall this story (poorly!) it might have been the most unrealistic football movie ever made. I think it also ripped off the plot from Major League pretty significantly. Wasn’t there some scene where a Hawaiian guy ninja kicked a defenseman in the face? Do they even let Hawaiian’s play football? After some consideration though, I’m giving this some added points because I think I love this movie even though I don’t really remember watching it.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10
#5 Everybody’s all American – Dennis Quaid.
In your face Jamie Foxx! Dennis Quaid is back baby, apparently in a romantic movie about football. Wait, what? Yeesh, I’m sure glad I never saw this. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to assume Dennis Quaid played the exact same character as he did in The Rookie, which was awesome. He threw the shit out of that baseball and he was a pretty good math teacher!
Realism Factor: 7 / 10
#4 The Longest Yard (the new version) – Adam Sandler
I know, I should be using the original movie. But I never saw it! I tried to watch it, but could only get about 12 minutes in. Burt Reynolds. I don’t know man. He just looks like a rapist.
I liked Adam Sandler as a quarterback, I really bought it. You know that scene where he’s playing basketball and he keeps getting fouled, but he doesn’t call the foul and he’s all tough? I could see a QB doing that. I think he was also tired and world-weary which is how I picture a lot of QB’s to be who have been arrested and sent to jail.
Realism Factor: 8.5/10
#3 Best little whorehouse in Texas – ???
We know very little about the actor who played the quarterback in this movie. I’m almost positive he is never mentioned by name. We certainly never see him play football. What we do know about him (whoever he is) is that he is quite an exceptional dancer, he has a great singing voice and he loves fucking shit-ugly hookers.
Realism Factor: 8.5 / 10
#2 Varsity Blues – James Van Der Beek
QB’s never want anyone’s life.
Realism Factor: 9.5/10
#1 The Last Boy Scout – Damon Wayans
This is another case where we don’t actually see the actor play any football so it’s tough to judge. In fact, the only time we see him even throw a ball is when he’s trying to stop rape, or fight crime atop horseback, which aren’t exactly typical circumstances an average QB would find themselves in (except in razzle-dazzle horseback rape plays, or I-11 out of the shotgun).
Nonetheless, he certainly does fit the archetype mold for a QB – a disgraced drug addict who mortgaged his own future by selling out to the mob only to redeem himself by teaming up with a drunken, self-hating private detective in a failing marriage and then go on to stop a sniper by throwing him into a helicopter.
Make sense to me.
Realism Factor: 10/ 10