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THE MOVIE: The Game Plan

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson • Madison Pettis • Roselyn Sanchez
DIRECTOR: Andy Fickman

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Madison Pettis, and Tubbs THE CONCEPT:
Superstar quarterback Joe Kingman (Johnson), who lives the ultimate bachelor life, is shocked when 8-year-old Peyton (Pettis) turns up at his front door declaring that she’s his daughter. Kingman soon finds his attention divided between the upcoming championship game and rehearsing to play a tree in Peyton’s ballet recital.

U.S. RELEASE: September 28 2007, Nationwide • Rated: PG


Director Andy Fickman“I loved the notion of who this guy was and the whole relationship with his daughter. I have a 10-year-old son, so just that dynamic of trying to balance work and family also spoke to me in a profound way. Dwayne clearly was the perfect person for this role because he has the ability to laugh at his own image. The audience has to believe Joe is the coolest and most studly of athletes – yet, at the same time, the comedy has to stem from how completely out of the loop he is when it comes to parenting and every day life.”

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Tubbs“It’s great when you can create a character like this from scratch. For me, personally, I love comedy. Physical comedy is great, dark comedy is great, but self-deprecating comedy, for me, always takes the cake, so to speak. It’s great when you just have the ability to laugh at yourself. I think we all should. For me, putting on the ballet outfit to the bubble bath is funny. That appealed to me. And selfishly for me, being a proud daddy, I have a little 6-year-old girl at home who challenges me every day, just like Madison challenged me in the movie, I wanted to make a movie that she could come and see.”

ROSELYN SANCHEZ (Monique, Peyton’s ballet teacher):
Roselyn Sanchez“They saw a lot of girls for this role, and I remember they asked me specifically if I had a dance background. I said yes, but they didn’t make me do anything. I got the role and they told me, ‘You’ve got to go to Boston to rehearse for three weeks,’ and I thought, ‘That’s a lot of acting rehearsal.’ I landed and they took me to the Boston Ballet, and said, ‘Did you bring your [ballet] clothes? We need to know if you can do the dancing, as your character does a full on recital where you have to dance.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ I was shaking, but did the rehearsal. They called Andy immediately saying, ‘She’s going to be able to do it.’ But it was a lot of pressure.”

JOHNSON on his tree outfit for the recital:
“The moment I put it on I was like, ‘Wow, it’s really tight and very thin, this is a Disney movie!’ I went to see Andy and I said, ‘Andy, come and look at this really quickly,’ because we were about ready to shoot. I opened up [my robe] and he said, ‘Can we start to cover this up?’ So we started to add layers where we had to.”

“Madison is incredible; she’s like a 30-year-old in the body of a 7-year-old, so smart, so outspoken and talented. It’s her first movie, and I’ll never forget at the read through she had memorized the entire movie and was the only one interacting with everybody. We were like, ‘Are you kidding?’ That day I realized, this is her movie.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #688, October 2007 cover

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