Hot on the heels of winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams were determined to do the near-impossible: steal the attention from the draft.
Last month right before the NFL draft, the team released On the Clock, a short film that plays like a summer blockbuster but is actually a piece of branded content helmed by acclaimed director Paul Hunter with cinematography by three-time Academy Award winner Bob Richardson (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood).
The film stars Dennis Quaid as Kroenke, Josh Holloway as General Manager Les Snead, Scott Eastwood as Head Coach Sean McVay, and Tyrese Gibson as Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris.
Paul Hunter’s On The Clock also features members of the Super Bowl LVI championship squad including Kendall Blanton, Terrell Burgess, Aaron Donald, Tyler Higbee, Jordan Fuller, Van Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, David Long Jr., Jalen Ramsey, Nick Scott, Ben Skowronek and Matthew Stafford.
On the Clock is a stylishly thrilling, high-intensity heist film that will have fans on the edge of their seats and prove once and for all that the Rams are truly in a league of their own. Watch the film below:
REELated: Interview: Rams exec Marissa Daly on new branded film
Reel 360 News had a chance to sit with Lost, Yellowstone and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and one of the nicest guys on the planet, Josh Holloway, who still considers himself just a “good ol’ southern boy.”
I can’t lie, Josh. I’ve been a huge fan of yours since Lost.
Thank you, sir, appreciate that. Lost seems like forever ago. I’m still alive and kicking.
I saw the film and I dug it a lot.
Me too! I thought it was pretty damn funny. And so different.
So you’re playing general Manager Les Snead. What was that like?
Funny enough, I don’t follow any sports. BUT I PLAY ALL OF THEM! I’m a sports nut. I grew up playing my whole life. Everything. But I don’t follow them. A lot of my friends can rattle off statistics, coaches, standings and wins. They have their fantasy football leagues. I don’t do any of that.
I only watch the finals – NBA, Super Bowls. I’ll even watch the finals of cliff diving! But it has to be the finals.
When your agent calls you, how do you react when you hear they (Rams) want you to play Snead?
I knew generally about the Rams because I did watch the Super Bowl. But it was a character piece, so I said “Hell yes! I love that.” I was really excited because of the heist angle. The concept matters to me because as an actor, you have to keep your value on a certain level. You don’t want to do something trashy or unexpected that could hurt you.
So when the call came from my agent, I had to look up the Rams’ owners, general managers and even their defensive unit. I was like, “My god these are characters!”
I grabbed a bunch of interviews from Les and watched him closely. And it hit me – He’s just a good ol’ Southern boy like me!
On top of everything, these were the Super Bowl champions asking. And I live in Santa Barbara. This is my team. I support them. So, playing Les Snead made sense to me.
That’s funny. And fortunate!
Right! Playing Les wasn’t much of a stretch. He’s from ‘Bama (Alabama). His accent is a little different from my Georgia accent. I just went in there and found him to be a good guy I could understand. He wasn’t an evil bastard!
I studied the interviews, and got his movements and mannerisms down. He likes chewing on a straw and crossing his arms in a certain way. It was little things like that I picked up. And he won a Super Bowl!
How long did you have to learn the role?
I only had a day. They called me a day before I was supposed to be in Jackson Hole with my daughter skiing.
Oh my God. So you did all of this in a day?
Yes, one day – on the plane home from Jackson Hole, and then the next day, I went to set.
But, I really got into it. I was thinking it would be more like an SNL skit. I was ready for improv and blowing him (Les) up as a character because they said it’s a wink at stealing the draft. We’re going to do a heist.
Like Ocean’s 11. So, I was thinking this would be more comical, but it was amazing the way they did it and cut it together. It was perfect.
It seemed like you were all playing it for real, which is what makes it funny.
Exactly. That’s what made the “wink” work. I was just like, whoa, okay, you guys are playing it for real. And the funny part was, that we only had a day to get into character. But everyone pulled it off – they came with their own versions.
Can you talk about the filming?
Sure thing. I haven’t done a commercial for so long. I’m so used to working 16 hours hardcore. I come home to my wife bloody after killing people and then going again, but with this, I asked myself did I really go to work? I didn’t do anything today except drink a cappuccino. It was so much fun.
I had forgotten how fun commercials are and the Rams are so gracious and generous. It felt like a vacation. Of course, I’ll have a cappuccino. Thank you.
And there were so many moving parts.
It’s just amazing to me. In a day, you go through your wardrobe. Then they block you. And filming isn’t linear. So it was a bit discombobulated because you’re running lines for one scene and they’re trying to schedule superstar players who live in different places. During the off-season!
So they filmed who was in town first – Dennis (Quaid) and Scott (Eastwood). We would film the scenes, for instance, with Terrell Burgess not in them. Then when he was available shoot with the focus on him.
Right, right, right, flip the camera around.
Yes. But all productions on the first day are a little bumpy because you’re just meeting everyone.
It was fun and easy and just a good time. The experience really opened my eyes to the realm of professional sports. I’ve gone to one professional football game my entire life and I was a child and maybe to baseball games. And one Lakers game… I think.
So this kind of opened my eyes to that again.
I see you’re re-teaming with J. J. Abrams for the HBO Max series, Duster.
Can you say anything about that? Or is it highly secretive?
It’s incredibly secret. If I say anything, I would probably be killed. That’s the way it always is with J.J. but we did film the pilot and it was amazing. That’s all I can say. And we start up production in September.
I have to ask this for the Lost fans out there – if there was ever a reboot would you be in it?
Hell yes, I’d do it! Can’t be a Lost reboot without Sawyer.
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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1