The director of Bottoms has opened up about the heartfelt reason behind Marshawn Lynch’s casting.
On 25 August, the highly anticipated lesbian teen comedy was released in select US theatres.
Starring Bodies Bodies Bodies star Rachel Sennott as PJ and The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri as Josie, the film follows the two queer teenagers and their journey of creating a fight club to “impress and hook up with cheerleaders”.
“Their bizarre plan works. The fight club gains traction, and soon the most popular girls in school are beating each other up in the name of self-defense,” reads the official synopsis.
“But PJ and Josie find themselves in over their heads and in need of a way out before their plan is exposed.”
Since its release, Bottoms has received universal acclaim from viewers and critics, with many praising the film for its “subversive” story and the comedic performances of the cast, including Lynch.
In the movie, the Super Bowl champ plays Mr G, PJ and Josie’s good-natured and clueless faculty advisor.
While Lynch’s casting in the LGBTQIA+ film seemed out of left field for some moviegoers, there’s a surprisingly sentimental reason behind it.
In a recent interview with GQ, Bottoms director Emma Seligman revealed that the former football star took the role because of his queer sister.
“In our first conversation, he told me that his sister is queer and when they were in high school, he didn’t necessarily handle it super well,” the Shiva Baby creator explained, who uses she/they pronouns.
“He felt like this movie coming into his hands was the universe giving a chance to right his wrongs. That’s what he said. He walked her down the aisle. He felt like they were all good, you know?
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“But his sister thought it’d be really cool if he did this. We had a couple more conversations about it, and eventually, he said yes!”
Lynch’s sister – Marressha Sapp-Lynch – echoed similar sentiments regarding his involvement in the film in an additional interview with People.
“From the beginning, when he read the script, he said that I came to mind,” she said.
“I was like, ‘Most definitely you should do it.’ I just told him, ‘It’ll get you to understand, get more knowledge about the lesbian community.'”
Sapp-Lynch also opened up about her relationship with the football star and how he initially didn’t understand her sexuality and coming out.
“[He] was understanding, but [he] didn’t understand. Marshawn had a lot of questions and was thinking it was his fault: ‘What did I do?’ Because growing up, he would always say I couldn’t have a boyfriend,” she explained.
“We’d go to a party, and he’d be asking everybody, ‘Did you dance with my sister?’ But I wasn’t attracted to boys, so I didn’t dance with them!”
Fortunately, as Seligman mentioned, the two have moved past their initial confusion and are closer than ever.
Bottoms is now playing in theatres in the US. As of this writing, a UK release date has yet to be announced.
Watch the trailer here or below.