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‘Father Figures’ football scene taught Owen Wilson about NFL pain

Owen Wilson (left) and Ed Helms in "Father Figures." | WARNER BROS.

LOS ANGELES — One thing Owen Wilson learned from making “Father Figures” (opening Friday) was “a little bit how guys in the NFL, like on the Chicago Bears or the rest of the teams, feel when they get tackled by one of those behemoths — those huge guys who do the serious tackling in pro games.”

The actor was talking about a scene in the film where his character goes out to catch a long pass on a Miami beach thrown by Terry Bradshaw (who plays himself). Just as Wilson catches the pass he is upended by Ving Rhames, who plays another retired NFL pro. “My neck is still a little stiff from that,” said Wilson with a rueful smile.

“I always do think of your [Chicago] team as one of those that really made hard hits on the field over the years. Now I can somewhat relate.”

Wilson’s co-star, Ed Helms, who plays his fraternal twin brother, laughed remembering them shooting that scene. In the film, the brothers go on a contentious road trip in hopes of finding their birth father, after their mother reveals the man they thought was their dad was a figment of her imagination.

Bradshaw is one of the series of men (also including J.K. Simmons and Christopher Walken) playing a potential long-lost father to the twins.

Helms was amused by the bonding that happened in a small scene when he and Wilson’s character are checking into a budget motel. The desk clerk literally speaks so softly he can barely be heard. “That front desk whisperer scene was Ed’s favorite scene in the movie,” chortled Wilson. “He told me that over, and over, and over again!”

“I could hardly get through that scene, because I kept cracking up, because the guy playing the clerk was so deadpan — and so hilarious!” added Helms.

The kicker? “That actor, playing the clerk? That was my older brother, Andrew Wilson,” said Owen. “Now here we are, shooting this film. He’s got one little scene and again he’s outshining me, just like we were back in Dallas as kids!

“Time for the sidekick to come out and take a bow for his 60-second scene in ‘Father Figures’!”