For former Ally McBeal
star Gil Bellows
, landing the role of a former Notre Dame quarterback drafted to play for the Buffalo Bills in TNT's upcoming Second String
was easy. Of course, looking the part was another matter.
"I recently became a father, so the level of my athleticism was quite minimal," the actor admitted at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA. "In fact, I was heartily enjoying eating ? and just laying around the house and playing with my daughter... enjoying the spoils of fatherhood and celebrating with my wife the fact that we had a child. I was lazy and quite out of shape. So it was kind of a transformation for me."
As if that wasn't tough enough, Bellows also had to worry about the professional players sharing the field with him forgetting to pull their punches. Fortunately, the cast made sure the big boys didn't feel the need. "I think that they knew they could have put a lot of punishment on us if they wanted to and I think they just wanted to see what we were made of," he said. "Once they felt like they were playing with people who respected their abilities and
took what they did seriously, they were just going to make us look as good as possible."
To hear co-star Jon Voight tell it, however, cast member Richard T. Jones's baby daughter, Sydney, had it the toughest. The poor tot had to sit on her dad's lap while the fellas took in a Knicks game in Bellows's hotel room.
The boisterous bunch got a little too into the action on the court. "They're back and forth and hitting each other and stuff like that and little Sydney is going like this," Voight recalled, bouncing from side to side. "[T]hen she started crying. But that was it. The rest of the game she was bouncing. She just figured it out. That was the way it was going to be until the end of the game."