Sydney Roosters stars including former halfback Mitchell Pearce, retired captain Boyd Cordner and even club supremo Nick Politis have been immortalized at Hollwood – and they didn’t know it at all.
The Chooks are currently in the United States preparing for their historic clash against the Brisbane Broncos at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and have just discovered that the club has been featured in Hollywood movies and TV shows for years.
Former Sydney resident Josh Brandon invited Roosters players to his Los Angeles home last week for a barbecue, where the Tricolors superfan revealed his astute references.
Filmmaker Josh Brandon (pictured with his Back to the Future-inspired DeLorean) is a big fan of the Sydney Roosters and has introduced references to star players into his movies and movies.
The Roosters are currently in the United States ahead of the NRL season opener against the Brisbane Broncos and learned the truth when they visited Brandon’s home in Los Angeles.
One of the best was the reference to Politis. A tough character from the movie Bad Tenant shared his name, leaving Roosters players in stitches.
“Mr. Politis is not a man to mess with, son,” says a man while on top of a character he had just attacked in the movie.
—You have two days or you’re done, friend. Two days.’
Other references included Pearce as a character on the Fox drama Houdini & Doyle, an homage to former captain Boyd Cordner on the SyFy Network show Haven, and even a character named after Coach Trent Robinson in the movie Valentine’s Town.
A man featured in one of Brandon’s films talks about a ‘Mr Politis’ (pictured) and how people shouldn’t take his side, in reference to Roosters president Nick Politis.
A character in the Fox drama Houdini & Doyle (pictured) references Mitchell Pearce, who is also the former Roosters halfback who won the premiership.
A reference to Roosters player Sitili Tupouniua is seen in one of Brandon’s many television shows and films.
Veteran Sydney Roosters full-back Michael Jennings was also honored in one of Brandon’s works (pictured)
Other past and present players who will appear in Brandon’s work include Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Michael Jennings, Luke Keary, Mitch Aubusson, Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua, Daniel Tupou, Brett Morris, Joey Manu and Lindsay Collins.
Even NRLW star Isabelle Kelly and life member Cathy King get a mention.
“My family has always been Roosters fans,” Brandon, who also co-wrote William Shatner’s book Boldly Go, told Sydney Morning Herald.
‘My dad and grandfather always took me to the games and we bonded over our love for the Roosters.
‘I have been present at all the grand finals, I flew to England for the World Club Challenge. “I even turned my wife into a Roosters fan and she’s American.”
It is not the first time that the NRL has been linked to the American entertainment industry.
Three-time Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe is the NRL’s strongest link to Hollywood films.
After a stellar career in rugby league, Ian Roberts turned his attention to acting and has played many roles over the years.
The NRL’s most famous connection to Hollywood is undoubtedly three-time Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe, who is also co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
But there have been plenty of other links between the Australian rules football code and the big screen over the years.
Former Manly, South Sydney and North Queensland hardman Ian Roberts has also built up an impressive CV in Hollywood.
Former Australian footballer and actor and television presenter Matt Nable has appeared in several Hollywood television shows and films.
Football fans were curious to know why Hollywood star John Cusack wore an old, battered Australian Kangaroos jersey in his 1985 film The Sure Thing (pictured).
He has landed roles in films such as Red Dust alongside Hilary Swank, Disgrace with John Malkovich and Gods of Egypt with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
More recently he has starred in the science fiction television show parody The Adventures of the West Bros, which is inspired by film techniques used between 1930 and 1950.
Former Manly and South Sydney star Matt Nable, who also works for broadcaster Fox Sports, has also established a strong acting resume.
In addition to his iconic role as Grub in the football film The Final Winter, Nable also appeared alongside Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Jason Statham in the 2011 film Killer Elite and with Vin Diesel in the 2013 sci-fi thriller Riddick. .
Queensland actor Ben Lawson got the wardrobe department to buy him a Maroons State of Origin jersey to wear in the TV series Firefly Lane.
Lawson also wore this 1995 North Queensland Cowboys throwback jersey on the hit show.
Former Neighbors actor Ben Lawson also managed to introduce a bit of rugby league folklore to Hollywood during his star turn in the acclaimed Netflix show Firefly Lane.
He got the wardrobe and wardrobe department to buy a vintage Queensland Maroons jersey that he wore on the show. He also appeared wearing a North Queensland Cowboys NRL retro strip.
And who could forget the wild moment American actor John Cusack wore an Australian Kangaroos jersey in the 1985 Hollywood film The Sure Thing?
Cusack wore the shirt three times during the film, but claimed it was just a random wardrobe choice. More like a football fan like Brandon set him up.