Brandon Routh: “Super” Straight Arrow
By: Lynn Barker
Did you know that the fun sport of lacrosse was invented a looong time ago by Native Americans? News to us. With the sport gaining popularity across North America, it was time for a feel-good underdog movie about a Native American high school lacrosse team with a lot of heart vs. a preppy team with better equipment and better-trained players.
When mixed-blood Native American Joe Logan (Brandon Routh) wants to bring money to his tribe by developing some of their reservation land, the tribal council and his own dad want him to prove his devotion to his people by coaching the guys to a victory. First, Joe has to get over his own painful memory of losing the big game when he played as a teen.
We’re in downtown Hollywood talking to gorgeous Brandon about the film and his latest projects.
Brandon at our interview
Kidzworld: You and Gil Birmingham (who plays Billy Black in the “Twilight” movies) came into the film with some fame baggage. You are the last Superman kids have seen on screen. How did the young player/actors react to you?
- Brandon: The guys on the team were star struck at first. “Whoa so you’re Superman” kind of the first day and then every day was a little bit less. They became more comfortable.
Kidzworld: Why will kids and teens really enjoy seeing Crooked Arrows?
Brandon: There are sports and the underdog story and a cute girl and good-looking guys in it. There is a little bit of love story for the kids and maybe for my character Joe and ex-girlfriend Julie to rekindle the flame. There is tension and good guys and bad guys and a lot of humor too.
Crooked Arrows poster
Kidzworld: We understand that you have some Native American roots in your family. What tribe?
- Brandon: Kickapoo. They are in the Midwest, Missouri and Kansas area. My family is from Iowa. It’s far down the line so I don’t have any real connection with that part of the ancestry but that was what was cool about doing the movie.
Kidzworld: Your sports in school were soccer and swimming. How did those help you with lacrosse?
- Brandon: Well soccer has the team aspect and the play style is very similar to Lacrosse. My love for sports I think was a big thing. I love to learn new sports, anything, any skill that I can practice on my own. I used to spend a lot of time practicing soccer skills by myself…. Wall ball.
Kidzworld: Any research into tribal culture for the film?
- Brandon: I didn’t have to do any research because it was basically brought to me. We had access to Neil Powless, one of the producers, who is the cultural representative as well and one of my lacrosse coaches. He played for the Iroquois team.
Kidzworld: Any training camp to go through and any injuries?
Brandon: Mostly the teen guys were out there but I was there practicing while they were doing their three weeks of boot camp. They all really play so they didn’t have to learn how but they had to learn the basic plays for each game in the movie. They had to be able to get it right first time.
Brandon at our interview
Kidzworld: Is the game as brutal as it looks? The guys where hitting each other with their sticks.
- Brandon: Well, fouls happen and, of course it’s amped up for film to make it more exciting but you do get hit. You are only supposed to get hit if you have the ball. But nobody got hurt so bad they couldn’t play.
Kidzworld: Any fun hanging out with the cast during the shoot?
- Brandon: Well, I was pretty busy being in almost every scene of the movie so I just did a lot of sleeping on my off time but the guys were fun on set. You can see the outtakes under the credits at the end with them doing silly things, celebration dances. They were fun to work with and kept it lively.
Kidzworld: How was working with Chelsea Ricketts (of TV’s “Secret Life”) as your little sis?
- Brandon: We met for the first time out in Boston and she’s a great actress and brings some really awesome energy to the movie. She holds her own against me and the boys and she had to do that when she was on set. She was the only girl, and a good looking girl close to the same age as all those boys, wow. Everyone was looking out for her but I kind of took on the older brother role a little bit. They were respectful enough but still, plenty of teasing.
Kidzworld: What, as an actor and a person, did you take away from being in this film?
Brandon: I think I learned that we’re all the same. That’s a silly thing to say but we don’t often have a lot of interaction with the Native American community in our country and I think this movie highlights that we don’t see contemporary Native Americans featured in film and television.
Brandon as Joe with tribal elder
We only see them in stereotypical roles and that’s not always bad but these are young kids who play lacrosse. Just like everyone else, they’re on Facebook. It’s an opportunity for us to investigate each other more. The little gap created between us can close and influence both ways.
Kidzworld: What is next for you?
- Brandon: I’m in the new TV show “Partners” on CBS. (Note: he’ll be a regular on the funny TV series by the guys who created the long-running series “Will and Grace”. Brandon plays the “nurse” boyfriend of one of the lead characters while Sophia Bush (of “One Tree Hill” on TV plays the girlfriend of the other).
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