It was the question many were asking, but no one delivered it quite like Matt Dillon’s character Healy in “There’s Something About Mary:” “What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?”
Favre, or at least the pronunciation of Favre’s name (“Fav-ruh”), was a running joke throughout the 1998 comedy from the brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly, who directed the movie.
And in the end of the film’s third act, Hancock County’s Favre makes his acting debut, playing himself in a scene with all of the primary stars of the movie including Dillon, Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz.
But according to a 2014 interview with the Farrellys, Favre wasn’t the top choice for the film. He wasn’t even the second choice.
During an interview on the “Rich Eisen Show,” the Farrellys said they originally wanted then-New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe to appear in the film as Diaz’s long-distance love interest. But a mosh pit accident kept Boston’s first NFL golden boy off the silver screen.
Peter Farrelly told Eisen their second choice was San Francisco’s Steve Young, who was also the 49ers’ second choice at quarterback before he replaced Joe Montana.
Farrelly said Young declined because of the film’s R-rating. You know, because Young was a Mormon and the film built entire scenes around male genitalia and bodily fluids.
This means that the Kiln’s pride and joy was drafted in the third round to join the film crew on location in Miami.
It’s worth noting that Young and Favre were also fierce competitors on the field, as the road to the Super Bowl in the mid-to-late 90s usually involved the Packers and the 49ers. And Favre and Bledsoe had just met in Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997. The Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21.
Favre appeared live from his Hancock County home on the episode of the Eisen show, which originally aired on Nov. 5, 2014. Favre was good-natured about the revelation, saying if he had known he was the third choice, he “wouldn’t have done it.”
When asked about his experience on the film, Favre told Eisen, “If ever I had felt like a rookie, it was then.”
“The Gunslinger” also showed his comedic timing when he revealed that during a scene cut from the film, he had the perfect reply to Dillon’s question with “I’m in town to play the Dolphins you dumb a--.”
Favre will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. I went over to the Kiln this week to see check out the vibe before his big day.
I was visiting with one of the cashiers in Dolly’s Quick Stop because where else are you going to talk Favre but the place with the tribute to Favre painted on the side of its building?
Life imitated art when I asked her if she likes Favre. And without missing a beat and much like Diaz’s scene at the end of the movie with Stiller, she said, “He’s OK. I’m a 49ers fan.”