Who Should Play Suzy Kolber in Forthcoming Joe Namath Biopic?
Word on the street is that James Mangold is in talks to direct a biopic about the legendary New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath. While there appears to be no script as of yet, the film would no doubt cover all the crucial milestones of Namath's life, from leading his team's heroic upset of the Colts in Super Bowl III to shilling for Hanes BeautyMist pantyhose to his stunning, drunken on-air flirtation with ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber in 2003. The high-profile project will make for one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood, for which every agent in Hollywood will have only one question for the filmmakers: "Who's playing Kolber?"
Aside from the Eli Manning-to-David Tyree miracle pass in Super Bowl XLII, few televised interchanges of the last decade had a more lingering impact on the National Football League as Namath-to-Kolber. Memorialized here two weeks ago, his slurred come-on "I want to kiss you" was one of the all-time highlights of drunk celebrity interviews, and it will surely have the same enduring repercussions when adapted for the screen by the director of Walk the Line.
And as plum roles go, it's hard to imagine a more stirring opportunity for any Hollywood actor than the chance to play Kolber, whose sideline fortitude and quick-thinking reply, "I'll take that as a huge compliment," signified a classic example of grace under pressure. A lot of guys can guarantee victory in a Super Bowl or conquer the hearts, minds and imaginations of New York City, but it takes a truly special individual to stay focused and win ant all costs when those guys bring half a bottle of scotch to reckon on you on live TV.
So: Who should it be? My money's on Ari Graynor, a Verge alumna who expertly assayed her grasp on the psychology of drunkenness Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and who stands to break out even further in the forthcoming true-crime thriller Holy Rollers. If it's comedy Mangold wants, Kristen Wiig might fit the bill even better.
I'd say the possibilities are endless, but really they're not. Sometimes it takes a legend to play a legend, and that will never be truer than in a Joe Namath biopic. May the best woman win.