Raymond Fiore and Adam B. Vary
February 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Missing teeth. Blood. Scars. With hockey’s full-body-check rep, is it any surprise that the hit heroes-on-ice film Miracle is conspicuously low on bankable Hollywood pretty boys? Actually, yes. A source close to the film reveals that most every young actor in town (down to Freddie Prinze Jr.) hoped to score a part in the feel-good film. But director Gavin O’Connor (Tumbleweeds) decided that the actors portraying the U.S. hockey team that took the Cold War onto the ice at the 1980 Winter Olympics shouldn’t fake it. Even if that meant turning away stars. Says Miracle’s sports coordinator Mark Ellis, ”Our only alternative…was to look for hockey players that had an unknown acting gene.” After testing over 3,000 puck slingers, they chose 20 men including just three with acting experience. O’Connor concedes that the team’s most familiar face, Eddie Cahill (left, as goalie Jim Craig), got a bit of help on the ice. ”That’s the one role I can cheat, ’cause he’s got a mask.”

You May Like