Filming the Beast; On the Set of “Matt’s Chance”

Drivers and passersby in Bothell yesterday may have raised an eyebrow if they happened across this scene:

Marshawn Lynch, dressed as a thug, standing outside a bank and holding an automatic weapon.

Now, before you think “Jeez, Lynch, how can you be this desperate for cash after signing a deal worth something like $18 million,” rest assured that the bank was a set, the gun was a fake, and Lynch was only acting. Sort of.

This surreal scene was the day’s set for “Matt’s Chance,” a new feature film being shot in Seattle, starring Lee Majors, Edward Furlong, Gary Busey, and none other than our favorite Skittle-munching running back. The production company, Mirror Images Ltd., had tapped Lynch to play a role in the film, and the end result was a running-back-turned-actor who can barely contain his excitement in every shot.

Photo by Daniel Luu


Without giving any film details away, the day’s focus was getting several scenes of a bank robbery filmed, which consisted of Lynch and two other masked, gun-toting actors storming into a bank and screaming a lot. As with most movie sets, nothing ever goes exactly as planned in one take, so myself and fellow blogger Daniel Luu got a close-up look at Marshawn Lynch being….well, himself…over and over.

“He just kind of keeps going after the cameras turn off,” said Sophia Perez, our press contact for the day. “It’s really funny to watch.”

Sophia had been kind enough to reach out to SeahawkAddicts a few days before. She said watching Marshawn act had been the most amusing part of the movie so far — even more so than watching Edward Furlong getting dumped into Greenlake this week. (Yes, that actually happened. As part of filming, I’d hope.)

On the set of the bank, time and time again, Lynch was completely intense and in character. But that was contrasted sharply with the kind of goofy, light-hearted person Lynch is when the camera turned off. When someone yelled “Cut!” it was either as if he didn’t hear it, or might be looking at the beginnings of a career in improv. 

During one scene, instead of going for the intimidation factor, Lynch walked in, unmasked and smiling. He approached the counter with his gun pointing at the ground, smiling.

“Can y’all just give us the money?” he asked. “I was just thinkin’, y’know, I don’t like all this violence, man…” and he tried to go on, but cracked himself up in the process and ran out of the building, laughing hysterically.

Everyone in attendance, including Eric Williams from the Tacoma News-Tribune, laughed just as hard.

The day’s filming almost transformed into the Marshawn Lynch Show, had it not been for the presence of an actual movie being filmed and several other actors involved. After the scene was wrapped, the actors and some of the crew migrated over to a small converted storefront being used as a makeup and wardrobe area. Lynch was there, surrounded by several people of course, but he wasn’t above shaking hands with Daniel and myself, making eye contact and being genuine about the encounter. When he said “nice to meet you both,” he said it like he meant it. He could’ve easily snubbed the both of us entirely, but instead we had a brief conversation about the cookies his friend baked him and laughed more.

It’s not every day you get to shake hands and laugh with your favorite NFL running back. What was perhaps even more comforting was the fact that said running back is a humble, funny and approachable guy; appreciative to his fans and not afraid to be a dork.

“Matt’s Chance” will finish filming this week in Seattle, and should be set for a summer release date. It’ll be submitted to several festivals with the hope of a major release soon after that.

Check out more about the movie here: