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THE GAME PLAN

Casting Joe Kingman's Daughter
While Dwayne Johnson was on board with THE GAME PLAN from the very beginning, the filmmakers faced a daunting task: how to find an irresistibly cute and sweet little girl who could also evoke the same sassiness, spunk and toughness of spirit as her on-screen dad? An extensive nationwide search led them to 7-year-old Madison Pettis of Arlington, Texas. A complete newcomer to moviemaking, Madison won the role of Joe's daughter, Peyton, in impressive auditions which demonstrated some real spunk along with her sweetness. Explains Andy Fickman: "When we screen-tested Madison with Dwayne, we all could see it. The very first time they interacted, Dwayne looked over at me with this face that said, ‘Wow…watch out for this one!'”

He continues: "Madison really embraced the emotional complexity of Peyton. After all, Peyton isn't just a Shirley Temple ragamuffin—she has plotted a major con and she has to pull it off. At the same time, Peyton is also going through a lot of hurt as well as hope in trying to discover a new father. I started out with my own ideas about Peyton, but Madison educated me every day on how much more the character of Peyton could be.”

The producers also knew they had lightning in a bottle once Pettis was cast. "Madison not only has a brilliant energy, but she even looks a bit like we thought Joe's daughter would,” says Gordon Gray. She also had a rare comic sensibility for someone so young. Comments Mark Ciardi: "Madison is so smart and funny that we continually laughed at what came out of her mouth. Once the cameras rolled, the chemistry between Dwayne and Madison just grew and grew.”

Madison also managed not to be intimidated by her hulk of a co-star. "Dwayne was just so nice to me,” she says of working side by side with "The Rock.” "The very first day we started shooting, he brought me doughnuts and told me that we were just going to have so much fun doing the movie. That meant a lot to me!”

But most of all, Madison loved being the one who changes Joe Kingman for the better. "Joe really is kind of a jerk at the beginning, and he doesn't even know it,” she observes. "But Peyton shows him what it's like to be nice. And, in the end, she realizes her dream of finding her father, too!”

All "The King's” Women: Roselyn Sanchez and Kyra Sedgwick When Joe Kingman is suddenly thrust into the foreign world of parenthood, his confidence is rocked by one situation after another that prove a whole lot harder than making plays on the field—including finding his bulldog dressed in a tutu by his ballet-obsessed daughter. But when he takes Peyton to enroll at Monique's Ballet School, he's in for a different kind of surprise: the beautiful, fiery Monique herself, who demands total discipline, including from Joe as a parent.

To play Monique, the filmmakers knew they would need someone with both a strong personality and an authentic dance background, which ultimately led them to multitalented actress Roselyn Sanchez. Sanchez, a dancer, model and singer who journeyed from Puerto Rico to New York to jumpstart her acting career, can currently be seen in the hit television series "Without a Trace” and was recently seen in "Rush Hour 3.” She immediately impressed the filmmakers. "Roselyn's a gifted dancer, she's beautiful and, on top of that, she can also act very tough,” says Gordon Gray. "We needed a woman with the strength to stand up to Joe Kingman.”

Director Andy Fickman liked that Roselyn was able to be as light on her feet as she was hard on woefully inexperienced dad Joe Kingman. "It was important to us to treat the world of ballet in the film with the same respect as the world of football,” he says.

"Roselyn grew up dancing ballet, and she learned an entire new ballet for our film, without using a dance double. She was also so much fu

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