University of Kansas

Director of ‘The Last Whistle’ explains why he cast KU coach Les Miles for the movie

Kansas football coach Les Miles got a lot of face time during the broadcast of the College Football Playoff national championship game in January.

Miles starred in commercials for Dos Equis and Dr Pepper that aired during the game and furthered his acting career. In addition to the sideline at KU football games, Miles will be seen in a couple of movies: “The Last Whistle” and “The Challenger Disaster.”

The latter is available now on Amazon Prime, while “The Last Whistle” is expected to hit theaters later this month.

The plot of the “The Last Whistle,” according to IMBD: “When the all-star player of the local high school football team collapses during practice, all eyes turn to the storied head coach. Instead of mollifying the situation, the coach tries to maintain the team’s winning streak. The town turns against him, leading to a lawsuit from the player’s mother.”

The movie’s director, Rob Smat, explained why Miles was cast for the role of Billy.

“Bringing Les into the film was a pretty exciting journey, and started with how we wanted a grassroots approach to our audience,” Smat wrote in an email. “We talked producing opportunities with Emmitt Smith’s team and Drew Brees’ people, because we wanted someone on the film who would attract football fans. Moreover, the subject matter of the movie can seem pretty scary, and we wanted folks to trust that we weren’t doing another film likeConcussion,’ which would make football seem like a bad sport.

“But both of them decided that they weren’t all that interested in producing movies at the moment. So, when we found out that Les was acting in between HC positions, we felt he would be perfect for the film. He was nice enough to fly up to Fort Worth for the day and audition with us, and once we were able to schedule him around his Dos Equis and Dr Pepper shoots, we cast him and brought him back to advise Brad Leland on the football scenes.”

Smat said the movie will be shown at Screenland Crossroads, 1701 McGee St., from June 28 to July 4, and Miles likely will be there the first weekend.

Here is the trailer

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