In 1998, the Farrelly brothers released There’s Something About Mary, a movie starring Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon. It was obnoxious, kinda crazy and downright hilarious. In the movie, Stiller plays Ted Stroehmann, a man deeply in love with Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz) who went to extreme measures to stalk her. You’re likely familiar with it so I won’t go through the whole plot but there’s a cameo from Mary’s ex-boyfriend at the very end. That boyfriend was Brett Favre.
Here’s how he landed that role.
In an interview with Rich Eisen, the Farrelly brothers admitted that Favre wasn’t their first choice—or the second one for that matter.
“Our first choice was Drew Bledsoe. He was the stud at the time for the Patriots … but he had just gotten into a little,” Bobby Farrelly said.
“They had the mosh incident,” Peter Farrelly interjected. “He was a single guy, went out with his pals, they went to a club, he dove into a mosh pit and someone kind of tweaked their neck, nothing serious, but it was in the news. So he called us up and said ‘I can’t come do your movie in Miami because if they find out I did a movie after that they’re going to run me out of town.'”
That story’s a little more complicated than that. As the story goes, Bledsoe was at an Everclear show when the mosh-pit incident occurred. And the woman who “tweaked her neck” ended up having surgery . She later sued Bledsoe, the band, the club—pretty much everyone involved.
“In the suit, she claims that we invited Bledsoe and Lane on the stage,” said band manager Darren Lewis, referring to Tameeeka Messier’s claims against Everclear singer Art Alexakis, bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg Eklund. “That’s not true. If they were invited onstage, it was by security or someone at the Paradise.”
Near the end of Everclear’s show, Lane allegedly pressured a security guard identified only as McKenna to let him on the stage, but McKenna refused, saying it was forbidden by club policy, according to the suit. The lawsuit then charges that Lane told McKenna about betting Bledsoe that he could get onstage with the band. McKenna then asked singer Alexakis, who agreed to let Lane on the stage, according to the suit.
The lawsuit was later settled for $1.2 million.
But back to the issue at hand, how did Brett Favre get the role? With Bledsoe down, the Farrelly brothers turned to their next option, Steve Young.
“Then we went to Steve Young. And Steve Young called one day and said ‘That’s the funniest script I’ve ever read. But I cannot do it, because if I do it, it’s R-rated, and I know all the Mormon kids will be sneaking in and I wouldn’t feel good about that,'” the brothers recalled.
No Bledsoe, no Young, call in the emergency quarterback! And that my friends is how Favre landed his hilarious 4-line role in There’s Something About Mary.