Two men's lacrosse alumni to appear in new movie, Jeff Dowling '08 stunt double for star
COLCHESTER, Vt. - Former Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse student-athlete Jeff Dowling '08 (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) will serve dual roles on screen in the upcoming lacrosse-themed film "Crooked Arrows," including acting as the stunt double for the star of the film. According to publicity for the movie, which opens in limited release tomorrow and wider release on June 1, it is the first major motion picture to focus on the sport.
Dowling was selected from a pool of more than 1,000 players, while Taylor Smoke '09 (Hogansburg, N.Y./Vermont Academy) is also featured in the movie's opening sequence. All of the players on the fictional teams depicted in the movie are real-life lacrosse players, each of whom currently play or have played at the collegiate level. As one of the high school players in the film, Dowling was cast by sports film veteran Mark Ellis, who also choreographed the action after previously working on such films as "Invincible," "We Are Marshall," "The Rookie," "Miracle" and "Any Given Sunday."
A four-year member of the Purple Knights, Dowling scooped up 96 ground balls as a defender during 50 career contests. He helped the Purple and Gold post a 34-26 mark between 2005 and 2008, including 27-14 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while three times advancing to an NE-10 Tournament semifinal contest. Smoke saw time in 58 games between 2006 and 2009, recording 93 ground balls as a long-stick midfielder and causing 25 turnovers.
"I think this movie is a huge step for the sport of lacrosse," said Dowling, who has remained active in the sport as a player and coach since graduating. Last July, Dowling found out about open tryouts for the movie from former teammate Mark Agostinelli '08 and, upon being selected after advancing through two rounds of tryouts, spent a month in Boston to train and film. "We had to learn 20 plays, and everything had to be choreographed. You know what the play is, and you know who on the other team is going to score, and as a defenseman, this goes against everything you have been taught. When I got to see the trailer of what we were shooting, I was blown away. The lacrosse scenes look awesome."
The movie follows the progress of a fictional Native American high school lacrosse team and its new coach, and how they overcome battles with better-trained and better-equipped prep school teams on their unlikely journey to the state prep school championship game. "Crooked Arrows" also focuses on a Native American high school team to honor the origins of the sport of lacrosse in the Native American community. The film stars Brandon Routh, who played the title role in "Superman Returns," with Dowling serving as Routh's stunt double for all of his high school lacrosse scenes.
The movie also features cameos by some of the nation's top college lacrosse coaches, including Syracuse University's John Desko and Gary Gait, and the University of Virginia's Dom Starsia. Several top lacrosse players appear in the movie, including two-time NCAA champion Paul Rabil; Zack Greer, the NCAA's all-time scoring leader; and former NCAA Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-America selection Brodie Merrill. The film's executive producer, Jeffrey McCormick, is a former lacrosse All-America at Syracuse.
For more information about the movie, visit its official website at crookedarrows.com.