What: A preview teaser for Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars went viral thanks to the raw (and hilariously self-aware) intensity of John Malkovich.
The NFL’s David vs. the NFL’s Goliath, for the right to play in the Super Bowl.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 21, 2018
Why we care: Look, getting John Malkovich for an “offbeat” NFL playoff teaser isn’t the most original idea in the world–just ask Squarespace’s 2017 Super Bowl ad–but here, CBS was still able to pull off something pretty special.
CBS Sports creative director Pete Radovich told Sports Illustrated about the incredibly tight timeline to get this thing made, and collaborating with the award-winning actor. “We simply reached out to his agent and explained the concept, and luckily for us, he turned out to be a big sports fan. I followed up by sending links to some my previous opens. Within 24 hours, I was emailing script ideas directly with John Malkovich. It was surreal. We shot it on Wednesday morning at the New England Conservatory, which is near his home in Boston. It was the perfect setting and our director of photography, Joyce Tsang, crushed it. Malkovich was in and out within four hours. It was truly a professional dream come true.”