But would he be married to Icebox? Junior Floyd would have still loved football in his adult life — just ask Devon Sawa, who played him in the 1994 comedy Little Giants.
“He is raising a family in a small town and is going on and on about his glory days as a high school quarterback,” Sawa, 39, said, predicting where he would be today. “Maybe he did a year of college before he was injured. I’ve really thought about this way too much apparently. I like to think that he’s a nice, wholesome guy living somewhere with a nice family.”
Junior, after all, grew up in a quaint Ohio town — along with the O’Shea brothers. In the film, Danny O’Shea (Rick Moranis) gets convinced by his daughter Becky (aka “Icebox”) to start his own peewee football team after his brother Kevin O’Shea (Ed O’Neill) cuts her during try outs because she’s a girl. Danny enlists Junior as one of his players to try to take down Kevin’s Cowboys team. Becky (Shawna Waldron), naturally, had a crush on her new teammate.
“Being from Canada I was a hockey guy. But I was very athletic so it was able to translate really well,” Sawa says. “It was nerve-racking and it was a pretty big production. It was pretty big coming from Canada into a set of a really big Warner Bros. set with hundreds of kids dressed in football pads. It was pretty surreal.”
Bonus: He was a big fan of Married with Children. “Some of my favorite moments of being on set were working with Al Bundy,” he says, referring to O’Neill’s famous TV character. “At the time I was 13, Married with Children was on fire, and here Al Bundy would come in every day on set. I remember that would just blow my mind. It was crazy.”
Sawa still keeps in touch with some of his former costars. “Joey Simmrin lives close to me. We see him all the time. He was just at my kid’s birthday party. He played one of the Cowboys. Shawna and I saw each other 10 years ago. She was working as a producer on a movie that I was doing,” Sawa tells Us.
And remember who Junior threw toilet paper rolls at? “The guy that played “hot hands” [Troy Simmons] — I keep in touch with him,” he says, “believe it or not.”
For more, read the rest of his Q&A in our Now and Then series:
US: What was your experience as a child actor?
DS: I had a great experience as a child actor. There’s two things: Living in Canada at that time, a lot of those teen magazines and stuff really didn’t really make it to where I was living. The success of being a child actor wasn’t showing in the town that I was living in. So I got to go home and just be a normal kid. And then I got to travel around the world to different places and work with all of these amazing people. It’s been a really incredible journey.
US: How did you land the role of Casper?
DS: I put myself on video cassette tape, sent it down to Hollywood and like five days later I got a call. I remember my parents went out of town and I was stuck with my grandmother. And I got a call like, ‘[Steven] Spielberg would like you to fly down to Hollywood tomorrow.’ My grandmother and I got on a plane in first class — we’ve never been on first class before — it was nutty. We came down, met Spielberg and that was it. I stuck around and did Casper and Little Giants back to back.
US: Do fans ever recite your famous movies to you?
DS: I’m sure you can imagine I get “Can I kiss you?” quite a bit.
US: Do you think Casper will ever get a reboot?
DS: I can see it. I can see them rebooting it. I’m sure it would be completely different but it’s such a cool little character that I’m sure they would reboot it with somebody. I remember I made the mistake of tweeting about a Casper sequel as a joke and it went viral. Apparently I have to do brackets of “Just kidding” before. I only worked on Casper for maybe a week. There was another young boy who was the voice of Casper. They decided last-minute to shoot a version of Casper coming back to life and that’s when they brought me in. They didn’t even know if they would use it or not and it got used — lucky me.
US: What was your audition like for Little Giants?
DS: It was my second Hollywood movie ever and there was no audition. I was shooting Casper and Spielberg was the producer of Casper and he was shooting Little Giants at the same time. He offered me the role of Junior Floyd as I was shooting Casper.
US: Do you have any memorabilia from any of the films?
DS: I believe I have my Little Giants football helmet.
US: Have your kids watched your coming-of-age movies?
DS: No. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just weird. I’m sure one day I’ll show them to them. I’m just hoping I don’t get, ‘Dad, you’re such a dork!’ But they’ll see them one day.
US: Do you regret any of your ‘90s style choices?
DS: Aw man, hairstyle no because that was one of the defining hairstyles of the ‘90s. Would I ever sport it again? No, but I could go through all those teen magazines and pick out a lot of outfits that I would never want myself to wear again.