In That's My Boy, a new comedy from Adam Sandler (out Friday), the Jets' coach cameos as Patriots-worshipping lawyer Jim Nance (named after the ex--Pats fullback), whose office is decorated with Belichick-and-Brady idolatry. SI spoke to Ryan about playing turncoat for the camera.
Were you a method actor for this movie?
I did a lot of studying. I went back and watched all the Robert De Niro movies to help me get into character.... No, when Adam Sandler called I thought it was [defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine busting my chops. I said, "Are you kidding me?"
Your character has a Bill Belichick bobblehead. Will you send Belichick a Rex Ryan bobblehead?
Shoot. I don't want him to send it back in pieces.
We heard that the film crew was mainly from Boston.
They were. I knew not to get any drinks from them—no sodas, no coffees. I wasn't going to take that chance.
Do you plan on passing along acting tips to your players?
We'll definitely have a team meeting, and I'll lay out my pointers. [Laughs.] Yeah, right.
What's the next role you're dying to play?