How Six Green Bay Packers Players Ended Up in 'Pitch Perfect 2'

Lindsay Cronin

If you went to see Pitch Perfect 2, the 2015 follow-up to the debut film in 2012, you likely recall an unexpected scene featuring several Green Bay Packers players. But how did their roles come about?

According to a report, their cameos actually came into fruition on Twitter through Elizabeth Banks, the wife of producer Max Handelman.

“We had heard online that there were a number of pro athletes who were big fans of Pitch Perfect,” Handelman told PEOPLE in December 2020.

David Bakhtiari Took a Chance With Elizabeth Banks

Pitch Perfect 2 | YouTube

“We came to learn that the primary fans were these Green Bay Packers,” he continued.

As he explained, his wife followed David Bakhtiari, an offensive lineman, on Twitter and ultimately, Bakhtiari reached out to the actress and comedian, requesting he and his buddies be put into the then-upcoming film.

“He subsequently direct messaged her and said, ‘We are massive fans and would love to do anything in the movie we could.’ Elizabeth said, ‘That’s really funny, you should talk to my husband who’s a huge football nerd.’ David and I started talking from there,” Handelman recalled.

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Clay Matthews and T.J. Lang

Because Handelman and Banks wanted to make the film franchise's iconic riff-off scene even more memorable as they embarked on the second installment, they felt it would be a good idea to move forward with Bakhtiari's suggestion and ultimately, linebacker Clay Matthews, offensive linemen T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Josh Sitton, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ younger brother Jordan were brought aboard to create what came to be a famed moment.

“I think it shocked everyone. That’s really them singing and dancing,” Handelman said.

Packers Better Than Expected

Pitch Perfect 2 | YouTube

"They learned their choreography literally the night before we shot. What was amazing about them, they kept saying to us, ‘Don’t worry. We’re taking this super seriously. We’re professional athletes. This is what we do. We want to look really good,'” Handelman shared.

“I don’t think anyone expected them to be as good as they were until we saw them on the day,” he added.

During a chat with Packers.com, via Bustle, Lang looked back on their casting.

"A lot of determination by Dave to set the whole thing up – determination-slash-desperation, because he was at it quite a bit trying to get a hold of the producers to get us in the movie...shockingly, they actually let us in after all his desperate tweets and phone calls and emails. It was fun," Lang said.

Nervous at First

While appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, via CBS, actor Skylar Astin said the Packers "approached it kind of like they were going out of the tunnel for a big game, which was very exciting. They were so pumped up about it. They were very nervous at first."

He also said that while Matthews was "reluctant at first" to do his trademark flex celebration amid the scene in Pitch Perfect 2, he later learned that doing so was actually Matthew's idea.

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