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OTech Alumni Marshawn Lynch Graces our Theater Screens with his role in ‘Bottoms’

Former Oakland Tech alumni Marshawn Lynch recently made his movie debut in Emma Seligman’s film, ‘Bottoms.’ The movie is a raunchy comedy that revolves around two lesbian teenagers who start a fight club at their school to catch the attention of their crushes. Starring Rachel Sennott, who previously worked with Seligman on her senior thesis film, ‘Shiva Baby,’ and Ayo Edebiri (‘The Bear’ and ‘Theater Camp’), ‘Bottoms’ offers a much-needed lighthearted portrayal of queer teens just being silly.

In the film, Lynch takes on the role of Mr. G, the club sponsor for the two lesbian teenagers’ so-called fight club. 

Many people, including Seligman herself, wondered why Lynch chose to work on this type of film. Surely, this is not the kind of movie that a former NFL star typically takes on as their first major character in a film, right? 

“It gave me an opportunity to correct my wrongs, to rewrite my mistakes.” Lynch explained, in an interview. 

Lynch revealed that his sister, Marreesha Sapp-Lynch, came out to him as a lesbian when he was 16. Lynch says that he “didn’t handle it the right way” as a teenager. Lynch saw this role as a way to redeem himself and to learn more about the queer community. Seligman, the writer and director of ‘Bottoms,’ noted that Lynch frequently brought up his sister while on set.

Sapp-Lynch came out in high school and shared with People magazine that a film featuring shameless and unapologetic queer high school girls being themselves on screen “would’ve helped me feel more at ease and better about being who I am.”

Those familiar with Seligman’s previous work, such as ‘Shiva Baby,’ know her fondness for improv on set. Lynch, being new to acting in films, sought a more structured and firm approach to his first role. However, he quickly embraced the freedom he was given to shape his character. Seligman wanted unpredictability and spontaneity in each character, allowing Lynch to make Mr. G into the character he envisioned. In the film, Mr. G is not only an ally to the girls but also a real-life ally to his sister. You can now see Lynch, the former bulldog, in ‘Bottoms’ at the Grand Lake Theater.