There’s no stopping the brand that Orlando Pride star Alex Morgan has become.
The forward is in top form for club and country, with two goals and an assist during her past three NWSL appearances and five goals and an assist during her past three international friendlies.
She’s also growing in popularity off the pitch.
Morgan’s debut feature film “Alex & Me” is available Tuesday via digital distribution. It stars Morgan as herself alongside 13-year-old Siena Agudong (Nickelodeon’s “Star Falls”). Agudong plays Reagan Willis, who has dreams of becoming a soccer player like Morgan, who shows up in the teenager’s bedroom after Reagan bumps her head.
Morgan then trains Reagan.
“I wanted to eat, sleep, live, breathe soccer at that age, so making a movie like this for kids and teenagers was me thinking back to when I was a kid,” Morgan said.
“I think that the biggest thing to take away is obviously just being relentless and having the determination and self-belief to live out your dreams. That, for me, I think is the underlying theme of the movie, but I also want people to recognize that soccer is a growing sport in this country and know that there’s a demand for young kids to want to see soccer shows on TV and in the movies.”
Morgan said she was first contacted by Eric Champnella, who wrote and directed the movie, almost two years ago.
“I just told him to keep me in the loop if anyone picks up the movie,” Morgan said. “Warner Bros. ended up picking it up and from there it was pretty exciting. Obviously, I had to find a time that worked within my soccer schedule. That was probably the most difficult thing.”
The relationship between Morgan and Agudong’s character is at the center of the film. It translated into a friendship off camera between the two, which included bowling trips and a visit to a haunted house in New Orleans.
“I had to put on headphones and blast music,” Agudong said with a laugh. “Alex was the one leading everyone.”
She added, “[Morgan is] such an amazing person. I remember her walking in the room and the entire production room went silent and I was so starstruck. There’s a lot of things she could do that it was so amazing to see in person. She would juggle and it would just go on forever.”
Morgan said Agudong has the potential to be a future star actress.
“I just had so much fun doing this movie because of her,” she said. “She just made me feel so comfortable. It’s funny to say, talking about a 13-year-old in that way, but I learned so much from her. I had such a great time working with her.”
Agudong said she had some soccer experience before filming the movie, but trained to ensure she wouldn’t have to get a stunt double to perform any of the soccer maneuvers in the movie.
“I played soccer before the movie, but not as much as I do now,” Agudong said. “We trained a lot. There were a couple of coaches that trained me prior to the movie. I worked really hard.
“I was so proud of myself, because they didn’t end up getting a stunt double.”
While Agudong worked to get the soccer aspect of the movie just right, Morgan was adjusting to life as an actress.
“Honestly, it’s incredible how many hours actors work,” she said. “I give them credit for that. That was exhausting. Certainly, I’m not used to working 10 to 12 hours a day. I’m used to my three or four hours of intense work and then getting the rest of the afternoon off.
“I really enjoyed it. I had so much fun. It was tiring and it was a lot of learning. I think I was on the other side of the spectrum in terms of learning a lot from even Sienna, who is 13 years old, and obviously [from] Eric, the director.”
Morgan, also a published author, said she counts herself lucky to be a part of a movie project. It’s just the latest in off-the-pitch endeavors for Morgan. She was also involved with Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You’ video, which debuted at the end of May and featured more than two dozen influential women.
“I want to explore as many opportunities as I can,” she said. “My soccer career’s not going to last forever. Hopefully it lasts quite a few more years, but you just never know. For me, it’s exploring what I want to do after soccer and what I’m happy with and also networking through different lines of work.
“I’m just getting my feet wet in multiple areas and enjoying it.”
“Alex & Me” will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD starting June 19.