You still have until Nov. 3 to notch an essential vote in this year's crucial presidential election, but in case you need an extra push to get out to the polls or get your absentee ballot in a dropbox as soon as possible, here's a potent new voting PSA courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks, shooting guard Wesley Matthews and Oscar-nominated actor, and Kenosha native, Mark Ruffalo.
The 30-second spot stars Matthews – who played high school and college basketball in Wisconsin at James Madison Memorial in Madison and Marquette University in Milwaukee before eventually coming back to the state as an NBA star in 2019 with the Bucks –practicing on the court, inspiring a young boy, talking about working harder and staying relentless until the last day before reminding viewers to vote.
"Don't wait" is the final message.
The commercial comes courtesy of the citizen movement #ToWisconsinWithLove, whose star-studded supporters include Ruffalo, Madison-raised "Amazing Spider-Man" director Marc Webb, "Hobbs & Shaw" director and Kohler native David Leitch, Green Bay-born blockbuster helmer Zack Snyder, "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa, "Big Little Lies" actress Zoe Kravitz and actress/singer Lilakoi Moon (formerly Lisa Bonet), who is credited as creative executive producer on this particular advertisement.
"In this brutal election cycle that we're in, where it's all been negative and divisive and reactionary to the divisive politics that the Trump campaign is using, these folks wanted to tap into a different kind of messaging – one of commonality," Ruffalo said, during a conference call on late Wednesday morning. "Our hearts all beat the same. We love the same. We care about our children the same. It's from this place that I think we can heal now as a nation, and it's from this place people can move outside of their fear and vote outside of their fear, vote from their heart and vote from the knowledge of lived experience.
"When we know each other, we're not afraid of each other. When we hear each other's pain and joy, we find ourselves in that same pain and joy. And that's what #ToWisconsinWithLove is really about."
The campaign has a special connection for Ruffalo, who still has close family in the Kenosha area that he visits when able and still namedrops Franks Diner and The Spot. The actor described himself as "in shock" and "paralyzed" when he saw the news of the unrest and violence that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha this fall, connecting with local organizers in the aftermath.
"I started to reach out to the communities, and I found in those communities what I knew about Kenosha: These people were caring, friendly, community-based and they were hurting," Ruffalo said, "and they were hurting from something that's happening throughout the nation.
"The picture that the President painted of Kenosha and Wisconsin was so politically-based, it was so ugly and it was so egregious. And so we're doing our best to really show the truth of what Kenosha is."
For information on how to vote this final week – whether in person on Election Day, in person early or via absentee ballot – click here.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.