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Why Josh Duhamel gave ex-wife Fergie a shoutout in his new film

Duhamel said Fergie encouraged him to make his directorial debut in "Buddy Games."
/ Source: TODAY

Josh Duhamel's new movie "Buddy Games" is a classic bro-comedy filled with testosterone-fueled misadventures. But the film may never have happened without the help of a woman — Duhamel's ex-wife, Fergie.

During an interview Friday on TODAY, Duhamel, who also co-wrote and directed "Buddy Games," explained why he gave the "Glamorous" singer a special thanks in the movie's credits.

"This movie goes back about four years, I think, is when I first started writing it. And she was the one who said, 'You know what? You can direct this. You can do this,'" he shared.

"When we were doing the final credits, I go, 'You know what? I gotta give Ferg a little shoutout' because she was somebody who told me to go do it," he continued. "Because honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could."

Josh Duhamel and Fergie in 2013. The actor credits his ex-wife with giving him the courage to make his directorial debut on the bro-comedy "Buddy Games."Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Duhamel and Fergie began dating in 2004. They tied the knot in 2009 and share a 7-year-old son, Axl. The pair surprised fans in September 2017 when they announced in a joint statement that they'd gone their separate ways months before.

"With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year," the statement read.

"To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public," the statement continued. "We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family."

The former couple finalized their divorce in late 2019.

Duhamel opened up about the special bond he and Fergie share while chatting with his future "Buddy Games" co-star Dax Shepard in December 2018.

"Fergie and I had a great relationship," the actor said during an episode of Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast. "I loved that girl and I always will. Unfortunately, we didn't work, but I'll always have her back and she is the mother of my baby."

"Buddy Games" is now available in select theaters, on DVD and on various streaming services.