It should come as no surprise that actor / writer / director Ed Burns made the lead character in his new film, “Nice Guy Johnny,’’ a sports talk radio host.

The plot calls for the character to be pursuing his dream career, and that seemed as good an ambition as any to Burns, 42, who grew up a sports fan in Valley Stream and recalls WFAN’s debut in 1987.

“Me and my buddies were diehard sports fans,’’ he said, “and we thought, ‘Could you imagine that job, that you get to hang out and talk sports on the radio all day?’’’

Burns at last made his own WFAN debut last month as part of a promotional push for the film, which was made for $25,000 over 12 days – partly in his parents’ and sister’s homes in Rockville Centre – has no paid media budget and was released on iTunes and DVD rather than theatrically.

Such is the modest reality for the type of independent films Burns likes to make, and he said the strategy already has ensured a “nice chunk of change’’ in profit for the movie.

"But you're not going to get crazy rich," he said. "This is not the 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'Napoleon Dynamite' model."

Burns, an avid Giants and Knicks fan who now lives in Manhattan, said he is pleased with the general direction of the latter, within reason.

“They’re on the right path,’’ he said, “but probably a long way from the excitement of the 1990s.’’

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