Published on October 6th, 2017 | by Allan Brown0
Five Sports Stars Turned Actors
The hotly anticipated gangster film ‘Once Upon A Time In London’, is set to star two former sports stars in their debut acting roles: footballer Jamie O’Hara and boxer turned partypoker ambassador Carl Froch. Although some people might be surprised at the inclusion of two former sportsmen, this is not a new trend. So, as we await the film’s November release let’s take a look at five other sports stars who turned to acting. Who knows, maybe O’Hara and Froch will end up following in their footsteps.
With thirty films under his belt, TV appearances too numerous to mention, production and directorial roles to his credit, not to mention being Governor of California, Schwarzenegger is without a doubt the most successful sports star turned actor. His first role was in ‘Hercules’ in 1969, in which he is credited as Arnold Strong but it was the documentary ‘Pumping Iron’ which really brought both competitive body building and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the attention of the public. He has had starring roles in three major movie franchises: Conan, Terminator and The Expendables and is as comfortable in comedy roles as he is in beefcake parts. Currently filming ‘Journey to China’, the voice and body of Schwarzenegger continue to be a brand that is recognized around the world.
Dwanye Johnson aka The Rock
Already famous as a professional wrestler, Johnson shot to stardom with a brace of mummy revival romps, ‘The Mummy Returns’ and ‘The Scorpion King’, although like Schwarzenegger he made an early screen appearance in a documentary, ‘Beyond the Mat’. Johnson has starred in four of the Fast and Furious franchise films but has also voiced the god Maui in Disney’s 2016 animated hit, ‘Moana’. He reprised Schwarzenegger’s debut role in a lacklustre 2014 remake of ‘Hercules’. Currently he is on our cinema screens with a starring role in ‘Baywatch’ and there’s no indication that the parts will be drying up anytime soon.
The archetypal hard-man of football, Vinnie Jones, who has been convicted for ABH and criminal damage, is an actor whose reputation for violence gives his on screen characters a chilling authenticity. An outstanding midfielder between 1984 and 1999, Jones bludgeoned his way into film stardom with appearances in the Guy Richie gangster flics ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and its follow up ‘Snatch’. Although he has appeared in forty -six films these are probably the films for which he is best remembered. The definitive scary villain, he is currently on big screens in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’.
As famous for his interest in philosophy as Jones was for his interest in violence, Cantona was an International footballer who played for a string of French teams before ending his career at Manchester United. He retired from football in 1997 and made his film debut in ‘Elizabeth’ with Cate Blanchett in the starring role. In the 2009 film ‘Looking For Eric’ Cantona gives his philosophy an on-screen airing as he plays himself coaching a postman who aspires to become a footballer. Although he has thirty-one credits as an actor, many of these appearances have been in minor roles, his last big role being the 2014 western ‘The Salvation’.
Professional American Football player, Weathers is best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky films and his role in ‘Predator’ in 1987. In recent years his acting has been confined to the small screen with regular roles in several American TV series.