Foster and teammates talk about his acting

Foster and teammates talk about his acting
April 10, 2014, 9:15 pm
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(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Arian Foster will make his debut on the big screen on Friday.

No, no, no. Not the big screen at NRG Stadium. He’s been there before. This time, he’ll be on the big screen in movie theaters across the country, playing the role of Ray Jennings in the movie “Draft Day,” which stars Kevin Costner.

The movie opens nation-wide on Friday.

“The movie is awesome in my opinion,” Foster said at a Houston premier on Thursday night. “I mean, I might be a little biased because I’m in it. But I read the script beforehand and it was an interesting script, it was a page-turner, it kept me guessing. I’m just grateful to be a part of it. It was a fun project.”

Foster has had acting experience before in commercials and TV shows. He even acted for fun in high school. But this is his first step into movies. And it’s not just an independent film; this one stars Costner, to the excitement of Foster’s mother, who is a huge fan. In fact, during filming, Foster told Costner about his mother’s fandom and told him she made Foster watch “Dances with Wolves” as a youngster.

“He was like, ‘man, I’m sorry you had to watch that,’” Foster said.

Foster, 27, has said he could see himself acting when his football days are over if the right opportunities present themselves but right now he’s focused on football. He’s medically cleared after back surgery in 2013 and will participate in the team’s OTAs this spring.

While some of his teammates razzed Foster about his new Hollywood gig, his close friend and Pro Bowl offensive tackle Duane Brown wasn’t one of them.

“I didn’t give him any grief,” Brown said. “That’s a big step. You don’t find many guys that can take that step into Hollywood while they’re still playing and do a great job so I salute him and I commend him on it.

“But after I see it, I heard he shaved all of his facial hair off, so I’m going to give him some grief about that.”

Brown was at the Houston premier at Houston Texans Grille on Thursday, along with Foster and linebacker Whitney Mercilus. Brown and Mercilus were first-round picks. Foster, who was undrafted, just plays one in a movie.

“It’s interesting,” Mercilus said about having a movie star teammate. “Definitely, it seems like he’s bringing out that superstar mentality, that role, maybe it could be his role down the line.”

Foster said he was nervous during the filming of the movie but said he’s used to being in a nerve-wracking profession. Really, he just tried his best to be as prepared as possible.

“It was definitely different, stepping into a genre where you’re not really known, coming from the NFL,” he said. “If you go to any kind of NFL event, everyone knows who you are, people see you on the street, they holler at you. But coming into an arena where you’re not really known, you’re just new. It’s a very humbling experience and it was a great opportunity. Just meeting people I’ll be friends with for a long time. I got a chance to get real close with Terry Crews and he’s an amazing human spirit and we’ll be lifelong friends after this.”

Foster isn’t a normal, prototypical meat-head jock. Instead, he is a once-vegan, poetry-writing, Philosophy major. His newly-renewed Twitter feed is filled with less football and more about the stars, life and the world.

“It’s hard to keep up with it but we talk a lot, man,” Brown said. “We have some great conversations, some great debates about a lot of topics. But it’s good to be like that. It’s good to train your mind as well as your body  and Arian is that type of guy.”

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