Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Bubba Smith, Brian Bosworth: those are the names you think of when you think of football heroes who have traded fame and glory on the football field for stardom on the Silver Screen. The stereotype is that jocks are in the lane of athletics and that performers are in the lane of the arts.
But that perception does not always hold up. In many cases it is the football and other sports stars who are the biggest hams and attention seekers. Perhaps it is the lure of by-gone adoration—attention they miss from their playing days. No less than NFL Hall of Fame running back John Riggins, starred on a local stage, Olney Theatre, back in 1992. The name of that play was “Illegal Motion”, and at the time it scored the highest advance ticket sales in the then 40-year-old Olney Theatre’s history.
DC Actor Patrick Cole is the type of athlete that excels in front of the camera. He also excelled as an offensive tackle with the Montgomery College Knights from 1986-87, and starting in 1995, Cole began to act in and seek roles in stage plays and movies. Cole played AAA Minor League Football all over the country, and even played football in Europe. Cole excelled at left tackle, even facing the likes of NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor in practice for the New York Giants. In 2013, he was inducted in the AAA Minor League Football Hall of Fame.
Cole excels at playing high-end “Godfather”-like criminals, and he was most recently in BET’s true crime show “Criminals at Work”. Cole took time out of his busy schedule to fill in DC Actors Examiner readers about the challenges he’s faced in acting, and football.
William Powell: When did you start acting?
Patrick Cole: God is good. I started in 1995 with a stage play, “1000 Clowns”. I got started in the Ericsson Agency; I took seven or eight workshops. I took courses in film and speech. I worked with One Source Talent in Falls Church, VA. I took modeling workshops too. I took seven or eight workshops. I took film and speech 101.
WP: What’s your favorite role to play?
PC: My favorite goals are gangster roles. I really shine when I play these roles. I played the Don in “The Good Shepherd” a Mike Crawford Production. I was in the black Italian mafia [in the film]. My role in BET’s “Criminals at Work” is my second favorite role.
WP: Was “The Good Shepherd” a success?
PC: It played at the Baltimore 48-Hour Film Festival. It placed third. If it would have been first, it would have gone to the Cannes Film Festival.
WP: Tell me about your football career.
PC: I played left tackle and right guard. I shut down the fastest guys. When I got old and slow, I was moved to right guard. I played until I was 42 years old. In 2014 I was inducted into the AAA Minor League Football Hall of Fame in Palm Springs, California. My cleats and helmet are in a glass cage there. I also played for the Virginia Hornets in Richmond, Virginia as part of the Big East Football Federation, and seven teams in the European League.
At age 39, I was on the Cowboys practice squad with Terrell Owens and Tony Romo; I was on the Redskins practice squad in 1997. Before that, I was with the New York Giants and went up against [Hall of Fame] linebacker Laurence Taylor in practice. I would have been a starter, but I tore my knee up.
Glenn Harris had me on his show in July 2014; the whole show was dedicated to me. I was also on ESPN 980 with ex-Redskins Ric “Doc” Walker and Brian Mitchell.
WP: What’s next?
PC: I’ve submitted for a film about the late rapper 2Pac Shakur in Atlanta. I have roles in two other movies.