LANCE BROADWAY ACTOR (Exclusive Interview) – How does someone go from being a Major League pitcher for the Chicago White Sox to acting in a big-screen action movie with Gerard Butler? Well that was just one of the questions we asked actor Lance Broadway. And yes, that is his real name. In the Antoine Fuqua directed movie Olympus Has Fallen, he plays Agent O’Neil and it is his job to keep the president (Aaron Eckhart) safe. If you have seen the trailer or poster, he honestly doesn’t do that great of a job because Butler has to go all Die Hard style to save the captured president.
How does a person go from baseball to the big screen?
Well it’s been a wild ride that’s for sure. I originally… in 2010 was my last season (MLB) and in every off season I wanted to get involved with something. And I don’t know why but I just wanted to go take an improv class. The improv class I wanted didn’t start until January 2011, so I asked a friend who told me to go take an acting class. That way at least I will be in front of people doing something while they watch. So I got into an acting class in November 2010. I loved it and stuck with it.
Do you feel like an outsider when it comes to acting? The reason being because a lot of actors have been doing this all their life and of course you have been concentrating on baseball until recently. Do you find any animosity amongst other actors or is it a warm and inviting environment?
Most people don’t know that I played baseball so I don’t really have to deal with that too much. The ones that have heard normally just found out by Googling my name. But I haven’t actually heard to my face that I haven’t earned my keep or that I don’t deserved to be here. In fact everyone who found out that I played baseball is really interested.
Let’s talk about the biggest movie project that you’ve done: Olympus Has Fallen. You played in the major leagues, which very few people get to do, and then you turn around and walk on a set that has a huge budget, huge stars and the possibility of becoming a big blockbuster. Is it the same feeling, or is it different?
It was the same feeling as walking into a big-league locker room with guys that you knew were established, had earned the right to speak, and you do not have that right. I try to take that same approach on set of, you’ve never done this before, you don’t know what you’re talking about so just be seen and say “Yes Sir Yes Ma’am” and do not be heard unless there is an appropriate time. I learned so much from these actors and everyone was so nice, but I was just watching them go about their business. I did the same thing in the major leagues. I remember the first time I was called up to Chicago, I just wanted to watch and see how these guys went about doing everything.
Let’s talk about who you play in the movie. How does your character fit in to the whole plot?
I play Agent O’Neil who, after the [president's limo crashes], is promoted along with Cole Hauser‘s character, to be in charge of president’s detail. However, it’s on our watch that later in the movie everything goes south and allows Gerard Butler‘s character to kind of redeem himself and take care of business.
How is Gerard because I have met him a couple times and he seems like he might be one of the craziest/life of the party actors in Hollywood?
From what I saw he was very wonderful, really a down-to-earth and caring guy. Before the movie I’d never met him and when he walked into all the trailers he said hello and asked how everyone was doing. I cannot imagine anyone being more personable than he was.
Was there a lot of pyrotechnics when shooting or was it mainly CGI?
It was a little bit of both. I was not there for all the pyrotechnic scenes that took place in the White House. Of course there is a lot of CG but they tried to implement as much pyrotechnics as they could to make the scenes feel as real as possible.
Do you find that people think your name is a stage name? Because it sounds so Hollywood.
I’m going to say 99% of everybody thinks it is fake. In fact, that’s the first thing people say when they find out my name. Even when I was in baseball, people were like, “Is that your real name?” When I was traded to the New York Mets and got called up to New York that’s all anyone asked me, ” Is your name really Lance Broadway?” I had people actually tell me that if it’s not fake, it sounds so fake that maybe you should change it… but it’s not going to be changed.
(end of interview)
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN PLOT: When the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning’s inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President, and avert an even bigger disaster.
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