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Eddie George is one of the most accomplished running backs of all time, a Heisman Trophy winner who, as a pro with Tennessee and Dallas, rushed for over 10,000 yards, was a three-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
But Eddie George doesn't view himself as a football player these days. He sees himself as an actor, and for good reason: Because he is one … and a terrific one at that.
But unlike most former pro athletes, he is taking the road less traveling and do his acting on the stage -- playing Julius Caesar and Othello at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, a former slave in "The Whipping Man" at the Nashville Repertory Theater and Billy Flynn in the Broadway production of "Chicago."
In fact, he'll play Billy Flynn again this weekend when "Chicago" moves to the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Ct., for a five-performance run June 1-3, and let's be honest: There are easier roles to assume than the attention-grabbing Flynn, with singing and dancing required. And there are less demanding arenas to try than the stage. Yet George jumped at both, and he didn't hesitate when asked why.
"Because it scared me," he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network podcast. "In acting, you go and gravitate to things that scare you to death; that take you outside your comfort zone. And I wanted to challenge myself. I felt that I was ready to take on that challenge and do it, and try to do it extremely well. And that's what I did … and that's what I aim to do."
George has played to strong reviews, with the BWW Review earlier this year describing his performance as "one to die for," and he's grown as an actor … and as an actor playing the role of Billy Flynn. And that, in turn, has had an impact on his perception of exactly who he is. Because Eddie George no longer sees himself as a star football player trying to act. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
"I guess from the perspective of how someone looks at me, they see me as still the football player being an actor," he said, "because they think that I've just recently retired. And (I tell them), 'No, wait, I've been retired longer than I actually played professional football.' I see myself now being an actor who played football."
To discover why … and hear George recite some of the pratfalls and pitfalls he experienced making the transition … connect to the following link. Guaranteed, you will not be disappointed: