Former NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha discussed his first major movie role as an actor, with Asomugha portraying a Trindadian immigrant in the film Crown Heights, which opens on Friday, according to Gary Thompson of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Asomugha was first told he had a gift for acting after making an appearance in the television show, Friday Night Lights.
Peter Berg, who landed Asomugha the spot and also directed a Nike commercial in which Asomugha took part in, told the former Pro Bowler that he should start taking acting seriously.
“He was nice enough to take me aside and say, ‘You have a gift for this. You should take this seriously.’ And for me, that was it,” said Asomugha. “I’m the type of guy who is motivated by things like that. You give me that little nudge, I think, ‘This could be part of my journey.’ When I heard that from him, I decided to do more.”
Crown Heights tells the true story of Carl King, who saw his friend wrongly convicted of murder and spends 20 years trying to free him.
“I just loved the story, to be honest,” said Asomugha.
The 36-year-old’s dedication to the NFL has helped him in the acting business.
“I’m never nervous when I had a passion for something, and I had a passion for this,” he said. “And I was prepared. Football taught me that — preparation, and what it takes to learn what you are doing.”
Asomugha played 11 years in the NFL, eight of them coming with the Oakland Raiders, where he made three Pro Bowls and was named to two first-team All-Pro squads. He also spent two years with the Philadelphia Eagles and one season with the San Francisco 49ers.