There are a lot of similarities between making it big in professional sports – like the NFL, NBA and English Premier League – and being a big-screen star. Both require a lifetime of hard work, determination, sacrifice and practice. It’s not enough to simply want to be a major player. You’ve got to believe it with every fibre of your being. You must be convinced beyond all doubt that you belong at the head table, seated alongside the other attractions—people you once idolised as a fan. Being a favourite to win another world championship belt or Oscar with the top California betting apps is the pedigree we’re looking for here.
We have seen many superstars in the world of sports. Someone like a professional boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr, is mobbed by his adoring fans every time he leaves the house. The same goes for an actor like Bruce Willis. Both are at the top of their respective games, juggling their private life and public commitments well. Neither Mayweather nor Willis is known for brushing off autograph hunters or denying a young follower a selfie.
That commitment to the cause is admirable and explains why these men rank amongst America’s super-rich, earning millions – if not billions – during their careers. What’s more, there’s plenty more to come from these guys. But we’re not here to talk about Pretty Boy or the face of Diehard – perhaps once or twice too often.
We’re out to show our admiration for those who have achieved both—the sportspeople who have retired and turned to acting with great success. Read on as we choose some of our favourites who have successfully made the crossover from sports hero to movie star.
We start with, arguably, the best example—the Rock. But, to millions of people, Dwayne isn’t the former celebrated wrestler known as The Rock. One of the biggest names the sport has ever produced and a giant of a man, both inside the ring and how he conducts himself outside of it.
It’s strange to think that there’s a generation that looks at Dwayne and thinks, that’s the actor from The Scorpion King and not, that’s the guy that had a war with John Cena at Wrestlemania. Look back on YouTube at some of The Rock’s most famous bouts.
We wanted to add former soccer player turned actor Vinnie Jones to the list, although it’s rather unfair to slot him in after The Rock. Although, not too many sports stars turn actors could follow Johnson. But Jones is a great actor.
He enjoyed an interesting career on the field of play and was known as the bad boy or hard man of his era. Famously injuring Paul Gascoigne in a sensitive area of his body. He burst onto the movie scene in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels alongside Jason Statham in the 1998 crime movie set in London.
The man who inspired the most famous and iconic sneakers ever made, Nike Air Jordans. They are back in fashion, too, with many younger people getting their first taste of just home comfortable and stylish a pair of Jordans can be.
But we’re not talking about the sneaker guy. We’re not even talking about the greatest NBA basketball player who ever lived. We cover Jordan, the actor. Everything this guy touches seems to turn to gold. The original Space Jam was his debut on the big screen and remains the movie he’s most famous for.
Unlike some of the other names on our list, we are confident you’ll know all about Arnie. He has been the star of just about every action movie ever made before moving into politics. Will he one day become president of the United States? We wouldn’t put it past him as The Terminator is a man who enjoys success in whatever he puts his mind to.
Movie star? They don’t come much bigger than Arnie. Politician? Critics and doubters have already been made to eat their words. Sport? Well, if you don’t already know what Schwarzenneger did in professional sports, you should clear your diary and enjoy finding out. It’s an inspirational tale of a man who refused to give up and be led by the expectations of others.