GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Aaron Rodgers walks away from the NFL -- and the Green Bay Packers quarterback doesn’t plan to do so for another “six, seven, eight years” -- you probably won’t find him in the broadcast booth doing color commentary or on the sideline coaching.
But, if things happen the way he hopes, you might see him at the Oscars -- and not because he’s photobombing Common on the red carpet.
Rodgers has long been a fan of documentaries -- he once said on his weekly ESPN Wisconsin radio show that his Netflix queue is filled with them -- and told ex-Packers teammate A.J. Hawk in an interview on Hawk’s podcast last week that he would like to produce such films when his career is over.
“I just want to continue to learn,” Rodgers told Hawk during the nearly two-hour interview. “I have plenty of charitable endeavors that’ll keep me busy and plenty of business ventures that’ll keep me busy, but I’m going to have to find a way to fill that competitive void when [football] is done, and I don’t think it’s going to be playing in an over-35 basketball league or making a run at the Senior Tour, which every golfer believes they can do. Let me tell you: That can’t happen, not for guys like me.
“It’s going to have to be something that involves competing, even if it’s putting together special projects and trying to make impactful films, or doing some amazing charity work that impacts the world on a bigger scale. I think it’d be a lot of fun to fill those competitive voids.”
Rodgers’ charitable work includes his longtime support for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer and Raise Hope For Congo, which he became involved with several years ago. Rodgers has used the Leonardo DiCaprio film “Blood Diamond” as a frame of reference when talking about Congo but has also seen the 2012 documentary produced by VICE, which may, in part, explain why documentary film work appeals to him.
Rodgers also told Hawk that seeing the film industry up close because of actress girlfriend Olivia Munn has added to his fascination with documentaries, and said that he’s thinking about “doing some job shadowing” during the offseason next year “just to learn that business a little more.” Rodgers likened producing a film to being a coach.
“Being able to be around Olivia the last couple years, beginning to see her world, that world is really interesting to me,” Rodgers told Hawk. “I’m a fan of documentaries, and to be able to be a part of a group that’s bringing awareness to subjects that don’t get a lot of attention at times [is appealing]. I enjoy the TV program VICE, because they tackle some really interesting issues. To be a part of something like that would be really interesting.”
Of course, Rodgers’ movie career will have to wait until he’s finished with football, which might not be until after his 40th birthday. Rodgers, 32, told Hawk that his offseason knee surgery to “clean up an old injury” will “hopefully give me another six or seven [years] to play.”
“I’m turning 33 in December, and I feel like I’m playing my best football and have been for a number of years now,” said Rodgers, who had a down year statistically last season but called it “one of the most gratifying years” of his career because of the adversity he and the team faced.
“I don’t think there’s an end in the near future to me playing at a really high level. Obviously, you want to go out on your own terms, you want to go out as a champion, but that only happens for a select few. The last thing you want to do is go out and not be able to play worth a damn. It’s finding that sweet spot where you’re still playing at a high level and you can go out as a champion.
“It’s a tough league. At some point, they’re going to kick you to the curb, and I think you have to be ready for what’s next and also be realistic about your abilities. I hope both those things are in line when my time comes -- and hopefully it’s not for another six, seven, eight years.”