Dancing With the Stars has put Jason Taylor on the map: specifically, the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Movie execs love his looks, and, if Bill Parcells doesn't want him in Miami, they'll gladly take him off the Tuna's hands. Marlee Matlin, an actress who exited the show two weeks ago, is picking Taylor to win the whole enchilada, and, if that's not enough, Denzel Washington is picking him to be an actor. For a living. Whenever he's ready to give up football…
I met Denzel in person this last week, and, man, I could listen to him talk all day. My agent, Gary Wichard, was having lunch with him, and Gary asked me to buzz over to join them—because I guess Denzel has been watching the show.
So here's me and Denzel, and he starts talking to me about acting and performing. He goes, "I thought I took risks as an actor, but dancing? I could never do it.'' He told me he liked the way my partner, Edyta, and I were connecting, and he said that's what acting is all about.
Next thing you know, we were sitting there for two, two-and-a-half hours. Talking about acting, performing and football. And Denzel told me he felt like I'd be able to act someday. And then he said, "Come on, I want you to meet somebody, I want you to meet Pacino.''
I guess Denzel was supposed to meet Al Pacino at the Four Seasons, and, trust me, I was chomping at the bit to go. Apparently, Mr. Pacino is a big fan of the show. One of his best friends is George Hamilton, who happened to be Edyta's partner a few episodes back, and that's why Mr. Pacino watches every dance. Who knew?
But I never got to meet him—because Edyta kept texting me. She was killing me because I was two hours late for rehearsal. She was freaking out. She was threatening to go home and not train me. So I had to go back. I lost my chance to meet Scarface.
I'm serious about acting someday. I've thought about it for a long time. Whether it's TV or film, I'd definitely give it a shot. It's an interesting challenge, and something I'd have aspirations of doing.
Mostly, I can see myself doing action films. The Rock has had some films that I think he's done a good job with, and I'd enjoy some of those type of roles he's had.
I've taken acting classes, and I have an acting coach in Miami. I haven't had a role in a film yet. That's what we're hoping to work out someday, but, like Denzel said, the dancing thing is basically acting and getting into character with your partner every week. So it's a step in the right direction.
But I have Dancing With The Stars to thank for a lot of it. It's the biggest launch pad you can have. It's 20 million viewers, primarily women. And the way my agent puts it, you can become Peyton Manning, and you're not going to get that kind of buzz. I'm out of shoulder pads, performing, and that's what's special. And the cool part is that I still want to go back and wear my pads again. I want to play football, too. Trust me, I want to play.
When this show is over, I'm going to get right back at it. I'm going to be on the field, running. I'll get back to working out, football-wise. There'll be a lot of things coming up with the show, press things, and I'll still have acting opportunities that I'll still be exploring, but when it's time to play ball, I'll play ball in July.
And don't think I'm sweating what's happening down in Miami [with Parcells and Taylor supposedly at odds over the dancing]. Because I'm not. I don't even pay attention to it. I'm dancing and I could care less about all the stuff like that. I mean, I have nothing to say. I'm dancing, and I'm loving it. I'm having a great time and hopefully I can do it again next week, in the semifinals. So vote for me and Edyta by calling 1-800-868-3402.
I mean, it's down to the wire now. We scored a 29 on our first dance this week, but then I got reamed for my second dance, a Samba, and scored only a 23. Then again, they criticized Kristi Yamaguchi for her dance, too, and that's ridiculous. So it's all good.
I mean, I don't want this to end. And next week, my old buddy Zach Thomas is flying in for the show. It's game- time now.
And I'm not acting.