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Industry Insider: Actor Anthony Kelley talks big screen debut on “The Gambler”

Recently I got to spend some time with actor Anthony Kelley of The Gambler. He's super cool, down to earth & a lot of fun–his jump shot is pretty good too! Check out the interview below!

How did you go about getting this role and what was audition process like?

My uncle told me about an open casting call, they were looking for real basketball players to portray Lamar . I drove down to Watts- straight from class. At first, I didn't really want to do it- because I'm camera shy..I don't really like the whole camera thing. I worked with Sheila Jaffe for like 2 months, twice a week and ended up getting the role.

What was it like seeing yourself on screen for the first time?

When I went to the premiere it was my first time I was kinda overwhelmed. I didn't want to see anyone else's parts I just wanted to see my parts, I was really concentrating on that. I wondered if anybody really believed what was going on (laughs). I would ask my dad..Did you believe that part? The second time around, I was really able to enjoy the movie- it was cool.

What was it like working with A- List celebs?

This was my first time acting ever! At first it was overwhelming, but everybody was so down to earth, so chill. It was really cool. I can call Mark (Wahlberg) whenever I want pretty much. I probably bug him a little too much. (laughs)

Do you have any other projects you're working on?

I actually have 3 films on the table. Just waiting for the contracts, and some other things. One is a very controversial topic going on today about a man that's been in solitary confinement for 43 years, and that's all I can say.

So are just into acting now? What about basketball?

I still hoop everyday, as if I'm going to the NBA. (Laughs). I take it seriously, I rally up all my boys. Right now it's just taking a back seat. I don't know if the Lakers need help..(laughs)

Did any of the actors give you advice?

Micheal K. (Williams) told me to be patient & stick with it, and if I ever need advice to give him a call. Mark told me to let it flow– don't oversell it, dig deep. Just react- how you normally would.

How did you prepare?

Reading lines while driving..broke out in scenes with my friends at dinner, haha. The casting director, told me to play basketball while reciting lines- which was very hard.

What was the first day on set like?

Overwhelming. My favorite part was the food though-I had the breads, fish, I was grubbin. I almost took a nap. (Laughs)

What 3 actors would you love to work with?

Mark, again. Denzel would be cool & definitely Will Smith. Will Smith has broken barriers for African Americans & minorities in this industry.

Are you a big gambler?

Oh Man, No! I'm not good at rolling the dice. At all. Every now and then I'll probably bet my friends on basketball, shots–something I can really dictate. I don't do blackjack, don't even know how to play it. Maybe play some speed or I declare War- lol.

Do you think you're on the right path?

Yeah, now I do. I fell in love with it. At first, I was kinda against the whole acting thing. I've seen my friends struggle with acting- waiting on the next big thing. Basketball was something I could more dictate…my future, I was trying to go overseas. but I was at a crossroads with basketball. Got this role, and decided to keep going. We'll see what happens.

The Gambler DVD is set to be released April 28th! Be sure to check it out!

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