UNIVERSAL CITY -- Ahman Green has no problem starting at the bottom. He started his NFL career as a wedge buster on the Seattle Seahawks' special teams in 1998, despite being a third-round draft pick. But his hard work led him to be a Pro Bowl running back, and he eventually racked up six 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including a career-high 1,883 yards for the Green Bay Packers in 2003.
Green's minor role in Rob Schneider's "Big Stan" in 2007 could be considered the Hollywood version of a wedge buster. But no role is too small -- a valuable lesson 20 current or former NFL players learned while participating in the first Pro Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios this week.
And while some players had an "Oh man, this seems pretty cool" look as they rubbed elbows with Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman -- who took time away from their "Desperate Housewives" shoot in the neighboring lot to hang out with the fellas -- you could tell Green was serious about making this a second career.
Even if he has to start at the bottom again.
"It's everything I thought it would be," Green said. "I'm happy, just like I was in training camp with my helmet clicked, the smell of grass in the air and all of that. This is the same type of thing. I could do this for the rest of my life."
Green's interest in movies stems back to his childhood when his parents introduced him to horror movies like "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street." (I suppose we should pause to decide if Green's parents deserve a stern talking to, or consideration for best parents ever. I'm leaning toward the latter.)
Fewer movies scare him today. Most are either too hokey, or just not scary enough. So now he wants to write his own horror movie.
Nowadays, he watches behind-the-scenes features on DVDs, which allows him to break down the moviemaking process like he broke down film as a player. Books on screenwriting have become his new playbook.
Green won't share any of his pitches -- not that I can blame him for that. But he did say he has some werewolf/vampire pictures in mind, along with coming-of-age movies. He even finds himself waking up at night to jot down a note or an idea.
And while he loves the horror genre -- one of his favorite movies is "Alien" -- his true passion is comic books. Or more to the point, Batman (Green is a big fan).
"I love the way Christopher Nolan has taken him into that dark reality," Green said. "No negatives to Val Kilmer and George Clooney, but there are no more goofy colors, but rather a realness."
Green's dream gig is to be a part of the Batman storyline. DC Comics introduced Batwing in 2011 as part of Batman Incorporated and he was given his own graphic novel in the company's New 52 reboot (which Green is a huge fan of as he's already invested in over 10 titles). Green would relish a chance to bring him to the screen (though I would suggest pitching this as a TV series; I'd sign up to see it).
Or maybe he could play John Stewart of the Green Lantern story arc, if they ever revive that franchise.
"I have a friend of a friend who knows the director of the Green Lantern," Green said. "If I had to do that before Batman, I would do it. Or I would be willing to do anything, whether I'm a gaffer or a grip.
"I put the same effort into football, and I'll put the same effort into this."
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