C's Davis almost had chance to show his 'Blind Side'
Mon, 03/08/2010 - 12:39am
By Jessica Camerato
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Glen Davis takes a hand to the face while trying to block a shot during the Celtics' win over the Wizards Sunday night at TD Garden. (AP)

Glen Davis takes a hand to the face while trying to block a shot during the Celtics' win over the Wizards Sunday night at TD Garden. (AP)
On Sunday night, Glen Davis celebrated a victory over the Wizards with the Celtics at TD Garden. Had things worked out differently, he could have been celebrating an Oscar victory with Sandra Bullock at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Back in 2007, Davis was a top candidate for the lead role of Michael Oher in “The Blind Side.” (Bullock won Best Actress for her work in the film Sunday night.) The casting seemed like a perfect fit for Davis, a former high school football player who shared a love of athletics and the arts. He performed in improv shows while playing college basketball at Louisiana State University and enjoyed being on stage.

So when he was approached to audition for the film at the start of his rookie season with the Celtics, Davis jumped at the opportunity.

“I’ve always wanted to act,” he explained. “I knew about the football player, he played at Ole Miss, and I heard there was a book out about that. So I said, 'Sure, I’ll try out.' ”

Davis was sent a three-page script and asked to record a video audition. After hours of practice, he performed the scene in which Oher discusses selecting a college, ultimately deciding on the University of Mississippi.

Memorizing his lines proved more challenging than learning any play that has ever been thrown at him.

“A script [is harder to remember],” he said. “I read the script over and over and over, over and over and over with my girlfriend.”

After submitting his tape, Davis learned he was one of the top three candidates for the role. Because of the NBA schedule, however, he never met with film’s executives. Regardless of the opportunity to act, Davis had priorities.

“I never flew out because I didn’t have time,” he said. “I was playing, it was at the beginning of the season. That would’ve been tough. I would’ve had to shoot during the summer time, and that was a really important time.”

The role ultimately was given to Quinton Aaron and the movie went on to become a blockbuster hit, earning over $200 million in theaters. Davis smiled as he recalled his thoughts after seeing the film.

“I wish I was in that movie,” he remembered thinking. “It would’ve been a good experience.”

Davis gained a good experience of his own, though. That season the Celtics won the NBA championship and he received a ring in just his rookie year. While he didn’t prove himself as an actor, he proved himself as a contributor on a title team.

“They’re two different categories, two different loves that I have,“ Davis said. “Basketball and winning a ring is a dream come true. Also, acting is a dream come true, but the opportunity for winning a ring was there first. Acting didn’t work out, so I’ve got one of my dreams.”

Even though he didn’t land the part, Davis wasn’t discouraged by the audition process. Acting still remains a passion of his, just one that takes a back seat to basketball for now. As long as he is in the NBA, he is dedicated to his role on the court.

But as he celebrated a Celtics win on Oscar Sunday, he could’t help but imagine what it would be like to perform in his two dream roles.

“Basketball is my first love and winning a ring means a lot. Then acting is my second love, so hopefully that will come down the line and hopefully I can get a motion picture award,” he said, laughing. “Like tonight, I can play a game and then win an Oscar.”