All NFL players are human beings. That means they enjoy things outside of their profession. They have hobbies and tastes and interests just like you and me.
For Redskins tight end Niles Paul, it's going to the movies.
As he rehabs and recovers from the ankle injury he sustained at the beginning of the preseason, he also has some more free time to head to the local theater and catch up on the latest flicks, his favorite pastime.
Every week or so I'll sit down with Paul and we'll converse about the most recent movies he's seen, debate about their strengths and weaknesses, needlessly scrutinize or praise actors and directors, analyze his Netflix queue, and, hopefully, find another window into Paul's personality.
In our latest conversation, we discuss his latest trip to Miami, the new superhero movie "Deadpool" and catch up on the Netflix release "Beasts Of No Nation."
The Redskins Blog: How was Miami? You were visiting there recently.
Niles Paul: I was down there with Santana [Moss] and his people. I consider them my people,too, because I've been around him and am always with him when I go down there. It was a good time. Nice to get away from rehab.
I saw in your Snapchat story that you're not sure if you could live in Miami for more than three or four days at a time.
Yeah, it's too much. I think it's too fast for me. I'm a Nebraska kid. I'm from Omaha, North Side. It's not fast at all. It's a slow paced kind of state. I feel like, when you get down there, everything is superficial and you don't know what's real. They're trying to sell you a dream as soon as you get there. I think the people that buy into that dream are the people that stay there. The people that live there are different. It's all one big game for people down there.
Did you watch "Ballers?"
Yeah I saw "Ballers." I saw two episodes.
If you were playing for the Dolphins, how would you function down there?
I think I'm fortunate enough to be in an area where, living in Ashburn, Va., we're far enough from D.C. where we don't have to be in it, and if we want to kind of dip our feet in, we could. Miami, that's a whole different animal.
It seems fun in the movies.
It's fun to visit, but staying there, I don't know if I could do it. I used to train for the combine down in Bradenton, Fla., and that was 30 minutes from Tampa and we would find ourselves in Tampa during combine training all the time [laughing]. I couldn't live down in Florida.
Switching gears, you saw "Deadpool" last night.
I was with my brothers and sisters and a couple of shorties. If I had a child, I wouldn't take them.
Well, it is rated "R."
I understand why. I didn't know it was rated "R" until I started watching. I was like, "this movie has to be rated 'R.'"
Did you like the movie?
I liked the movie based off my understanding of who Deadpool is. Ryan Reynolds embodies what Deadpool is. A sarcastic maniac, who's not the traditional superhero at all, who doesn't even claim to be a superhero, but still has to accept that role. And I enjoyed it. I think it has this kind of -- I want to say it's a weird college humor with a lot of witty comebacks.
In the real comics, Deadpool is identified as "pansexual," if that's what you mean.
Well he plays with the idea of it throughout the whole movie. Then again, he's trying to save the woman he loves. He plays around with it, and it's one of those things where if you don't find those kinds of things funny, you're not going to appreciate it at all.
Yeah, superhero movies can either be kid-friendly or go the extra mile. Do you wish more superhero movies had an "R" rating to get more extreme and different?
Yeah, we've done the movies for the kids. The new demand of superhero movies is to take them in the direction where it's not the traditional "I'm the cut, clean cloth superhero." In Batman, with the direction they went with Christian Bale, he was a dark, mysterious, in his own world. And now they're going further into that with Ben Affleck. He looks like he's in a depression the whole movie. I think that's the wave of superhero movies.
Even in fairytale movies, they just released a trailer for the new "Huntsman" movie.
And "The Huntsman" is just the spinoff to "Snow White." But "Snow White" was violent, too. That's what made it good. I remember when "Snow White" came out, there were two of them. There was "Snow White and the Hunstman" and…
"Mirror, Mirror." I was like, "OK, that's the kid-friendly version." But I like "Snow White and the Huntsman" better. I thought that was a better movie. I just think the dark element of it has an extra advantage that you can appreciate it.
So Ryan Reynolds is good in this?
I've been saying this once I saw the first trailer, that this is the perfect role for Ryan Reynolds. It even makes fun of everything else he's done.
Yeah, the whole movie, it's a traditional – if you've ever played the Deadpool game, it's just like the Deadpool game. He has multiple personalities. And [in the movie], instead of talking to himself, he talks to us, literally looks into the camera.
He breaks the fourth wall.
Breaks the wall and has a conversation. And throughout the whole movie…they try to engage the audience on a certain level with Deadpool.
So you appreciated that aspect of it more?
Yeah, I think it just cut down the barrier of traditional movies in the sense that this is some super serious film and this is how they want to set it up. No, this is obviously a movie, and they're taking jabs at every other movie. It was funny, it was serious. It was one of Ryan Reynolds' better movies and he took a jab at Green Lantern [laughing].
Did he really?
He took a jab at Green Lantern and all his acting.
Does he mention specific movies?
No he just mentions how he's able to continue to get movies without superb acting skills.
But this last year he's done well. He was in "Self/Less," which wasn't a great movie but he was really good.
It wasn't a great movie, but for him it was a big step, because it showed how serious he could be as an actor. Most actors play the role that they're comfortable with. He's the sarcastic, witty dude.
Not sure if you've seen this, but he's really good in "Mississippi Grind." It's on Amazon Prime. Do you have that?
I don't but I'll probably get [the movie] on demand.
Speaking of streaming, what have you been watching on Netflix?
I've seen a lot of movies on Netflix. "The Man," I watched a movie called "Trash" and then finally got around to “Beasts Of No Nation,” which arguably is one of my favorite movies in the past couple of years.
What about it? Idris Elba? The young actor?
Idris Elba is actually not my favorite person in this movie, not because he didn't do an excellent job. I think what he did and how he committed was crazy from an acting standpoint. He's surrounded by all these African kids who I feel like, it was easy for them to get into role. But Idris Elba had to come over and change and dip himself into a whole different personality. The only thing I didn't like about his characters was that he was a child molester. But everybody talks about how Elba should have been up for an award. But the little boy (Abraham Attah), I don't think he was acting. That's incredible for a kid his age. I don't see how he didn't get any recognition for that.
And it's such a serious story. A lot of kids have to grow up quickly, losing their parents in war-torn areas.
Yeah, it's such a powerful movie. The little boy was so wise beyond his years because he had to grow up so fast. When it was all said and done, he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he felt in his mind that he had been brainwashed to justify it. These were people that were helping him. I couldn't imagine being 12-years old and having a rifle put in my hand and having to kill people.
And thenmaking moral leap, realizing what you had been taught wasn't actually the right thing.
And trying to be the regular kid. He said that in the movie. "I don't think I could ever be a regular kid again."
On a lighter note, did you see Kanye West's live stream yesterday?
I heard. I saw some clips and I heard the whole Taylor Swift thing. He's doing a lot of stuff for his album. I think artists are selling their souls to get attention because albums aren't booming like they used to.
It's funny that we've had Shia LeBeouf filming himself watching movies on a livestream. Now Kanye filming himself while listening to his music. I wonder if it's a trend. Maybe just trend for eccentric people?
Well, Kanye, yeah, I expect stuff like that out of Kanye. I wouldn't sit there. J. Cole came out with a homecoming special and you can watch it on demand. He let people come in his house and listen to the album. It was his childhood home and he fixed it up to exactly how it was. It was dope.
Would you ever have people over to your house to watch your highlights?
No. No sir. I don't think I could do it [laughing].