For the last few years, tight end Vernon Davis has kept peripheral vision on his future, which means during the offseason he's been slowly and surely making a footprint inside the media industry.
That's mostly included appearances on television, in which Davis has played himself, or a version of himself, on shows such as "The League," "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," "BattleBots" and "Inside Amy Schumer." As of this past weekend, he can add a major motion picture, "Baywatch" to his resume, too.
Last Friday night at the Regal Majestic in Silver Spring, Md., Davis invited close friends and family to enjoy a screening of the movie with him to enjoy his small cameo on the big screen.
"During the offseason I spend time doing short films and just trying to partake in whatever's available for me," Davis said after the screening. "If it's a TV show, movie, whatever it may be, just something to enhance and develop my skills further."
While not very long – Davis gets about 30 seconds of screen time – the D.C. native has a couple of lines near the beginning of the movie, as the star, Dwayne Johnson, makes his rounds as Lieutenant Lifeguard of the beach town.
Johnson's character stumbles upon a basketball game involving Davis and former Texans and Dolphins running back Arian Foster, who gets the best of Davis in a 1-on-1 matchup, dribbling the ball between his legs to the hoop. Johnson then shows off his athletic ability and blocks Foster's shot, cementing his status as a lifeguard that can pretty much beat anybody at anything.
"It's all acting," Davis said. "I would've stopped him for sure [in real life]."
Davis got the role thanks to a friend who knew the producer.
"He called me up and said, 'Vern, I got a part for you,'" Davis said. "That's how it normally happens, somebody in the industry will call you and say 'Hey are you interested in acting? Come do this part.' I was like, 'Yeah I'll do it. I'll do it.'"
While the basketball court is supposed to be right off the beach, his scene was shot in one day in Savannah, Ga., a popular filming location because of tax purposes. Davis said working with Johnson is just as cool as it would seem.
"Dwayne's awesome. I had a chance to interact with him," Davis said. "He's just a tremendous person to be around. Full of energy, full of life."
The rest of the movie is exactly what you would expect (note: the movie is rated "R" for mostly unnessecary graphic and potty humor), including a character that is a satirical take on Ryan Lochte, played by Zac Efron. It remained a good time, however, for those in attendance with Davis, who received some applause after his cameo and laughed along for the remaining 100 minutes.
"It's nice. It's always special, especially when I'm able to go out and do something like this," Davis said. "I know how much my family loves seeing me do it and it just brings joy and happiness to their heart. To be able to share that with them means a lot because I know where I started, where I came from. It's really a great environment."
Davis was recently in Florida as a guest on a CNBC show, continuing his dedication to developing his craft in front of the camera.
"I want to keep pursuing it after football is over," Davis said. "I'll roll into it, give it 100 percent and make sure I'm fully prepared to just walk in any room and be able to just get any part when it comes to an audition."