Vernon Davis Talks The Truth Behind ‘The Ritual Killer,’ Possibility Of Playing Himself In A Movie
After being a matchup nightmare for NFL defenses for over a decade, Vernon Davis has now taken the entertainment industry by storm. His latest project, The Ritual Killer, which is available now on VOD, pits his dark Randoku against Morgan Freeman’s Professor Mackles and Cole Hauser’s Detective Boyd. Just in time for the release, Davis spoke with Full Circle Cinema Editor-in-Chief Jackson Hayes about The Ritual Killer, his music and much more.
Jackson Hayes: Is creating or producing music for a movie something that you’d be interested in doing?
Vernon Davis: I’m tapped into all facets of creativity when it comes to making films and acting. So I’m just all over the place with it. Have ideas, scripts that I’ve written myself. I have some scripts that I brought in ghostwriters. So just all over the board.
JH: People like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been doing the entertainment thing recently after they’ve retired. Did you feel like you were ahead of the curve when it came to that kind of thing?
VD: I’m a firm believer in pursuing things that you want to see in your future right now. So when I was playing, I decided to embark on things that I was passionate about or things that I thought I was passionate about. And after I finished playing in 2019, which was my last season with the Washington Commanders, pursued film and entertainment. I had a script called Red Winter, where I was the lead character, and we made the movie outside of Denver. And that was the very first project I was able to complete. And after that, I just kept going, and I didn’t stop.
JH: Would you ever consider adapting your own story? People look to your story, your early career, and how much it changed as time went on. And would you ever consider playing yourself?
VD: No, I wouldn’t want to play myself. I don’t think it would’ve come across well. I’d rather have someone else play me, but I’d play a role in the film as another character, but not myself.
JH: As The Ritual Killer comes out, what is one thing that you really want people to know about the movie before they go and see it?
VD: I want them to understand some of the things that are going on out here in the world. This movie is shining light on something that happened in South Africa, which can be known as black magic, where people were harvesting body parts for power. It was believed to give them power by taking body parts and mixing it with gold and herbs and blending it into a form of a tea. And if you take it, you feel more powerful. You feel, whether it’s you want to think better, or you want to have better eyes and just overall health. And that’s what has been said to happen in South Africa. It’s still the shining light on some of that.
JH: Obviously, this was a big production, big actors, and you’re a major part of that. Is there something that you learned working on The Ritual Killer that you want to bring to your next role and as you move on in your career?
VD: Yeah, I think every film that you do as an actor. You’re always going to learn. It’s a journey that you’re going on, and you learn something about yourself, especially after you’re done. You tap into different techniques, and you find different ways to deliver when it comes to your performance. And you understand that acting comes from within. A lot of people ask me all the time, oh, show me something. Show me something — show me this. There was a show that I was on, and they asked me, one of the commentators asked, hey Vernon, show us some acting. Show us some acting. Show us you crying. And I made a mistake. I made a big mistake. That’s only because I didn’t fully understand the craft, and I didn’t fully understand the world of acting. Acting is reacting. It’s not really acting.
We act every day. When you get up in the morning, when you’re going to a meeting, whether you’re brushing your teeth, that’s all acting. That’s what acting… You’re living truthfully within your means. So once you learn that, then you can start to be become it, right, because you fully understand what acting is. It is being realistic. And then what it does, it allows you to watch people. You start watching people, you start watching their ways and how people on certain things, and you become a really… You start to pay attention to how people act and how people act in real life. You use that as a tool when it comes to performing.
JH: What advice would you have for a young athlete or an actor who may not know which path they want to pursue in life? I mean, you’ve done both, but some people may not feel like they have that option.
VD: I think if there’s anything that you want to do in life, you start to bring it into your world. You ask questions, you reach out to people, you learn about whatever it is that you’re going after. So for me, as an actor, what I did when I first started to pursue acting, what I would do, I would go online. I would go watch YouTube videos. I would just look at auditions. I started to go on Google and look for different managers and look at agents. I started to watch different actors like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman. What else did I do? I started to research SAG. What does it mean to be a SAG actor? Just all the different pieces that go into whatever it is that you’re after. And what happens is it starts to manifest in your life because it’s like law of attraction. You’re looking up these things. You’re always… It’s constantly on your mind. You’re so passionate that your desire is to be in this space, and it’s going to come into existence. You have to do the work.
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