At 6-8, 310 pounds, former Hurricanes defensive end Calais Campbell can appear awfully frightening to an NFL quarterback when he's in full-out pursuit.
But that's not the scariest he's ever looked according to his younger brother and former Canes safety Jared Campbell. "Put a dress on him and give him one of my mother's wigs," Jared said, "and he becomes the ugliest blind date you've ever seen."
All in the name of comedy of course. Somewhere back home in the Campbell family's video vault in Colorado, Jared said there is a home video of Calais playing a nightmare blind date during one of the many sketch comedy routines they filmed with their other brothers Ray, Severin and Ciarre.
Will it ever be seen by the rest of the world? "Probably not," Jared said laughing. "But you might see him doing something else pretty funny."
The Campbells, a football-first family from Denver who became a part of UM's family when Calais starred there from 2004-2007 and Jared played there from '07-10, are hoping to break into Hollywood with their act. And if the chips land where they need to, Calais said, "we might be the next Wayans brothers."
Calais, who is still waiting for the NFL lockout to end so he can he rejoin the Arizona Cardinals (where he racked up 60 tackles and 6 sacks last season in his third full pro year), recently attended the 15th annual American Black Film Festival here in Miami over the weekend. The trip was just part of his off-season tour as he continues to learn all he can about the film industry, with his ultimate goal to be a comedy writer after football.
"Football is first always, that's my job and I love it," Calais said. "But when you're only working out three or four hours a day, there's a lot of extra time to do stuff.
"I want to make movies one day, write, produce and direct. By this time next year, I'd like to have one complete script done. I have some ideas, know what I want to write. The first one, it's kind of like a football type movie, but based on people I know who are very funny. I was always told write what you know. So, it will be based on the situations I've been in and my brothers have been in really."
Campbell, who took acting classes and learned how to pitch story ideas to film and TV from Hollywood's best while he was here over the weekend, has kept himself immersed this summer in his off field pursuit. He’s visited the set of Funny or Die where he shared ideas with comedian Will Ferrell, he met with writers of Family Guy and recently attended a taping of Tosh.0 where he met with producers.
"Doors open up so much when you're a professional athlete," Campbell said. "I got to meet Michael Bay, the director of Transformers, a year ago. I was talking to him for awhile, just talking sports. Actors and directors love sports. I ask them about movies and they want to know about football."
While Calais' goal is to eventually get into the business, Raj Campbell, a former receiver at Adams State College, already has. The 27-year old is a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles, according to Calais, and "puts on comedy shows."
Jared, who graduated from UM with a degree in Motion Pictures, could be the next Campbell brother to head to L.A. Undrafted and still hoping to catch on with an NFL team after the lockout ends, Jared said his backup plan should football not work out is to join his brother Raj on the West Coast.
"If football doesn't work out, there's a few internships and TV shows I've got my eyes on," said Jared, who is currently working out in Arizona to keep himself in shape to join an NFL team. "Football has always been my dream, but making movies has been my passion. It started in high school when I used to do the student announcements and we'd play with the cameras, take them home and do little skits with my brothers. But it's pretty serious now.
"Calais and I talk about scripts, formulating ideas. He'll give me the ideas, I'll type it up, come up with the script. He's pretty funny, not just when he's dressed up like a girl either. It's funny seeing a 6-8 guy act silly."