Strahan Looks To Break The Mold:

From the New York Daily News:

His co-star calls him “a natural,” but soon-to-be sitcom star Michael Strahan says no one should expect Shakespeare from him – yet.

“I understand it’s a hard transition,” the former Giants sack king said. “Obviously, my coming from the sports world, we knew we weren’t going to do ‘Othello.'”

Strahan is gearing up to begin production next week on 13 episodes of the Fox show “Brothers,” which debuts Sept. 18.

His character is a faded football player, but he’s hoping that viewers see beyond the NFL career that made him a household name.

“One of the biggest things you fight with this show is everyone saying: ‘Oh, he’s just an athlete, he should stay an athlete,'” he told the Daily News.

“Well, I’m not an athlete anymore. I refuse to even dribble a basketball at this point, unless it’s on the show.”

Strahan, 37, helped create the half-hour comedy after an agent teamed him with co-star Daryl (Chill) Mitchell, whose credits include “The John Larroquette Show.”

“We wanted to do something we could both be believable in, where we could show our chemistry and crack jokes on each other about my being a washed-up NFL player with a gap in my teeth,” Strahan said. (A sample zinger: “You know what you should do with your two front teeth? Introduce them.”)

“Everybody Hates Chris” writer Don Reo penned a script about combative brothers – one a broke footballer, the other a struggling restaurateur in a wheelchair – forced to live with their meddling parents in Houston.

Fox ordered a pilot in March. Then came the hard part – acting.

“I’ve never done any real acting in my life,” Strahan laughed, admitting that his first reading with the cast was a disaster.

“I’ll never forget it. I was like, ‘A-n-d … t-h-e…,'” he said, mimicking a robot voice.

“I went home and Nicole said, ‘What the hell are you doing?'” he said, referring to fiancée Nicole Murphy, actor Eddie Murphy’s ex.

“She gave me a nice little lesson and would read with me and help me through it.”

Mitchell said he remembered how bad the reading was – but was able to see past it.

“One thing about him, he doesn’t have that fear of being vulnerable. He surprised the hell out of me. He turned out to be a natural,” Mitchell said.

“And if you don’t remember your line, ask Mike.”

He called Strahan a comedic “gladiator,” crediting him with laugh-getters like demanding Mitchell’s character to put “baseball cards in the spokes” of his wheelchair so he couldn’t sneak up on people.

Strahan said he learned to banter in the locker rooms and from three older brothers who used to call him BOB, an acronym for “booty on back” because of his chubbiness.

Even though he’s the marquee name, he doesn’t feel pressure to carry the series with veteran castmates like CCH Pounder from “The Shield” and Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” movies.

“And I’m used to criticism and the challenges of being the lead dog,” he said. “I embrace that. Who wants to be the guy who always sits in the background? Nobody.”

Not that he hasn’t set his sights as high as a goalpost.

“I want people to say: ‘Oh that guy played football? I thought he was an actor.'”


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