|Former King defenseman Kyle Quincey and Monarchs forward John Zeiler worked with Dwayne Johnson on the filming of "Tooth Fairy." |
By Griffin Spencer | special to Monarchs.com Manchester Monarchs right wing John Zeiler was given the opportunity of a lifetime last season with the Los Angeles Kings - he starred in a movie.
Hockey player turned actor overnight.
He’s not only a professional hockey player in real life, he played one on the big screen.
Zeiler was contacted by Kings Communications Director Jeff Moeller to see if he could assist on a movie that was in production. There were numerous Kings players out of town at the time and it gave Zeiler and former Kings defenseman Kyle Quincey the opportunity to get their "big break" in Hollywood.
Their big break in Hollywood turned out to be as extras in the Disney comedy, "Tooth Fairy", which stars actor Dwayne Johnson and features actress Julie Andrews and comedian Billy Crystal. The movie portrays Johnson as a minor league hockey player who is forced to serve as the Tooth Fairy for a week as punishment for a bad deed. Zeiler and Quincey were recruited with the intent of providing realism for the movie.
"We got there pretty early in the morning, it was a long day - probably at least 12 hours," explained Zeiler, who was a bystander for the better part of the day. When it came time for his shoot, both Zeiler and Quincey were directed to walk through the tunnel and on to the ice in front of Johnson.
"They wanted us to walk out and they wanted to see Kings players to make it seem realistic," explained Zeiler. "I think the order was Kyle Quincey, then me and then Dwayne Johnson behind me." The players were directed to walk down the tunnel, high-fiving fans along the way and then skate onto the ice.
In between their 10-12 takes of the scene, Zeiler and Quincey took in their surroundings, which included munching on a nice spread of food, talking with many of the producers and fellow extras, and watching the other actors go to work in front of the camera.
Although both individuals come from different athletic backgrounds, Johnson and Zeiler have a mutual respect for each other when it comes to being an athlete.
"Obviously he’s an athlete himself and he has a lot of respect for hockey players," said Zeiler. "[Johnson] said that they put him through skating lessons for a couple of weeks and he couldn’t pick up on it so he gave us a lot of respect in that regard, but he really is a great guy, funny guy, very talkative."
When Zeiler finally gets the chance to see his acting debut on the big screen, he is certain to take it all in and reflect on what proved to be an exciting time for him in Los Angeles.
"I think it’s going to be neat. It’s really exciting, and even if I see my face for a split second, it’s something to have and to show my kids someday," explained Zeiler. "Not that many people get that opportunity (to be in a movie). If you’re not living in Los Angeles and you’re not playing a professional sport, you aren’t getting that opportunity. To get the opportunity to do that, it was definitely a pleasure."
If Zeiler is given the chance to be in a movie of his choice in the future, it would certainly be a comedy.
"I would love to work with someone like Will Ferrell and laugh and just be stupid, be yourself," explained Zeiler.
He also identifies fellow Monarchs teammate Richard Clune as someone who could potentially co-star in such a comedic venture.
"He’s just funny all the time. In the locker room, he always has something to say to someone, and players are always getting a laugh out of him," explained Zeiler.
Tooth Fairy made its theatrical debut on Friday, Jan. 22 and can be seen in theaters across the country.