Given all your success, why did you decide to go to reality TV with The Ultimate Merger?
When the opportunity came to me, I said, “Why not,” just to see what would happen. Growing up in California, one of the things I’ve always wanted to do was be in the entertainment industry and work in Hollywood; nonetheless, I had to put all those things aside because of my football career and the family business.
When I got back to LA, I connected with a friend, a casting director and former NFL player, who helped place me in football commercials. After getting a couple of checks, I thought, “Man, I can really do this.” I then had some pictures taken, started sending them out, and started to get calls back. Two of the calls that I received were for roles in The Ultimate Merger and 1,000 Ways to Die. With both shows being nationally televised, things just steam rolled from there… It’s kind of surreal because all these things I wanted to do growing up are happening and I’m truly living my dreams.
Because of your appearance on the show you got dubbed “Fresh Frank.” What are your strategies and plans for this newfound brand?
I’m currently working on building the brand by getting my logo together and I am also working on a concept for a reality show called, Fresh World. It will follow me and show viewers what I go through in the store, dealing with customers, family, etc. Some of it is comical, but some light needs to be shed on some of the things that go on in the neighborhood in regards to crime and poverty issues. It will also show how I’m trying to pursue acting as a career and manage my business at the same time.
I think it will be interesting because people have known me in the Watts community for over 20 years now. My mother is a teacher and had some of our customers’ kids as her students so it’s like a family there. My dad has done a lot to make the community better as well. The people love him there and we love them so I think there is an interesting story to tell.
What else do you have on the horizon?
I was talking to my publicist about doing some work with The Game on BET because it reminds me of my past life. For example, being married while in the NFL. I’m also currently taking acting classes in order to become a more versatile actor. I’m trying not to just leave myself in that reality role but show people that I am more dynamic.
Do you have any advice for other players looking to travel down a similar path once they retire?
NFL players take for granted the amount of money we have while we’re in the NFL and that’s what I would like to teach some of the younger guys. I think that four or five guys who make the league minimum can get together and start a business. They can then expand from there and have something to sustain them once their football career ends. All athletes, not just football players, should invest in a business that they believe in while playing. They need something that will prepare them for their future.