Action hero Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson already rules the movie world, having scored two box-office hits this year with “San Andreas” and “Furious Seven.” Now he’s out to conquer television, too, with a different kind of role: financial adviser.
The 43-year-old wrestler-turned-actor, who divides his time between homes in Los Angeles and Florida, plays a money mentor to past and present pro football stars in new HBO sitcom “Ballers,” which will begin a 10-episode run June 21.
But he is turning into a businessman off screen, too, having launched production company Seven Bucks Entertainment in Los Angeles. The name comes from the amount money he had in his wallet when his own dreams of becoming a professional football player died in his early 20s and he had to move back into his parents’ apartment to reconsider his career options.
“Challenging moments like that continue to be great motivators for me by keeping me grounded and making me work so hard for opportunities,” said the 6-foot-5-inch, 260-pound man mountain.
Herb Schultz took a trip to New York last month that was anything but relaxing; he jammed seven Broadway musicals and two cabarets into five days.
Schultz and his husband, attorney Stuart L. Leviton, soak up the Manhattan theater scene several times a year partly because Schultz used to tread the boards himself.
He played a few roles as a teenager and college student, and after a decadelong hiatus, started up again while he was a Washington, D.C., health care lobbyist and later working for Govs. Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Both governors were very supportive,” said Schultz, 52, of his former bosses. He is now chief executive of Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Bitten by the bug after watching his mother perform in Philadelphia synagogue productions when he was young, Schultz summoned his courage to audition and win the role of the tailor in “Fiddler on the Roof” by the time he was a political science major at American University.
“I’m not a singer, but I learned to carry a tune. And being a comic actor, the songs tend to be far more patter and fun,” Schultz said.
Even though Schultz stopped performing five years ago, he said it sometimes seeps into the workplace.
“There are many people you could go to and say, ‘What’s it like to work with Herb?’ They’ll tell you I break into Broadway song,” Schultz said. “If somebody said, ‘Look at those curtains,’ I would turn around like Gypsy and sing ‘Curtains up!’ It’s very much a part of me.”
Staff reporters Sandro Monetti and Marni Usheroff contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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