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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Sunday, November 14, 2004

a night @ the movies

Ever wonder how Jay Bilas got his lucky break?

While playing pro ball [abroad], he was told of a TV commercial he should audition for when he was home in Los Angeles in the offseason. The producers were looking for a tall, athletic guy to play one-on-one with a child while a woman took pictures with a Minolta camera. Thirty other men were there when Bilas auditioned, but he got the part.

He starred in more commercials before his agent called to ask him to audition for the part of an alien police officer opposite Lundgren in the Columbia Pictures action film "I Come In Peace." The whole idea sounded dreadful to Bilas, but he didn't expect to get the part so he went ahead with the audition. Incredibly, he got the part, a starring role big enough that his name was featured prominently in the film's promotional material.

Bilas' hair was trimmed for the part, and he wore contact lenses to make his eyes appear milky white. "It was as much fun as I have ever had," he said. "Now I get calls from my friends at 2 in the morning, and they say, `Hey, your movie is on.'"