Football opens door to acting for Pocatello native
By Tracey Smith - Idaho State Journal Correspondent
Pocatello-born actor Brandon Molale hit the palm tree-lined streets of Hollywood in 1998 and immediately beat the odds.
He has continually been a steady working actor and stuntman who has put together an A-list of film and TV credits including "The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno," "Days of Our Lives," "Master of Disguise" (2002) and the Adam Sandler blockbuster, "Mr. Deeds" (2002).
Molale was born in Pocatello in 1971 when his father, Joseph Molale played football for Idaho State University. Raised in Concord, Calif., the college freshman returned to Pocatello on an ISU football scholarship in 1990.
An eligibility issue sent Molale back to California after a year, where he eventually played for Fresno State University. Despite the initial ISU setback, Molale asserts that "I have some good memories of Pocatello, although I wasn't used to the snow. That always takes a bit to get used to."
Finding irony in the fact that a scholarship returned him to the town where he was born, he maintains that "I had a fun time at Idaho State."
"Football has been my niche in the entertainment business," states the 6-foot, 5-inch, 230-pound Molale. "I kind of stand out already," he laughs. His distinction paid off quickly. After two weeks in Los Angeles, Molale was an extra for a Southwest Airlines commercial, but he didn't want to be an extra. "I wanted to be an actor/stuntman. I played football for 12 years. I'm not afraid to throw my body around if I have to."
The commercial led directly to stunt work for the football comedy "The Waterboy."
Molale cringes at the mention of his first TV appearance, on NBC's "Days of Our Lives," saying his performance was "godawful."
Nevertheless, he is thankful to the casting people who have used him on that show a dozen times.
He will appear as a bodyguard on the April 29th episode of that daytime drama.
Molale also frequently shows up on skits for "The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno." On his first show, he played a cop who "got to put the cuffs on Jay."
Following his first speaking role (in "The Flintstones"), he refers to his casting in Mr. Deeds as "· my big break, my first time being hired as an actor."
The Adam Sandler feature comedy became one of the biggest moneymaking hits of 2002.
"Working with Adam was great. He is at the top of his game right now, the biggest game I've ever played."
He supposed that he gets recognized more for his role in Master of Disguise (with Dana Carvey).
"A lot of kids recognize me. It's flattering."
Currently, the actor is working on "Cheaper By the Dozen" with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.
Molale freely admits to being a "Star Wars geek."
"The day I met George Lucas at a benefit was a big day for me. It was a big thrill because his movie wrecked my life," he smirks.
Still single, Molale has been dating "a wonderful woman" for over three years. He lives in Marina Del Rey, Calif., with his two dogs, boxers Daisy and Lacey.
The grind of auditions is a struggle for any actor, but Molale is up to the challenge.
"The toughest thing is to have the adversity and have the patience to stick to it, to get motivated every day. I bust my hump every day."
For his brief time in Hollywood, Molale has produced measurable results. "I've only been doing this for four and a half years and I still love the process. I'm just enjoying it right now. I see how I'm growing week to week, month to month. I have a lot more room to grow as an actor.
"I played sports all my life," he says. "I always had something going on. I take the philosophy that I'll keep doing what I'm doing until I don't want to do it everyday. I just want to do what makes me happy."