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Being in the right place at the right time is essential for a receiver. Sometimes the ball doesn’t get thrown to the exact spot it is supposed to. Other times you might run the wrong route or get pressed by a good defensive back. It happens.
On the field, Stephen Adekolu has had it both ways. Off of it, he can’t stop thinking about a recent situation where he could not have been in a better spot. That’s what has been dancing around his head since his guest appearance on the hit fantasy series Supernatural aired on March 2. Adekolu was cast as a very imposing S.W.A.T. team member who wound up meeting a rather untimely ending.
“The episode was called ‘The Raid,’” explains Adekolu. “These vampires found one of our secret organization facilities and I was just a SWAT patrolling the area. When they are breaking in I am basically caught in the crossfires and devoured by a couple of them.”
Appearing on a TV show fulfilled a lifelong dream for the drama major from Bishop’s University. And he still has to pinch himself when thinking about how it actually became a reality.
“It was the day of our exit meetings, after the playoff loss in Calgary,” recalls the native of Brampton, Ont. “I was walking in Yaletown. It was raining and I had just deposited a cheque when this agent approached me and asked if I had ever considered doing any acting.
“I told her ‘absolutely’ because it was something I wanted to do more of and a big reason I decided to stay in Vancouver year round.”
The chance meeting on a downtown street is what helped pave the way for Adekolu’s brief encounter as a SWAT team protector. Although it helps being handsome and athletic, the receiver admits he never expected it to go down that way.
“I had been looking for an agent to help me get started and we literally just met on the street. She said she liked my look and rarely approached people without knowing them first.”
Right place at the right time? Indeed it was.
From there it was off to the agent’s studio to record an audition tape. Three weeks after that the Supernatural opportunity came to life.
“In January I came back home and shot the episode. After that I was getting auditions around the clock.”
Zoo and Doomsday are among the other TV programs he has auditioned for.
The Supernatural experience (check out the 53-second mark of the YouTube clip below) also allowed Adekolu to gain a whole new appreciation for television and what it takes to film just one scene in an hour- long episode.
“It was a 13-hour day,” recalls Adekolu. “It was interesting for me because you’re on the other side of things. You get into your wardrobe and wait for your call time. There is a whole bunch of camera angles so things have to work out right.
“It’s very similar to football where you are getting coached up and told how to do things certain ways, whether that’s getting the right shot or the right angle. It was a really good experience. I interacted a lot with Jared Padelecki (protagonist Sam Winchester) and the main cast were all very nice and welcoming.”
Being athletic also allowed Adekolu to perform some of his own stunts, like diving and falling back. He also marveled at the opportunity to fire his on-screen weapon, a fully automatic M4 Carbine.
Performing for an audience and making people smile is something the fourth-year pro thrives on. Case in point: the impromptu jam session at Montreal’s Mirabel airport while the Lions were enduring a lengthy flight delay after a win last August. He had some great moves and was right in his element.
“I enjoy being front and centre as well as the entertainment side of things,” maintains Adekolu. “I like seeing people have a good time.”
The 2017 Lions should have no issues entertaining people, especially after the addition of Chris Williams to an already impressive crew of receivers. As always, there will be the need to start at least one Canadian at the position and Adekolu plans on turning heads after somewhat of a breakthrough 2016 campaign.
He started the final regular season contest and recorded his first two pro receptions in the rout over Saskatchewan that locked up second place in the West Division. Adekolu then hauled in five receptions for 48 yards in the Western Semi-Final victory over Winnipeg.
“Jonathon (Jennings) and I are friends off the field so I know he felt comfortable getting the ball to me, “ says Adekolu.
“I’m always excited. A lot of people assume when you have more competition it makes it harder for you to get the ball. I believe the exact opposite.
“When there is more competition, the coordinator is going to want to throw the ball and trust the receivers.”
Don’t let the amount of time acting and auditioning fool you. Adekolu is in as good a shape as he has ever been. You can bet that means bad news for any future vampires that get in his way.