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Entertainment behind the scenes

Broadway actor Rob Riley talks football and fitness

October 18, 2010

USA/What do football and fitness have to do with a life in the theater? For Broadway actor Rob Riley, the answer is simple: “Passion.”

Riley is appearing on Broadway in “Lombardi,” a new play about Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach. The actor talked about football and fitness while he waited on line in New York City on Saturday morning to enter the Hot Body Model Search contest sponsored by the Wilhelmina modeling agency. (One man and one woman will be chosen winners of prizes that include a five-year Wilhelmina fitness modeling contract and a magazine spread in either “Shape” or “Men’s Fitness” magazine.)

“I play Dave Robinson, an outside linebacker,” Riley told Reuters, talking about his new Broadway gig. “He’s a Lombardi guy — he’s smart, he’s really articulate and he understands what it takes to win.”

The role is a natural for Riley, who played football in high school and for Lehigh University. “My high school coach was a lot like Lombardi. He had that fire and passion to get you to give the best of yourself.” Riley, who said he has “just turned 30,” stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He gave the women contestants a little eye candy when he pulled off his shirt — all the better to show off his chiseled abs and his 31-inch waist. His career so far has included some TV work and “a little bit of modeling.”

To stay in shape, “I work out four times a week. I do a lot of weights, a little cardio, some muscle definition. I watch what I eat.”

After a few more poses for the photographers, Riley had to wrap up the interview and head for midtown Manhattan. “I’ve got two shows to do,” he added, referring to the Saturday matinee and 8 p.m. performances.

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