Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has been going through a lean run of form this season, but his projects off the field are going from strength to strength. Having already hosted his own TV show and produced an online magazine, now he has become an executive producer of London-based movie Dead Man Running, along with England teammate and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole. But have his off the field commitments impacted on his football?
Rio Ferdinand has been involved in many media projects for a while and now has dabbled in the music, TV, film and digital magazine industries. In 2005 Rio created record label White Chalk Music with an old school friend and has signed up two artists. Nia Jai is signed to Ferdinand’s label and her latest album is due to feature Rio rapping on it, is there anything this man cannot do? I’m not sure his prank based TV show was that successful and definitely had some cringe worthy moments. In his hidden-camera show Rio’s World Cup Wind-Ups he used his catchphrase “You Got Merk’d” whenever he played a prank on a footballer. Here’s Rio punking David Beckham, who goes bananas and runs off because he’s going to be late:
Hardly high quality TV, but at least Rio’s enjoying himself. Ferdinand’s online magazine called #5 Magazine in his most successful media project to date, with the mag covering everything from sport to films and music. The magazine now has nearly half a million readers spread across 20 countries and Rio has now become known for interviewing famous celebrities. Now Ferdinand has decided to try and crack Hollywood and has teamed up with fellow footballer Ashley Cole to produce a London-based gangster film.
Dead Man Running stars Tamer Hassan as an ex-convict who has 24 hours to pay back a villainous loan shark, played by US rapper 50 Cent. Directed by Alex de Rakoff, Rio claims that the crime thriller will defy audience’s expectations and will have comedy in it and not just blood, gore, guns and drugs. The film premiered last week and is being released in cinemas this Friday, but if I was Rio I wouldn’t be waiting for a call from America for an Oscar nomination.
Rio does get a lot of stick for working on many projects outside of football when the pitch should be his main focus. But he is doing some good work as well through his Live The Dream Foundation, which offers education, training and job opportunities in sport and the arts. 12 youngsters got to work on the film, and alongside his upcoming documentary about Peckham, he is aiming to persuade youngsters away from a life of crime. So even though Rio has his hands in a lot of pies, he is doing some credible work, but is it detracting from his performance on the pitch?
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