Left: Derrick Webster with heavyweight Steve Cunningham and actor Michael B. Jordan; Right: Derrick Webster and actor Wood Harris.
Undefeated Super Middleweight Plays Role in Latest Installment of Rocky Franchise Called ‘Creed’
Both boxing and entertainment are areas where Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (18-0, 9 KOs) has always felt comfortable, so merging the two was an easy transition for the undefeated super middleweight when an acting opportunity presented itself. After a single audition, Webster was selected to play a role in the upcoming film Creed, which is the latest installment of the Rocky franchise by Academy Award winner Sylvester Stallone.
“The phone call came through after we had the big win over Obodai Sai (a 22-second knockout in December),” Webster said of how he was notified about the film. “They called and said they wanted me to come for an audition. Being behind the camera is like second nature with me having a singing background and being in plays. I went for it, and now the opportunity has opened up even more doors.”
The boxing ring has been the stage of preference for Webster throughout most of his professional life, and, with the ring also being the stage for his on-screen debut, he adjusted very well to the new environment surrounding him.
“With acting, I’ve always kind of felt it, but I’ve never really seen it. To be able to experience it has been amazing,” he stated. “To have your own trailer with your name on the door, your own barber, your own makeup artist, your own wardrobe – it was something different. You get treated… like a star (laughs). You come on stage, somebody brings you breakfast and gets you something to drink. You don’t really have to lift your hands for anything. The whole experience was really amazing.”
While the perks were undeniable, Webster says the amount of effort that goes into a production is something that cannot be overlooked to the slightest degree.
“Behind the scenes, there’s so much work that goes into it,” he confirmed. “Even doing a boxing scene, I think I sparred 50 rounds-plus with heavyweight Steve Cunningham, just for one scene. There’s a whole lot to it. You have floor shots, three-quarter shots, close-ups, wide shots – there’s a lot that goes into it. You definitely have to have patience to do movies because it takes so much time. It was nothing less than 14 hours a day filming. Overall, though, the whole thing was just so amazing, and the experience itself was such a blessing.”
Filming for Creed took place in the home of the original Rocky series, right in the heart of Philadelphia. In the movie, the plot follows the grandson of Apollo Creed, the old Rocky Balboa nemesis turned trainer who died at the hands of Russian slugger Ivan Drago in the ring during Rocky IV. Among the actors involved in the movie include Stallone reprising the role of Balboa, with Michael B. Jordan and Wood Harris also playing lead roles.
“I had met Wood Harris before in Vegas,” Webster recalled. “We already had a friendship, and now we have a brotherhood. The same thing with Michael B. Jordan. He was very inviting, and I think I spoke to him on a daily basis more than anyone. I also had a chance to sit down and talk with Sylvester Stallone. He’s a really nice guy who is also very inviting. Watching him behind the scenes tweaking things was impressive. He knows exactly what he is doing behind the scenes.
“But you know, I’ve never really been one to get star struck because I’m not here by mistake. I’m meant to be in this place where God has put me. When I see a star, I feel as though they just saw a star. That’s how I was treated. Even with the hair stylist, they told me that I was a natural and I belong here. And I know that I belong here. I’m not that guy to run around and really go crazy over a person because I believe that I deserve to be here just as much as they do. This whole thing has just been an amazing experience that I will definitely not take for granted.”
Creed is tentatively slated for a November 25th release date. As for Webster, an upcoming fight date is expected within the coming weeks.