by Christian Duque
Why would anyone play into Nick Walker’s hand when encouraging him to leave bodybuilding for acting?
On a recent podcast with Flex Lewis, that’s just what happened. Nick Walker, one of the largest and freakiest pros on the circuit today, expressed an interest in possibly acting one day. Lewis, being the great show host that he is, explored the idea with Walker. The next day, it seems like every bodybuilding YouTuber, writer, commentator, and person with an internet connection was chimining in. They compared Nick to Kai Greene. They of course had to compare him to Arnold because anytime a physique-based athlete says he wants to read for a part, you know they’re going to make the Schwarzenegger comparison.
I didn’t hear many folks talk about The Maryland Muscle Machine. Kevin Levrone left the sport for acting and to pursue his music career. He had to lose well over forty pounds of muscle and totally reinvent himself to have any kind of a shot to get callbacks and land roles. But he was all about pursuing that dream and he was very successful. That’s what it takes if you want to have a real shot. But that’s not something anyone has mentioned with Walker.
Nick Walker is like 300lbs, with veins everywhere, and slab on slab of muscle mass. He can’t answer casting calls for mainstream roles looking like that! And anyone who thinks he can is out of their mind.
Kai didn’t land a leading role on Stranger Things looking as he does. And although he got a great part, that alone isn’t paying the bills. It’s a nice check, but that’s about it. Other guys that have scored some acting gigs would be Bob Cicherillo, Jerome Ferguson, and Dave Palumbo. But none of these guys make it their living. Maybe Jerome, but that’s a big maybe. I happen to know he also does a lot of personal training and probably has businesses and what not. To get all excited about Nick leaving physique-based sports to try to make it on the silver screen is a little wacky. But who says he can act anyways? A big director? A big fish producer?
According to Nick, his mom told him he could be a good actor. Well, there you go! My mom told me I could be the President of the United States. That was never going to happen, but she thought I’d do a good job because I like to argue, I’m passionate, and I loved politics. That’s what moms say. Dads too. Parents like to encourage their kids to reach for the stars. It’s nice to have dreams. Dreams are free, they make us feel good about the possibilities the future may hold, but you also have to be realistic. You can’t live your life like a dreamer. At some point you have to wise up and start to understand how the real world works.
Could Nick Walker be the next Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise? Sure. Could he do it at 300lbs with veins bulging out of everywhere? I guess. And I could also be the next winner of America’s Got Talent. The fact of the matter is I won’t, and he probably won’t either.
The reality is that Nick Walker is Top 3 in the world for bodybuilding. The reality is that he’s a past Arnold Classic winner. The reality is also that he’s earned himself a tremendous following among muscleheads all over the world. All of these things are facts. He’s one of the best in the world and he has a realistic chance of winning at least one Sandow. That’s a heck of a lot better than 95% of the guys who he competes with. Could they one day be a Mr. O? Sure. They could – but they won’t. So why on Earth would Walker even consider walking away from a sport where it’s more likely than not that he will be the best of the best? He’s knocking so hard on that door that it’s just a question of time before he takes it off the hinges.
Even when we talk about the guys who did make, they were all pretty much at different parts of their bodybuilding career as Walker. Kai was pretty much done. He was tired of taking 2nd to Phil and had won several Arnold’s. Arnold was bored with bodybuilding and had won six Olympias in a row. And Kevin was pretty much done as well. He had won Arnolds, taken Olympia runner-ups, and he just didn’t want to keep trying to topple Coleman. Cutler was already on the scene and he had music and films to consider.
Nick Walker, however, is enjoying the best days of his career. If he were to leave the sport next year, drastically downsize, act for 1-3 years, and then try to come back as Xavier Wills of Desktop Bodybuilding said he could, does anyone think he’d just take up from where he left off with the sport?
I mean I don’t know what’s harder to believe – that he could make it in Hollywood as some sort of overnight sensation or that he could downsize for 1-3 years and then regain all that size and go back to being Top 3 in the world of bodybuilding. Both scenarios seem pretty ridiculous to me. I understand people want to be supportive, but don’t encourage this guy to walk away from the best money he’ll probably ever see. Don’t encourage him to walk away from a sport and a career where he can literally be the best of the best one day.
Maybe he’ll be a good actor, but not today. I think Nick needs to focus on winning the Mr. Olympia. He’s in his prime – right now! Maybe when he’s in his 30’s he can start to look at acting, writing books, or running for elected office. He could consider doing all of that and then some, but right now, he needs to focus and go all the way to the top. He’s already there – pretty much.
Maybe I’m a small potatoes kind of guy, maybe I just don’t see the bigger picture. That said, maybe my approach is less exciting and maybe it can be said to be boring, but Nick can set himself for life just by competing at 100% for just a few more years. I highly doubt he’ll make anywhere near the kind of money acting or fronting a karaoke band. Just saying. Just my two cents. But what say you?
If you could have a heart-to-heart with The Mutant, what advice would you give him? Would you tell him to piss away an excellent career in bodybuilding to test uncharted waters in acting or would you tell him to keep his eyes on the prize – the Mr. Olympia title?
As you know, winning the Mr. Olympia puts you in a very small club. It doesn’t matter if you win one or eight. If you can put Mr. Olympia in front of your name – your set for life. Acting and everything else can wait. Don’t you agree?