If you do not recognize the name DENNIS HAYSBERT, you most definitely know his face and voice, thanks to nearly four decades of memorable film and TV roles like Major League’s voodoo-practicing slugger Pedro Cerrano, Heat’s doomed parolee, as President of The United States DAVID PALMER on FOX drama, 24, and as Mr. ALLSTATE!!!
PLAYBOY Journalist KARA WARNER recently captured his attention for the just long enough for his perspective on Zombie Survival Skills, Dennis Haysbert and Allstate Insurance vs. J. K. Simmons and Farmers Insurance, his place in history regarding paving the way for President BARACK OBAMA, and the PLAYBOY LUCKY 7: DENNIS HAYSBERT.
Here are some interview highlights:
I have a lot of respect for actors who do the military and tactical training for roles.
Thank you. My whole M.O. for any character I play is that when the person who [does that job] in real life will look at me and say, “That’s how you do it.” I hold that very close to my vest and very dear because I want [those people] to really understand that I did take the time to learn how to do it right.
What’s the longest bit of training you did for a role?
A movie I did way back called Navy SEALS. When I did that movie we all had our own SEAL assigned to us that did what we did in the movie. I was a Master Chief, so I had a Master Chief train me. We did a lot of tactical stuff, a lot of diving; I learned how to dive during Navy SEALS and really fell in love with the water. I dive to this day. Actually, I set a Guinness World Record for deepest dive while narrating under water.
Did you know that Jobu, the actual idol from Major League is in the Louisville Slugger museum? I feel like they should give it to you when they’re done with it.
Well, yes and no. Let me tell you why. I believe that that kind of stuff works and voodoo and all of that is a practiced religion and I really don’t need those kinds of symbols. It’s probably better not to have it, for me. That’s my take on it. I’ll just let that be.
How do you feel about being our first African-American president and the role David Palmer may have played in paving the way for our actual first African-American president?
Generally, I have a disbelief that that happened, except that Ethel Kennedy told me that I had an instrumental [part] in it. Then I started to believe it.
And now, to really get to know Mr. Dennis Haysbert, here are the TOP 6 from the PLAYBOY LUCKY 7 - DENNIS HAYSBERT:
What was your first encounter with Playboy?
It was one of my brother’s Playboy magazines that he had hidden under his mattress. [Laughs.] I was pretty young but I just thought that the women looked amazing. I was old enough to know what I was looking at.
What movie scared you most as a kid?
Oh my God, you know I’d probably have to go with Night of the Living Dead.
What’s your pop-culture blind spot?
Ah, I wish I didn’t know anything about the Kardashians. It confounds me that people can actually make money pushing themselves out there in front of the screen like that and I don’t get it. They’re not embarrassed by anything? That and Paris Hilton. Never got what was appealing.
Well I do remember saying, “I wonder when Paris Hilton will go away” and she sort of did.
Andy Warhol always said that everyone was going to have their 15 minutes of fame, and boy he was right.
Let’s pretend you’re on death row: What’s your last meal?
Oh, God, it would be a cholesterol apocalypse. If I’m dying, it would have to be lobster mac and cheese, collard greens with ham hocks, probably the best fried chicken ever made, wherever that’s made. I was going to give you that name, but they don’t pay me to tell you that. But it’s in New Orleans.
What was the first song you knew all the words to?
“L-O-V-E.” One of my favorite karaoke songs. That and “If You Want Me To Stay,” by Sly and the Family Stone. Either one of those. eans.