NFL’s Oldest Cheerleader Lands Her Own Movie Deal
A football movie helped the resurgence of Sandra Bullock’s career when she won awards for her performance in The Blind Side. Could she keep that whole trend going by playing an NFL cheerleader? OK, we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves here as far as picking an actress, but the role is out there as New Line embarks on a film that chronicles the tale of the NFL’s oldest cheerleader. And Laura Vikmanis threw Bullock’s name out there as a possible candidate to play her in the following interview. Vikmanis was struggling through a rough divorce when she decided she would try out for the Cincinnati Ben-Gals a couple of years ago. She didn’t make the team, but made the finals, a feat in itself that pushed her to work harder and make the team the following season.
Now, as if that wasn’t enough, it appears her story will be on the big screen. We may be a ways from having to think about it, but what do you think? Would you go see it?
Laura Vikmanis joined WLW in Cincinnati with Lance McCalister to discuss her long, strange trip, how all of it began, whether she was intimidated by her younger counterparts, the reaction of her two teen daughters to the whole process, how she stays fit, how the movie deal came about and how the cheerleaders are approaching the lockout.
Going back three years, did she ever think she’d even make the team, let alone have a movie made about it?:
“Absolutely not. It’s one of those things where you cannot even imagine. It’s a little surreal. It’s so exciting.”
How did all of this start?:
“In a nutshell, I was in a very unhappy marriage and I was in a process of a divorce, which took a very long time. During that time, I said to myself, ‘I am so unhappy. What can I do to really get myself back to myself and really enjoy myself in life?’ … Finally, I went to a game and I saw the cheerleaders down on the field and I said, ‘I think I can do that.’ … I ended up going to the clinic, I tried out, at that time I made it all the way to the finals but I didn’t make it. … I went on to try out the next year and I ended up making it.”
Was she intimidated by the younger women she was competing against?:
“Not only was it just personally intimidating with just all the stuff that I was trying to overcome myself, but then walking in to that kind of environment. Physically, these girls are beautiful, they have great personalities, they dance great, and I was just thinking to myself, ‘If I can just go through the tryout without falling apart, I will be happy.’ … It was unexpected that first time I tried out to even make it to the finals.”
What was the reaction of her two teenage daughters?:
“The first time I told them I was going to try out they were like, ‘What?’ and they were a little embarrassed. … I live in a neighborhood of suburbs and suburban moms. For me to step out of that traditional suburban mom, they were really embarrassed. … When I told them about the movie … they are so excited.”
How has she maintained her fitness level?:
“I’m a registered dietitian and a certified personal trainer. As a dietitian, I run a weight-loss program, so I practice what I preach. … I do work out a lot, probably five or six times a week. … Actually, we’re headed into the tryout season, so I’ve been working out with two girls with one personal trainer.”
How did the movie deal come about?:
“Back in like January, Yahoo! came to the Bengals and said, ‘We want to do a story on a cheerleader,’ so they did that. … Finally I started getting offers from cable companies and other big feature film companies. I actually ended up having to get an agent, which is crazy to even say. … When New Line came, they had the whole package deal where they could do the whole entire thing.”
How do cheerleaders go about business during the lockout?:
“We’re going about our business as usual, hoping we have a season. … We do a lot in the community, so even if we don’t have a season we’ll be out and about.”