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His basketball season may be over, but Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is taking his talents to the small screen, starring in a new campaign and commercial for television company, TCL.
The campaign, which launches TCL’s new TV lineup, imagines the “Greek Freak” as the star of a number of fictitious TV shows, as he demonstrates just how close to the action viewers can get with TCL. Already one of the most dominant basketball players in the league (he was just named the 2020 NBA Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year), Antetokounmpo shows off his acting and comedy chops too, appearing as a chef, stand-up comedian, gunslinger, and even a Call of Duty soldier on the screen of a TCL TV. The punchline: it’s not Giannis that has the range – it’s the TV.
Directed by filmmaker Matthew Mishory, the campaign supports the launch of TCL’s new 5-Series television, and the company’s latest TVs in their 6-Series collection. The commercial will air nationally and can also be viewed on TCL’s YouTube channel, which it’s already amassed more than 30,000 views.
For Antetokounmpo, the commercial was a chance for the often reserved and stoic athlete to show off a more light-hearted side. “I had fun showing off my acting skills alongside my brother [Thanasis] in the commercial,” Antetokounmpo says. “This is something that’s actually more similar to who I am — funny, corny, cheeky.”
Antetokounmpo was first announced as a TCL Brand Ambassador in 2018, and he says the company shares many of the same “principles and vibes” as him. “I love that TCL TVs make premium technology accessible, allowing my fans to enjoy more of the things they love,” he says. “Whether it is watching a basketball game, a stand-up comedy special, or a baking show, it is easier to find your favorites and they look better on a TCL TV.”
As for what he watches on TV, Antetokounmpo says sports is obviously his go-to. “I used to play soccer when I was younger so I watch a lot of soccer,” he tells Rolling Stone, “and I watch basketball every night.”
And then there’s his not-so-guilty pleasure: “I watch a lot of reality shows,” he admits unabashedly. “I love reality shows.” His current watchlist: “Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Floribama Shore, The Challenge, Jersey Shore… The old Jersey Shore was better,” he asserts, “but I still keep up with them.”
As for his own acting plans, the international superstar reveals he’s been “offered to be in movies” but is holding out for the right role. For now, the TCL commercial will be the only place fans can see Antetokounmpo as an NBA player-turned-actor.
Antetokounmpo is back in Milwaukee after spending the last few months in the so-called “NBA Bubble” in Orlando. The Bucks made it to the playoffs again this year but were eliminated by eventual conference champions, the Miami Heat.
The Bucks made headlines during their first-round playoff series, when the team refused to take the court for game 5 of their matchup with the Orlando Magic, to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin — a city located just a few miles from the Bucks’ arena in Milwaukee. The Bucks — and all NBA players — eventually agreed to resume the playoffs after the league agreed to formulate an action plan to address racial injustice issues, while holding police more accountable for their actions.