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Former tight end Vernon Davis officially retired from the NFL in 2020 after 14 successful seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos, and the Washington Commanders. Since his retirement, he’s been busy with his acting career having filmed more than 20 different projects. Davis also founded two production companies — Reel 85 and Between the Linez Productions. You may have seen him on the small screen too as he has competed on Dancing With the Stars and served as a judge on Domino Masters.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet caught up with Davis to discuss his new movie with Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and Yellowstone star Cole Hauser as well as a few other projects he’s worked on.

Vernon Davis, who has a new movie coming out with Morgan Freeman and Cole Houser, attends the 'A Day To Die' New York screening
Vernon Davis smiles for a photo at the ‘A Day To Die’ New York screening | Rob Kim/Getty Images

Davis sees lots of similarities between football and acting

You might not think that football and acting are alike but Davis said there are actually a lot of similarities between the two.

“The similarities are with the preparation. You have to be prepared before you go in front of the camera just like in the NFL, you want to make sure that you’re fully prepared before you go out on Sunday,” he explained. “A lot of the work ethic that I had in the NFL I applied it to acting; meaning doing the work. Doing the work is being able to break down the script and finding your overall scene-to-scene objectives, paraphrasing, and coming up with the different emotions and each line that you need to. It’s just so similar to football to me.

“I started to realize that after the first full year of getting into acting. It’s one thing to be able to just get a script and think you can go in there and just nail it. You have to put in the work just like anything else. You can’t be fully prepared for anything unless you do the work. So that’s where the similarities come in at.”

Who Davis plays in the new movie ‘Muti’ with Freeman and Hauser

Davis stars in the new movie Muti as the lone antagonist opposite Freeman and Hauser. In the film directed by George Gallo, Davis plays a serial killer named Randoku and spoke about the character he portrays.

Vernon Davis and Morgan Freeman on the set of the film 'Muti'
Vernon Davis and Morgan Freeman on the set of the film ‘Muti’ | Photo provided by Overtime PR

“Muti is based on a tribe in South Africa and I’m playing the character who’s making the Muti. Cole Hauser and Morgan Freeman’s characters are trying to stop Randoku from doing all these killings. Randoku is selling the Muti and mixing it up into this potion. And he’s selling it to businessmen who want to feel more powerful … Basically, he’s harvesting body parts.”

What he learned working with Freeman

Davis also talked about what he learned working with an actor of Freeman’s caliber.

“I learned to be subtle and be creative,” Davis revealed. “There were a couple of scenes we had together where I made a choice and he came back and said ‘Try this.’ So what he showed me kind of opened my eyes to think bigger and outside the box.”

Davis is also a judge on the Fox reality competition Domino Masters

Davis has also been a judge on the reality competition series Domino Masters.

For his portion of the judging, Davis looked for “color combinations and different patterns and making sure that the colors schemes go with the theme.” He added: “It’s a really phenomenal show. I had a great time working with [fellow judges] Danica McKellar and Eric (Stonestreet) and Steve (Price).”

Davis’ other projects


‘Dancing With the Stars’: How Good Was Vernon Davis During His NFL Career?

The former NFL star also filmed a new show called Going Home in which he was cast as a former football player.

“I play this football player, who won Super Bowls, and I’m dying because of liver failure from taking pills and going out drinking and partying,” Davis said. “[My character] is in this hospital and goes from a smiling kid who walked into the hospital mildly sick to getting fully sick and dying … It’s a good [series] and it’s well written. I think a lot of people are going to fall in love with it because of the message.”

Going Home is available for streaming exclusively on Pure Flix.

Davis has been recording music recently as well.

Fans can follow and keep up with all his latest projects via Twitter @VernonDavis85 and Instagram.