Ryan Lochte has become almost as big a name in Olympic sports as Michael Phelps, though not for all the same reasons. The swimmer is trying to bounce back from some bad PR, and he's looking to Hollywood to do it. Following a Dancing with the Stars debut that was marred by protest, the olympian has moved on to film, he just signed to play a role in an upcoming Sharon Stone film.
Ryan Lochte will star alongside Sharon Stone, Famke Janssen, and Ellen Burstyn in A Little Something for Your Birthday. The film follows Stone as an aspiring fashion designer who is dealing with an overbearing mother played by Burstyn. Tony Goldwyn plays an attorney who attempts to win the heart of Sharon Stone.
The Hollywood Reporter doesn't explain the role Ryan Lochte will play in the film. Based on the fact that he's about the fifth name down the list of stars, at the most, and the fact that he's never acted before, we're going to guess that he doesn't actually have a lead role. THR does use the word "stars" so we'll assume he's got more than a cameo, but it may just be a couple of scenes interacting with the key characters.
Ryan Lochte made headlines following the Rio Olympic Games, not for his performance in the pool, but for his actions outside of it. Following public allegations that he and some friends had been robbed at gunpoint, the truth came out eventually and it was revealed that had just been drunk and vandalized a Brazil bathroom.
Whether or not Ryan Lochte can act is a question that has yet to be answered. Beyond, of course, his performance in front of news cameras when he claimed that he was robbed and then had to go out and apologize to the public for lying. His actions were not taken well by large parts of the public who protested his performance on Dancing with the Stars which began shortly after the Olympics ended.
Casting swimmers as actors is actually in the classic Hollywood tradition. Back in the 1930s and 40s Johnny Weismuller was a Hungarian swimmer who famously played Tarzan in a series of films. American Buster Crabbe also played the role after winning gold at the Olympics. There was even a possibility that Michael Phelps might have gone on to follow in their footsteps, but that didn't work out too well for him. Perhaps Lochte will have better luck.
A Litte Something for Your Birthday is being described as a coming of age comedy. We'll have to wait and see whether Lochte can be funny. The film will be shopped around to investors later this fall. There's no release date as of yet.