RL star’s new bid for fame

Cory Paterson
Cory Paterson

A borough rugby league star is taking another step towards silver screen stardom.

Leigh Centurion ace Cory Paterson has been cast in crime movie Polterheist by international award-winning director Dave Gilbank.

Cory is a very talented actor, and a good bloke

The movie will be Get Carter meets The Exorcist, according to the film’s Twitter feed.

It is not Australian-born Paterson’s first acting role either, who now boasts his own profile on IMDB (Internet Movie Database), having previously been cast in films Blue Moon and The Dark Return of Time.

“He’s a very talented actor, and a good bloke,” Gilbank said of the forward-turned-actor. And the 29-year-old is using his downtime to hone his on-screen performances through training at The Actors Lab, an independent drama school based at MediaCityUK, Salford. This is not the rugby league star’s first foray into career options outside the sport.

The second-row made his boxing debut in 2012 and holds an unbeaten record.

He retired from rugby league in 2014 to focus on his boxing career – having played for Newcastle Knights, North Queensland and Wests Tigers in the NRL, and Hull KR in the Super League.

But then made a comeback in order to play rugby at Salford and Leigh, helping to propel Leigh to the Super League at the end of last season.

Paterson’s casting follows ex-Centurions forward Rob Parker’s entrance into the acting world.

The prop made his debut in the BBC’s critically acclaimed series Taboo, which stars Hollywood A-lister Tom Hardy and Game of Thrones star Oona Chaplin.

“I never set out to do anything acting-related but I have been friends with Tom Hardy for a couple of years now,” Parker said.

“Tom had always said that he thought I would be quite good at doing some acting.

“I can always spin a yarn and tell a good story so I think he could see something in me from that.”

Other rugby league players to turn to acting include ex-Huddersfield prop Keith Mason, former Wigan player Ian Roberts, and one-time St Helens prop Adam Fogerty - known to many as Gorgeous George in the Brad Pitt hit, Snatch.

Ex-Wigan player Martin Offiah has reinvented himself as a TV celebrity and both he and one-time teammate Gary Connolly once both made cameo appearances in ITV soap Emmerdale.

And of course there are other sporting precedents, perhaps most notably in this country, Vinnie Jones, the ex-Wimbledon and Wales footballer who went on to be a Hollywood star.