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Ian Rappaport, regional sales manager, your 15 minutes begins now.
The “Up For Whatever” nonactor that stars in the heavily promoted Bud Light Super Bowl ad had kept his involvement in the commercial under wraps from his friends for the past three weeks, since the surprise shoot ended.
“I didn’t let anybody know,” Rappaport tells The Hollywood Reporter by phone on Sunday while partying on the Bud Light cruise ship docked at Pier 88 on the Hudson River. “Nobody knew about this; I signed a very serious nondisclosure agreement.”
On the night of the surprise shoot, the 27-year-old Manhattan resident thought he was being called in for a focus group. “For the focus group, they were paying me $1,000 for the night. They had a black car come to my apartment and pick me up,” Rappaport says. (He later clarified that he’s “not sure” how much he’ll be paid for appearing in the Super Bowl spot: “I would have done this thing for free.”)
The commercial opens with a woman approaching Rappaport and asking him: “If I give you this [Bud Light], are you up for whatever happens next?” What happens next in the ad is a Hangover-style night of partying that includes cameos by OneRepublic, Minka Kelly, a ping-pong match against Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle ushering a llama into a hotel elevator.
Ian says he didn’t realize he was going to be a part of a Super Bowl ad until the very end of the evening. “Last night [Saturday], I’m partying with Kate Upton and I’m partying with a whole bunch of wild celebrities who, you know, I watch on TV all the time,” he tells THR. “Now I’m a part of this.”
When he’s not partying courtesy of Bud Light, Rappaport works in New York at outdoor advertising firm CMS Consulting Group Inc. “I love my business, I love what I do — I sell billboards,” he said. “The last thing I would ever want to do is actually get out of that industry; it has really defined who I am.”
In a behind-the-scenes clip, Bud Light commercial director Jeff Tremaine explained how the setup was filmed. “One of the many challenges, but it’s a big challenge: How do we find the right guy?” Tremaine said, adding: “We created this ruse where it’s a focus group, this guy thinks he’s signing up to just answer questions in a focus group and hopefully he’s just a personality type that is up for adventure.”
Asked about what his plans would’ve been had he not been chosen by the beermaker to appear in the commercial that evening, Rappaport told THR: “Nothing. I would’ve done nothing. I probably would’ve hung out at home and watched something. I have no idea what I would’ve done.”
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