by Kara Warner
Enlisting actors to play professional athletes can be dicey business - no matter how many hours of professional coaching or training they log, they're athleticism is either believable, or laughable. In celebration of this week's sporty rom-com "Just Wright," and a pretty impressive turn by rapper/actor Common as a professional basketball player, here is a list of other thespians who pulled off their "cinemathletics."
Wesley Snipes -- Willie Mays Hayes/"Major League" & Sidney Deane/"White Men Can't Jump"
While Snipes is probably best known as the vampire-slaying badass, Blade, he is especially memorable - and convincing - as smooth-talking "I play like Mays, and I run like Hayes" base-stealer in "League." As for Deane, his basketball hustler "Jump," who can forget his rant about "listening" to Jimi Hendrix versus "hearing" Jimi Hendrix?
Sean Astin, as Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger in "Rudy"
In arguably one of the best sports movies of all time, Astin completely captures the heart, soul and physical abuse it takes to portray the ultimate underdog. We dare you not to get misty-eyed during the film's final minutes.
Geena Davis and Lori Petty in "A League of Their Own"
Much like the real-life story upon which the film is based, it was hard to believe a bunch of actresses could pull-off playing baseball. However, Davis (as Dottie Hinson) and Petty (brooding little sis, Kit Keller) along with their fellow all-star castmates: Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Hanks, made believers out of many. We're still ticked that Dottie lets her sister win at the end though.
Sylvester Stallone as "Rocky"
His last installment might have been a stretch, but back in 1976 "Rocky" was king - thanks to the talents of newcomer Stallone (who also wrote the script). The sleeper hit was the highest-grossing film of that year, took home the Best Picture Oscar and spawned five sequels.
Honorable mentions go to: Hillary Swank in "Million-Dollar Baby," Will Smith in "Ali," and Mark Wahlberg in "Invincible"
There are plenty more to add to this list. What other actors-as-athletes made you believe?