Anthony Kelley talks ‘The Gambler’

Actor Anthony Kelly at the  DVD release party for "The Gambler."
Actor Anthony Kelly at the DVD release party for “The Gambler.”

The intense drama, “The Gambler,” featuring an incredible cast, including Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman and Jessica Lane arrives on Blu-ray combo pack and single-disc DVD April 28 from Paramount Home Distribution.

On behalf of the film’s DVD, a press day took place April 15 with rising star Anthony Kelley, who played opposite of Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg in the film.  The press day was located at Hollywood’s new Dave & Busters restaurant. It was an afternoon of fun, competitive hoop sessions and food.

Acting in “The Gambler” was Kelley’s first big role and finding out about the open casting was all thanks to a family member.

“My uncle called me for open casting and he told me that they were looking for real basketball players to portray Lamar. Just getting out of class, I drove down to Watts from the San Fernando Valley,” said Kelley. “At first I didn’t want to do it because, I really do not like the whole camera thing and when I went down there, I worked with Sheila Jaffe for about two months, twice a week. From there, I ended up getting the role.”

The athlete-turned-actor, Anthony Kelley described working alongside A-List celebrities as “overwhelming”.

“This is my first time acting, ever. At first, it was overwhelming but, everyone was so down to earth and chill. It was really cool. Now, I can call Mark whenever I want,” said Kelly. Jokingly he added, “I probably bug him a little too much.”

To prepare for the film he read his lines while driving, broke out in scenes with his friends at dinner, sat on his hands while reciting his lines to prevent hand gestures and played basketball while he recite his lines.

From the look of things, “The Gambler” was only the beginning for Kelley’s acting career. There may be more projects in the works in the near future.

 New York, NY - 12/10/14 -Paramount Pictures Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of The "Gambler" The Film stars Mark Wahberg, Brie Larson and Michael Kenneth Williams . The Gambler opens nationwide Dec 25th.   -PICTURED: Anthony Kelley -PHOTO by: Dave Allocca/Starpix
New York, NY – 12/10/14 -Paramount Pictures Pictures Presents The New York Premiere of The “Gambler” The film stars Mark Wahberg, Brie Larson and Michael Kenneth Williams .
PICTURED: Anthony Kelley
PHOTO by: Dave Allocca/Starpix

“I have three big films on the table and I am just waiting for the contract, along with other things. One of them is actually a very controversial topic that is actually going on today. It deals with this guy who is in solitary confinement for 43 years and that is all I can say…” said Kelley.

Although Kelley is pursuing his career in acting, his heart will forever be with basketball. He mentioned, “I still hoop every day as if I am going to the NBA. I take it seriously but, for now it is taking a back seat.”

When you think of gambling, most think of the games played for the chance of money. Gambling is beyond casinos, but choices we make in life. The film represents just that. It was all about life decisions, being where you want to be and risking it all. During the interview, Kelley was asked about his life and if he is where he wants to be.

His response was “Yes, now I do.”

“At first, I was against the whole acting thing because, I have seen my friends struggle with it and they are childhood stars. Now, they are at this crossroad in their life, just waiting for the next big thing,” said Kelley. He continued, “Basketball was something that I could more so, dictate regarding my future. I was trying to go overseas but, I was at a crossroad with basketball. Then, I got this movie role and from there, I decided to keep going. Now, I have three other movies and we are just going to see what happens.”

To keep up with Anthony Kelley, be sure to follow him via Twitter and Instagram at @antonkelley and for more information about the film, go to

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