This weekend for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, the league has gone Hollywood.
On Saturday, television stars and hockey legends turned out for Honda’s “Hockey Goes Hollywood Roundtable” in downtown Los Angeles. Bones star David Boreanaz, Alias alum Michael Vartan, and Shadowhunters actor Isaiah Mustafa traded stories about developing their love for the game, working the sport into their day jobs, and comparing the adrenaline and pressure of filming to lacing up a pair of skates.
“Art Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, always says he told his athletes, ‘You have to be really loose and lucky.’ And I think I take that on when on the set or when shooting, and the pressure is on and you need to get a shot or if you’re directing, whatever that may be,” shared Boreanaz, a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan. “You sometimes just have to let your instincts take over and in that moment, you self-discover a sense of creativity and something inside yourself that you didn’t think was possible. And I think that goes true with a lot of athletes, especially hockey players.”
Joined on the panel by Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull, the actors, who often play pick-up games together, revealed how they find a way to score a role for hockey in their lives, be it professional or personal.
For Mustafa, it means building an ice rink in his garage, where Boreanaz even nabbed an invite to play. Boreanaz and Vartan have both made a point to incorporate the sport into their shows. Boreanaz’s Bones character Seeley Booth shares his portrayer’s passion for the Flyers, and Vartan persuaded Alias creator J.J. Abrams to make Michael Vaughn a fan of the game.
“I said, ‘Why don’t we make my character a hockey player,’ and he said, ‘Sure,’” Vartan recalled. “So we had several scenes on the show over the course of the years where we actually went out and played hockey. It was the only time where I felt like, ‘Oh, I’m being paid to play hockey, this is as close to being a professional hockey player [as I’ll get].’”
No hockey and Hollywood discussion would be complete without getting the experts’ opinions on the greatest hockey film of all-time. Youngblood and Goon both got support, with Vartan offering up two alternative answers.
“For just enjoyment, Slap Shot,” he said. “But for realism, Miracle, by far. Probably the greatest sports movie in terms of really capturing what the sport is really all about.”
The blend of the two worlds continues on Sunday outside of L.A.’s Staples Center at 11 a.m. PT, with DC superheroes Stephen and Robbie Amell, Fuller House star Candace Cameron Bure, and her husband, former NHLer Valeri Bure participating in “Three Periods of Trivia.”