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Bruce Boudreau's (D.C.) Acting Debut

Bruce Boudreau, post-makeup.

When Bruce Boudreau met with the folks from American Service Center & Mercedes-Benz of Alexandria about his upcoming TV spots, he announced that he had some thoughts about the scripts.

"I'm thinking, 'Oh now, now he's writing the scripts?' " recalled Audrey Mulholland, the dealership's marketing director (and a longtime Caps season ticket holder).

"Ok," the Caps coach suggested, "S550 with the top down and a gorgeous 22-year old blond in the passenger seat."

That was pretty much the spirit during today's filming of the two spots, which will appear on Comcast SportsNet during Caps broadcasts starting next month. In the first spot, Boudreau is obsessively concerned about the cupholders on the ML he's scouting; "What about the cupholders?" he asked on cue for the cameras, about 40,000 times. (Get it, "Cup" holder?)

One time, he called it a popholder. Another time he lost the words; "what's my line, I've gone blank," he said. Director Matt Walker offered advice on the intonation; "really push the cupholders line; you're damn serious about the cupholders," Walker said encouragingly. "What about the [bleepin'] cupholders?" Boudreau offered.

Bruce Boudreau, mid-lint-rolling.

At various points, the coach was asked to work on his body angle and facial expressions, talked about his love of Abba, borrowed collar stays from the dealership's general manager and shouted out "That's a cut! That's a take?" after a successful scene.

"You know, I first joined SAG in 1975," he said, during a brief break. "I want a star on my office door from now on," he told a Caps PR guy during another break. He also asked for slippers.

Boudreau will join Wizards coach Eddie Jordan as a Mercedes pitchman; you might recall those spots of Jordan maniacally wielding a t-shirt gun and putting the salesmen on a shot clock inside a dealership. After the Caps success last season, the Mercedes folks wanted hockey-themed spots in the same vein; they thought about signing up Alex Ovechkin, who actually owns a Mercedes, but decided Boudreau was a more fitting spokesman.

"He created such a persona for himself," Mulholland explained. "Mercedes is an aspirational car, and I think Bruce is a really great aspirational story. It was really good for us; like the common man feel. When he came in here he was driving an Impala. To me, it just went with his whole story. It's like, he's arrived."

Indeed, the Impala has now been parked in favor of a flint gray Mercedes E350. It's actually a less expensive model than some that he test-drove, but he was most concerned with the size of the trunk (for his son's hockey gear) and the back-seat space (for carting kids to hockey practice). The car has iPod integration; Boudreau doesn't have an iPod.

"I've lived this long without one," he said, when I asked whether he'd now buy one. "Actually, I listen to the navigation guide."

The first shoot took about four hours, during which Boudreau's only request was for the M&M's he had been told were a staple on set. He opened the candy while the crew was working on a shot without him; "I'm just worried the sound's picking up everything," he said quietly. "I was afraid to burp."

Before the shooting started, he took to responding "yes, but what about the cupholders," to everything he was asked; he later joked that he was going to be mumbling about cupholders in his sleep, and would show up for the first day of practice asking his players about puckholders. Finally, the director was satisfied that he had enough material for the 30-second spot, and a lunch break was announced.

"The next one's a 20-minute documentary," Boudreau announced, "so we might be here for a while."

Bruce Boudreau, asking "but what about the cupholders???"

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 10, 2008; 3:47 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Might want to change the title of this post. This isn't Boudreau's acting debut. Lest we forget his appearance in "Slapshot"

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 10, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I always thought the TV shirt gun spot was pretty terrible. Especially that guy who gets nailed in the face right at the end.

Glad Boudreau upgraded from the Lumina. Chevy sucks.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 10, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

He spurned Eastern Motors for this?

Posted by: | September 10, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That 22 year old blond comment skeeves me out.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Cmon anonymous, he was joking. His wife was with him when he made the suggestion. He's always joking about everything.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | September 10, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't want a Mercedes unless I can buy it at Eastern Motors, where my job is my credit. #1 in second-chance financing!

Posted by: Lindemann | September 10, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Boudreau is the man.

If I were Steinberg, anytime anytime I needed something to write about, I'd just go hang out with Bruce for about half an hour.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | September 10, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more afraid and skeeved if he HADN'T made a comment about a 22 year old blonde in the passenger seat... isn't that why mid-life crises-prone men purchase an S550 convertible in the first place?

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 10, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember those Adam Oates spots for International Motors?

I feel so old sometimes.

Anyway, the fact that Boudreau arrived on set looking for M&Ms and not much else pretty much sums him up. He's so hockey and he doesn't even know it.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 11, 2008 2:01 AM | Report abuse

steinberg, great story. too bad you missed the other cap commercial being filmed accross town. GM george mcphee was at a mortuary doing a casket commercial. he big line was "but what about the ash holders".

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | September 11, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The spot looks super funny. Can't wait to see the commercial.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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