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Acting Bug Bites Redskins' Cooley

Chris Cooley watches footage of his acting debut in "Ghosts Don't Exist." (Donnie Conty)

When Chris Cooley signed on to the indie film "Ghosts Don't Exist," he was just supposed to be the executive producer -- the name at the top, the guy who helps raise the money.

But showbiz has a way of sucking you in. Probably to no one's surprise, the Redskins' most lovable ham -- a veteran of Eastern Motors commercials and some goofy videos on his popular blog -- ended up taking a small part in the movie.

"I had maybe six lines, seven lines, and I was thinking, it'll take an hour, hour and a half tops," he told us. "It took four hours! You really appreciate what all those actors go through."

The tight end played a sheriff's deputy in the paranormal thriller by the small NoVa production company 19th & Wilson, which was filmed locally in a 15-day sprint last month. Cooley also lent his house out for three days -- it's used to portray the home of the lead character, a noted ghost hunter. Other filming took place in the city hall of tiny Hamilton, just west of Leesburg, where Cooley used to live. Pull any strings there? "They're excited it's my movie," he said, "but they're really excited it's a movie."

WJFK afternoon-drive jock Mike O'Meara also plays a small role, as does WRC (Channel 4) sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak. Also: Redskins tight end Todd Yoder, who, we're told, totally nailed his line. ("Hey, come on, we gotta go!")

Cooley's brother Tanner, a hands-on producer of the film, bragged that they managed to complete the entire thing on schedule and within budget. (Which was ...? "You can say it's a low-budget film.") Now the production team will spend the summer editing and scoring it, with hopes of shopping it to distributors and film festivals in the fall.

Awkward question: Is this movie going to be any good? "I'm hoping for a great movie, but you can never tell," Chris Cooley told us. If it's a success, "they told me the deputy's role could definitely be enhanced" in the sequel.

By The Reliable Source  |  June 3, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Thanks, Roxanne + Amy!

Fans can get the latest info on the production by following our blog ( We've also set up a Ghosts Don't Exist fan page on Facebook that's over 800 strong! We appreciate ALL the support! :)

~ Richard Friend, 19th + Wilson

Posted by: richard_friend | June 3, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

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