Buffalobills.com: How did you get the opportunity to appear in ‘Draft Day’?
Ramses Barden: Last year, I participated in the NFL’s Hollywood Boot Camp which was a fabulous experience. It was put on by (producer) Jeff Friday and (actor and director) Robert Townsend. Rob took a liking to me. We had a ton of fun on set. We ended up shooting a short film throughout the week. We learned the ups and downs of the film industry from production to acting to writing, directing, camera work, editing – the whole nine yards. A few weeks later, someone from the NFL’ s Player Engagement department reached out to me and let me know they were shooting a movie in New York. She said if I was available to audition, it would be a great opportunity to continue to spread my wings on the acting side.
RB: I auditioned for the role of Ray Jennings – it was supposed to be the primary player who wants to be drafted to a particular team. I didn’t get the part. I think I was a little too tall for the role – I am holding a grudge on that one (laughs). But we had a great time. I ended up getting the role as one of the players in the green room during the actual draft day scenes. Me and a couple of other guys share a few moments, laughs and there’s some tension too. There’s a lot of feelings and emotion during that time because it is such a life-changing moment in an athlete’s life.
BB: Have you seen the final version of the film?
RB: Not yet. I shot my part. I was on call for a few other scenes, but that was it. They only needed me for the actual draft day scenes. From what I hear, the movie came out tremendously. I was invited to go to the premiere but I didn’t attend. Right now, I am really in grind mode, getting ready for my upcoming season where I will not be acting, but actively playing and earning a spot and contributing to a championship culture that the Bills have.
BB: What are your personal draft day memories?
RB: I remember it was a two day draft. They did the first and second rounds on the first day and the rest on the second. I had high hopes of being drafted in the second round. I decided to go bowling with some friends for the day and I went undrafted the first day. After the first day of the draft, I ended up golfing and tried to separate myself from all the expectations. After that, I kind of just forgot about it. I went to bed and the next day I was awakened by a call at about 8:30 in the morning west coast time and it was the New York Giants telling me they were going to use their 85th overall pick on me. They said ‘do you want to be with the Giants?’ I said ‘Hell yeah, why didn’t you call me yesterday? (laughing)’ They had two second round picks, so I really thought I was going in the second round to them. At the end of the day, I was extremely grateful and extremely happy. I got to celebrate with my college teammates – because I was spending time at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo at the time. We went bowling and golfing. The guys cheered me up for not being a first day pick. But I really got to connect with some friends in a way I really hadn’t connected with them before because it was such a life-changing experience.
BB: Players can begin volunteer workouts on Tuesday, April 22nd. What your thoughts about meeting your new teammates and coaches in a couple of weeks?
RB: I can’t wait as you can imagine. I actually worked out with