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Super Bowl commercial a super opportunity for Janesville native

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
February 4, 2012
— When Janesville native Shaun Daley was cast in an NBC television commercial, he didn't realize it was slated to run on the crème de la crème of advertising days—Super Bowl Sunday.

In an interview this week, the actor and 2005 Parker High School graduate said he landed a primary speaking role on a blockbuster commercial for the NBC singing competition "The Voice," which stars pop superstar Christina Aguilera.


The commercial is a promotion for the season two debut of "The Voice," which is set to air after the Super Bowl.


Daley, 25, has lived in Los Angeles since 2008. He said he's never won a role like the one in the commercial.


The only thing casting directors required for the audition was a photo of him wearing nothing but a bath towel. That's about all the information Daley said he could give about the commercial. His contract for the advertisement includes a strict confidentiality clause.


Daley's casting agency, L.A.-based Atmosphere Casting, could only confirm that Daley has a role in the commercial.


"The Voice's" gimmick is that its panel of vocal coaches—which includes Aguilera and pop singers Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton—compete to get contestants to join their teams.


The commercial plays on that dynamic, with Aguilera, Green, Levine and Shelton using weapons and martial arts to win over a promising singer, according to a report in Entertainment Weekly. Daley could only say that in his role he's inadvertently stuck in the middle of it all.


The commercial was shot in December by Peter Berg, director of the television series "Friday Night Lights."


"He's known to be an intense guy," Daley said. "All day, production assistants were running around, and he was swearing at people. He came up to me and was like, 'Are you ready for this? I think my answer was, 'Yes sir.' It was pretty intense."


Daley said that during filming he met Aguilera and talked to her.


"She was really nice. I just tried to keep my cool talking to her," he said.


In the past, Daley's been a featured extra in films, playing a radical in the 2011 biopic "J. Edgar" and an American hostage in the upcoming Ben Affleck film "Argo," which chronicles a 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran, Iran.


Daley's also worked on the CBS TV series "The Big Bang Theory" as an extra and as a stand-in who reads lead actors' lines while directors set up scenes. He last appeared on the show Nov. 17, 2011, in an episode titled "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition."


"I was the redhead kid in the corner of the comic book store," Daley said.


Daley said the acting work he does takes a workmanlike approach and thick skin. Actors that do background work can put 10 hours into a scene only to see it get cut later.


"It's an everyday thing. If you want it to be, you've just got keep pushing and hopefully get to that next step," he said.


When he's not working as an actor, Daley auditions, takes acting method classes and works as a server at a hotel.


Just as NBC is pegging hopes that post-Super Bowl placement of "The Voice" will lift the show and the network to new heights, Daley hopes his role in the commercial will give his career a boost.


"An NBC guy said this thing could open up some doors. He said I might get some random calls on Monday," Daley said. "It was kind of a taste of what the next level would be. My hope is somebody with a big agency sees it and calls me."


Meanwhile, Daley hasn't seen the final cut of the commercial and he won't until the rest of the world does—during the Super Bowl.


He plans to watch the game at his cousin's home in Phoenix, Ariz.


Daley said the stakes might be a little higher, but he's looking at his work on "The Voice" commercial as just another project.


"You do the work, the job, and it's out of your hands," he said.



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