Since its conception in 2019, Disney+ has introduced brand-new content from many different genres, ranging from a docuseries about guide dogs to the sci-fi, Western-inspired stories of The Mandalorian.
This week, Disney+ will mark its entrance into the sports genre with the release of Safety, a film chronicling the inspiring story of Clemson football safety Ray Ray McElrathbey.
I got the chance to sit down with one of the actors from Safety on Disney+, Chris Setticase, to discuss his involvement in the film and what makes Safety different from other football movies.
CORBAN: Thanks for joining me for this exclusive interview. To give us some background, how did you get involved with Safety on Disney+?
CHRIS SETTICASE: In June 2019, I received a text from my friends over at Game Changing Films, telling me that there was a football movie coming to Atlanta that summer. On this movie, they would be choreographing the football scenes, and they asked if I wanted to help out with the football wardrobe department on the film. They said they would call me within the next few days with details – I was super excited!
A few days went by, and I received a call from Jessi and Mike Sheldon, who help run GCF. The conversation was about working on the film, but regarding a different opportunity – the role for Ray Ray’s teammate, a football player from Kentucky, named Tobin. I was asked if I would like to audition for the part, and I gladly accepted. Three auditions later, I was told that the part was mine, and I would be working on the film for over two months. Wow, still gives me chills to think about.
CORBAN: That’s an amazing story! As someone who is relatively new to the acting scene, was there anything you learned from being a part of this film?
CHRIS SETTICASE: I learned about a beautiful, and powerful story – and one that I can relate to. Playing football at Robert Morris University was not just a challenge, but a transformative chapter in my life that I will carry with me forever. Hearing about Ray Ray’s story, and how selfless he was in his efforts to protect his brother, while coming into a D-1 program, really moved me. This experience was something that I am really blessed to have been a part of.
CORBAN: Ray Ray McElrathbey’s life is an inspiration to all of us, and it’s exciting to see his experiences at Clemson portrayed onscreen! What can viewers expect when they watch Safety, and how does your character Tobin fit into the story?
CHRIS SETTICASE: Watching Safety, you can expect an inspirational, powerful story that has a little something for everybody! They can expect to see an inspiring story of the undeniable bond of brotherhood, and what it means to be a part of a family – on and off the field. Tobin is one of Ray Ray’s friends and teammates while at Clemson – a fellow freshman with Ray Ray, he joins him on the journey that is his first year as a Tiger.
CORBAN: I can’t wait to see the interaction between Ray Ray and his teammates, and I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for your character Tobin throughout the movie! I noticed that you’ve also worked on other football-related projects like Concussion, Woodlawn, and Paterno. How did working on Safety differ from your experience with those projects?
CHRIS SETTICASE: It truly has been a blessing that I have been able to keep football so close to me throughout my post-college career. In “Concussion” I played a Pittsburgh Steeler (which was a dream come true, being from Pittsburgh) who gave legendary Hall of Famer, Mike Webster, a concussion! I was even able to snap a football to Drew Brees in a commercial! (No, it was not a shotgun snap either) Tobin, unlike the other football players, is still working his way up on the depth chart. He hasn’t seen any playing time yet, which I can heavily relate to from my own playing days.
CORBAN: It’s awesome that you get to show your love for football through films like Safety, and I’m beyond excited to watch the film on Disney+! While Safety probably holds a special place in your heart, do you have a favorite Disney+ original, and why?
CHRIS SETTICASE: The Mandalorian. I can’t keep it together when Baby Yoda is on screen, just being the cutest, and most adorable 50 year-old baby I’ve ever seen! Being a huge Star Wars fan since I was young, Boba Fett has always been my favorite character. Season 2 has been epic! Boba Fett has made his first on-screen appearance in 38 years! I screamed when his ship flew by for the first time, I could not contain my excitement. But I could go on all day about this, so yeah I would say The Mandalorian is my favorite.
CORBAN: You’re right, The Mandalorian is really great! Chris, thanks so much for joining me to chat about Safety; it was such a pleasure getting to learn more about this exciting film. I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for all of your future projects!
And, to the reader, you can watch Safety when it soars into Disney+ on Friday, December 11th.