The first and only winner of AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR is set to make his television acting debut.
Isaac Caldiero, 33, will appear as a guest star on tonight’s episode of the Debra Messing cop drama, THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA.
The professional rock climber and former busboy was tapped to play a bike shop owner who is prepping to compete in the extreme athletic competition.
“They built this huge setup of obstacles for me,” he tells TheTVPage.com. “You see me running all around and training.”
“I think everyone there expected, ‘Oh, he must know what he is doing. He is professional. He is a real ninja.’ But I was like, ‘I have never done anything like this. Please tell me if I am doing stuff wrong.’
“Luckily everything went super smoothly. I was super confident. I guess all my ninja training paid off in many different ways.”
Caldiero caught the eye of casting directors in September when he bested longtime pal Geoff Britten by a mere three seconds to capture the $1 million ANW grand prize.
Many viewers and members of the ninja community have lobbied for Britten to share in the title and riches — especially since he was actually first to successfully complete the rigorous course.
Britten himself has called the entire situation “unfair.”
“I don’t talk a whole lot to Geoff (anymore),” Caldiero says.
“I just hope that he can kind of more understand things from my position. If I was in his position, I wouldn’t be doing what he is doing. Let’s just say that.”
“I would be more humble and more respectful to the champion if I was in his position. If he had won and he was the champion, I would 100 percent give him that [respect] and I wouldn’t try to take that away.”
Caldiero, says he is eager to return to the show and defend his title. He welcomes the opportunity to compete against his one-time friend again.
“It was an honor before and it would be an honor again,” he says.
“In the end, we are all just trying to do our best. I totally respect him for everything he did. He is an amazing athlete. I hope he would say the same for me.”
In the meantime, Caldiero plans to focus on building his personal brand, writing a book and, yes, possibly even more acting.
“If the opportunities come to me, I would definitely go down that path,” he says. “But I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to acting school and try to pursue that. I have enough going on.”
THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM on NBC.
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