ToquiNotes: Return to Screen, this Time Big Screen, is Possible in Major Way for Bridgeport's Jason Parrish

By Jeff Toquinto on April 14, 2018 from ToquiNotes via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It was more than three years ago, on Dec. 19, 2014 to be exact, when long-time WBOY meteorologist Jason Parrish had his last show in a full-time gig as the station’s weatherman. Since then, he’s randomly shown up filling in as needed, while continuing his career in the pharmaceutical industry.
 
A return to the screen will almost certainly be, for the near future at least, in those part-time roles. As for a return, or rather an inaugural appearance, on the big screen, that’s looking like a possibility.
 
On Friday, Parrish got word that he had been asked to come to Philadelphia to be an extra in a movie. And not just any movie for many in my generation and certainly not for Parrish.
 
Parrish was in the City of Brotherly Love to serve as an extra in “Creed 2.” For those that don’t know, it’s the latest in the ongoing movies spun off of the decades-long Rocky series that star Sylvester Stallone.
 
Parrish? Yeah, he’s a HUGE fan. In fact, if not for his absolute love of all things Rocky Balboa he probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to be in the film. Although details about what he was involved in aren’t known due to the long Friday shoot (and may not be able to be released), what is known is how Parrish managed to get his foot in the door for his favorite ever movie series.
 
“It’s really just random how this happened, but I follow a Rocky fan account on Instagram. About three weeks ago, they were looking for extras for Creed 2,” said Parrish. “They had anyone that was interested to send in a picture of themselves along with your body dimensions so I did. I honestly never thought much about it after that.”
 
Two weeks ago, he began thinking about. Of course, when you get an initial email that asks you to come to Philadelphia for two weeks to take part in the filming that changes your perspective.
 
“I was excited, but I had to tell them with my work and my family there was just no way being away for that long was possible. I was really bummed about it, but I told them if you need me for a day or two to let me know,” said Parrish. “I thought that was the end of it, but on Monday they asked me to come up for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”
 
Again, Parrish was going to have to say no. A work conflict on Wednesday meant he couldn’t be there as suggested so he did what he did the first time.
 
“I told them if they could use me Thursday and Friday I would be there and told them I was sorry. What was a little different about the email was they were really apologetic about it to me,” said Parrish. “Eventually, they said to come up and then that changed. I imagine that’s fairly typical, but I figured I would just play it by ear.”
 
Later Thursday, another email arrived. This time saying “we want to book you for the shooting of Creed 2.” All Parrish knew was that he needed to be in Philadelphia Friday morning, he would be filming as part of the fight scene finale and I was being listed as a VIP for the shot.”
 
The troubling part was that the email said they would be told what to wear on their shoot at 11 p.m. Thursday. That was well after Parrish needed to leave so Parrish took advantage of the healthy wardrobe he has from his television days and his professional days.
 
“The car looks like I’m moving there are so many pieces of clothes,” Parrish joked Thursday as he was driving over Interstate 68 on his way to Philadelphia.
 
Turns out, he had what was needed. And now Parrish gets to take part in something that he’s been fascinated with for most of his life.
 
“I’ve always been a Rocky fan,” the 43-year-old Parrish said. “His persona and never give up attitude was something that always appealed to me. That speech in what is actually the sixth segment of the series, ‘Rocky Balboa,’ about taking life isn’t about how hard life hits you, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s my favorite scene in all of his movies.”
 
For fans of that movie, they know it took place outside of the fictional restaurant “Adrian’s” in Philly. While the restaurant was made up for the show, there’s an actual restaurant there and, yes, Parrish has been to it.
 
“I stood there on the spot in the street for my 40th birthday where he gave that speech. It’s exactly the same as the movie,” said Parrish. “The restaurant is the Victor Café in South Philadelphia and it’s unique because all the waiters and waitresses sing opera while they’re waiting on you.”
 
It’s more than that too. Several times, Parrish – an admitted fitness nut – has ventured north to take part in the annual Rocky Run in Philadelphia.
 
“I’ve done that and it’s a lot of fun,” said Parrish. “I guess the best thing would to be able to meet Sylvester Stallone.”
 
Who knows? By the time you read this, maybe he will meet him.
 
And who knows, when the movie is released sometime around Thanksgiving maybe you’ll see Parrish. Then again, as if occasionally the case with extras, maybe you won’t.
 
Check back soon to Connect-Bridgeport and we’ll give you a complete breakdown of Parrish’s journey. Hopefully, it’s a knockout.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Jason Parrish, right, running in the Rocky Run 10K in Philadelphia with friend Jared Sakolsky, while he's shown comparing hands with Sylvester Stallone's concrete imprints recently. Bottom photo shows Jason Parrish with his family, from left, wife Nicki, son Gavin, daughter Delaney and son Coleton. Photos courtesy of the Parrish family.


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