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All NFL players are human beings. That means they enjoy things outside of their profession. They have hobbies and tastes and interests just like you and me.
For Redskins tight end Niles Paul, it's going to the movies.
As he rehabs and recovers from the ankle injury he sustained at the beginning of the preseason, he also has some more free time to head to the local theater and catch up on the latest flicks, his favorite pastime.
Each week I'll sit down with Paul and we'll converse about the most recent movies he's seen, debate about their strengths and weaknesses, needlessly scrutinize or praise actors and directors, analyze his Netflix queue, and, hopefully, find another window into Paul's personality.
In our latest conversation, in the spirit of Halloween's recent passing, we discuss horror movies, what makes Paul scared and why Daniel Craig is his favorite James Bond.
We were off last week, so we didn't get to chat about horror movies in preparation for Halloween. Are you a big horror movie fan?
I am, especially on Halloween. My favorite is probably Jason and Freddy. I think Freddy might be scarier than Jason because I feel like I can give Jason his mitts. I don't feel like I can get Freddy, his hands. In a dream, no matter how much control I've got, he can get you in a dream. I like "Freddy vs. Jason" even though it was corny. Another scary movie that kind of spooked me when it first came out was "Paranormal Activity." Only because everybody was saying how it was true story. So I had to Google the facts, and obviously it's just another movie. One movie I recommend – some people might find it scary – is "The Fourth Kind." It's an abduction movie.
That was the alien movie?
Yeah, and they take two separate films. They take the director's film and then they a video camera film, like it was recorded by hand, because they convince you there's this doctor, and she did this case study in Alaska and there's people missing…It will mess you up. I suggest people watch it with an open mind.
So what horror movies do you like more? The ghosts, the monsters, aliens…
I kind of like the demonic stuff. This was a movie I was scared of my whole life, and I still won't watch it today: "It." I was scared to go to circuses. I'm more scared about stuff like that. I'm not worried about ghosts in my house. I'm worried about a clown with a knife on some psychotic [expletive]. That's what I'm worried about.
*So clowns are a big thing for you? *
Well, not so much anymore. Here's the thing. When you get bigger, you're like, I'll beat the hell out of some "It" now. I wish "It" would come into my house with a knife and a clown suit. He wouldn't make it out alive… [Even] with the boot [pointing to his left foot].
You saw the movie "The Gift" recently that came out this summer. I like that kind of movie more. I like thrillers more than horrors.
I love the movies that leave you with cliffhangers. You don't know for sure, but you know for sure. You kind of know for sure, but then you're like, "He never really said that he did it..."
We shouldn't spoil the ending to this movie, but that was an insane ending.
It was insane because I didn't expect it. [Jason Batemen] plays the same role – he's a funny guy, sarcastic, smart-ass.
Every movie – "Horrible Bosses," "Arrested Development."
He's always a good guy. But this movie, he wasn't. He was a bully. And it backfired. I think the hidden meaning behind that movie, so much more than what people realize, is that the movie is like an anti-bullying movie. It was saying karma is very real.
It was also about capitalism bullying. He has this nice job and thinks he can get away with his actions if he pays people off to be quiet.
Yeah. He pays people off, and then he thinks he can talk to people the way he wants to, or he can finagle his way through situations. Because he is a great talker.
So you saw this movie at home. I saw this in the theater and people were really jumpy. Do you like seeing horror movies in theaters?
I like seeing them in theaters. I like people's reactions in horror movies. It always makes it funny.
Do you get scared easily?
I don't get scared easily. I just get scared by the sound effects. I get jumpy. It's the hard hitting beat and then somebody just pops out of nowhere. Sometimes you can expect it, but other times it's so random.
You mentioned "It." What movies stay with you for a long time?
"Chucky," man. For some reason ever since I was little Chucky scared me. Then I got older and Chucky stopped scaring me because then I just realized I could just beat up Chucky.
So it seems like as long as you can physically dominate something…
[Then] I'm fine. That's how I feel about Jason. I'm not running from Jason. Me and Jason will go toe to toe and we'll see who's going to have to come out victorious. But one movie that also stuck with me was "Jurassic Park." It's not a horror movie per say, but I used to have dreams of dinosaurs chasing me around the house…I have weird dreams.
Well it was scary when dinosaurs would eat people. So it's animals that get you?
People, not so much. Animals, the baddest grouping.
Did you ever see "Jaws?"
I saw "Jaws." I guess I was terrified of "Jaws," because I wouldn't get into the water for a while.
Off topic, but the new James Bond movie comes out Friday. Were you a big James Bond fan growing up?
I'm a big James Bond, spy guy.
Do you like Daniel Craig?
I love Daniel Craig. This is MY James Bond. I can't wait to see this movie.
A lot of people like Craig, but he doesn't play silly at all like Roger Moore or Sean Connery.
Yeah, but when I'm thinking about James Bond, an international spy – you've got your "player" side of it, he's got that covered. He's a serious dude. I'm fine with him not being as humorous as the other ones.
He said this could be his last Bond.
I believe it. He's tired of playing it. You get stuck in those roles. Just like Christian Bale was tired of playing Batman.
His voice probably took a toll on him.
[Paul mimics the voice then clears his throat] I'm sure it does.