American football is firmly entrenched as the most popular sport in North America, loved by people from a wide variety of different backgrounds and walks of life. John D. Hickman, a fast-rising Hollywood star, is among the ranks of die-hard American football fans.
The Alabama native has landed several roles in coveted TV series’ and big-budget films. Despite his ever-expanding body of work and high-profile projects – that often lure actors to make their home in California – Hickman’s heart and home are in Alabama and with the Crimson Tide.
The University of Alabama intercollegiate athletic varsity teams, also known as the Alabama Crimson Tide, are known for their iconic “Roll Tide” rallying cry – a pop culture moment thanks to a notable mention in Forest Gump and proud Alabama football fan, Channing Tatum who hails from Cullman, Alabama.
Former Birmingham Age-Herald sports editor Hugh “Doc” Roberts is credited with giving Alabama football its “crimson tide” nickname in 1907 after watching Alabama and Auburn play to a 6-6 tie in Birmingham. The sports editor reportedly described the game as a “crimson tide” after Alabama pulled off a pivotal upset against rival Auburn.
It’s often said that when you get the crimson tide in your blood, it never goes away. Hickman can attest to this notion, as he stayed true to his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he still resides –– not the Hollywood Hills. The actor opted to stay close to his true loves – family and Alabama football. So much so that Hickman is notoriously known for skipping shots on certain Saturday game days.
Talent, Hardwork and Grand Ambition
John Hickman got his first Hollywood break when he landed a pivotal part in one of his favorite TV series, “True Blood” – the result of winning a donated Walk On Role at a Charity Auction for LA Children’s Hospital in 2011.
After he wrapped shooting the episode, John sent a bottle of wine from Alabama to the producers and several cast members as a thank-you for the experience. Lo and behold, they invited the freshly minted actor back for seasons 5 and 6, later offering him a regular role as a werewolf. A golden opportunity to work on “The Vampire Diaries,” an American supernatural teen drama TV series based on a series of novels by L.J. Smith, soon followed with a recurring role.
“Just keep doing it … don’t let people talk you out of it. That was my problem. I had somebody say, ‘You’ll never be anything — you’ll never be on TV; you’ll never be in a movie. You’ll just be an extra.’ And I’m like, ‘watch!’”
John’s journey to Hollywood was anything but ordinary. Hickman left behind his decades-old family business and a six-figure corporate job to pursue acting. And while his decision was initially met with confusion, it turned out to be the best one of his life. In an interview, John recalled, “I want to get better and better, and I want each role to get bigger and bigger, and that’s how it’s been going.”
Today, John has his sights set on an Emmy award followed by an Oscar, taking the stage at the biggest award events in the television and film industry, where acting, directing, writing, and other creative and technical achievements are recognized. He also aspires to own an NFL franchise one day, a testament to his die-hard love for American football.
John’s journey is one of talent, hard work, and grand ambitions which made him a prominent breakout actor in the entertainment industry. He left the familiar to seek out the unknown, a decision that paid dividends as he pursued his dreams and made them a reality. John D. Hickman is a true inspiration for entrepreneurs and creative professionals, alike.
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