HomeGrown: Jeff Joslin, Actor

9:11 PM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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Jeff Joslin in a scene with Tyler Perry in the movie "Madea's Witness Protection."

This summer, Jeff Joslin made it to the big screen.

"I play Tyler Perry's boss. I'm a federal prosecutor."

You could say he's come a long way from Cedar Bluff Elementary.

"We did the play "Rumpelstiltskin" and I had one line."

That was Joslin's first brush with acting, but, back then, he was more interested in sports.

"At age 6, I started playing football and that's all I wanted to do. I wanted to be a professional athlete."

At Farragut High, under the direction of Coach Ken Sparks,
the all-state quarterback was on the right track.

"I was recruited by about 30 schools- Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and all the South Eastern Conference schools."

But he chose to stay close to home.

"I just couldn't get the orange out of my blood."

However, it didn't work out as Joslin planned.

"Freshman year, I broke my collar bone and was out then."

And, it just so happened, his high school coach had moved to Carson Newman.

"I just felt that was where God wanted me to be.  I ended up with 2 national championships."

He majored in business at Carson Newman, but was focused on playing.

"I set my sights on getting to the pros. I tried out and got signed with the Canadian Football League."

He played for a couple of years and then got cut. Joslin started working with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and then got into sales. After several years, he was laid off.

"That's when the hair guy stepped into my life. He said, 'Have you ever thought about doing any print work or modeling or acting.'"

So, Joslin found an agency and went to an open call.

"I was the oldest guy in the room."

But the agent was encouraging.

"He said, 'You can be a banker, a detective... you have a wide variety of looks you can utilize.' And, I thought, this is a business."

So, he started doing print ads, posing in many publications, including national magazines.

Joslin also started taking acting classes. In New York, he landed some soap opera scenes, commercial spots and then small roles in several TV dramas including "Army Wives" and "Drop Dead Diva."

"Then I got interested in the production side."

Joslin helped shoot a couple of films including "Fish Bait" in Knoxville. And this past February,

"This role with Tyler Perry..."

His biggest role yet in the summer film, "Madea's Witness Protection."

"I had like six scenes with Tyler Perry and a couple with Eugene Levy which is more than Tom Arnold who's got top billing in it. I'm really hoping this film is going to help me get to different levels."

Since the movie's release, Joslin's moved to L.A with high hopes for Hollywood.

"I'm in it for the long haul. I mean, I'm a guy at 50 who's trying to recreate his life."

Jeff Joslin, born in Knoxville.

"There's nothing like East Tennessee. It's home and it will always be home."

HomeGrown in Tennessee.

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