Local shares Super Bowl spotlight
KEYSTONE – At first glance, Briel Dicristofaro looks like your average – if noticeably cute – Keystone snowboard instructor. But look again, and you might recognize him as one of the two cowboys in the Super Bowl’s Anheuser-Busch zebra commercial.
The beer company’s spot starts with a repeating scene of Clydesdales on tape. Pan to a zebra, looking down at an instant replay machine as the Clydesdales stand on the “sidelines” of a faux football field. Two cowboys – one of them Dicristofaro – banter on the sidelines.
“That ref is a jackass,” Dicristofaro says.
“No, I believe that’s a zebra,” says the older cowboy, Los Angeles resident John St. Ryan.
Many television networks and viewers touted the ad as the Super Bowl’s best commercial.
The commercial was filmed in Telluride last November, the site a lucky one for Lakewood resident Dicristofaro who was flown to Telluride for the shoot.
“The Clydesdales were really beautiful,” he said. “It was shot at a beautiful, snow-
covered ranch. The zebra was not happy in the snow, however.”
Dicristofaro, who commutes from Lakewood to Keystone several days a week to teach snowboarding, has been pursing an acting career for about 10 years. He won’t reveal his age, saying it could limit his acting possibilities if a producer knows he’s older than he looks. “You can say I’m 26,” he said.
While he’s happy with the national commercial, he’s perhaps even more proud of a soon-to-be-released independent film in which he stars. “The Haven” was voted the best picture at the Wilmington (Del.) Film Festival.
The movie follows three best friends whose haven is a makeshift camp in the Connecticut mountains. After graduating from college, the friends make a pact to spend one last summer there before they head out into the real world. Through their often-humorous adventures, the film chronicles their last months together as they are forced to come to terms with their lives and the inevitable changes that accompany adulthood.
Dicristofaro auditioned for the Anheuser-Busch commercial in Denver; auditions were held there and in L.A. Dicristofaro estimated 100 people tried out for the commercial in Denver, but he won the role.
“They said my performance was subtle,” Dicristofaro said. “Some of the other actors kind of did the Beverly Hillbillies version of it. That’s not what they really wanted.”
Dicristofaro said his taste of fame hasn’t gone to his head.
“It just makes me feel good,” he said. “It doesn’t give me any ego because really, the star of the spot is the zebra.”
He’s gotten “a little bit” of recognition since the spot aired. He’s also taken some teasing.
“Everybody is razzing me about it, saying, “Hey, Hollywood,'” he said, adding that the zebra ad may not be his last association with Anheuser-Busch. “Budweiser is now interested in me doing some promotion work.
“My goal is to be recognizable and working frequently in Denver.”
The Super Bowl spot is a good start, he said.
“As friend of mine said, “You’ve got to look at it this way, Budweiser is paying $2.5 million to show your face.'”
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