Michael Phelps, as most people already know, has won more gold medals in the Olympics than any swimmer in history. In fact, he’s won more medals than any Olympian in history. Despite some nasty and ultimately untrue rumors that spread about his possible use of performance-enhancing drugs, he remains the ing of Olympians and swimming. By the time those rumors surfaced, he’d already voluntarily joined Project Believe and was tested nine times for anything that might enhance his Olympic performance. In short, he’s really just that good.
Olympian or not, Phelps hasn’t had a perfect life. His father seems largely absent from the picture. Moreover, he was fined for drinking and driving in 2004, and he’s dealt with severe depression and ADHD. Plus, at six foot four, he can’t exactly shop off the rack for most things. Being the biggest fish in the pond seems to suit him, though. Michael has invested in helping others who love to swim achieve their health and fitness goals with the Michael Phelps Foundation.
When we looked at the idea of casting a potential future move about his life, there were several factors to consider. Sadly, swimming isn’t something most actors list on their resume. Firstly, he’s an international hero, so it’s essential to have an actor with experience and range to do honor to his position. Next, an actor playing a man who’s six-four should probably be over six-two at least. Finally, while we know we’re not going to find a perfect match for his unusual hazel eyes, an actor with dark hair and eyes, in his general age group is probably the best bet. We narrowed it down to five tall, dark-haired actors who we think could tackle the role.
1. Ben Affleck
Ben may seem an unlikely choice, but we don’t think so. Sure he’s got a little grey in his beard these days, but he’s also one of just two on this list that we know can swim. He even takes his son to swimming lessons. The Batman actor and family man is certainly tall enough for the part of Phelps. In addition to that, we know Ben has had some struggles of his own. He recently celebrated a year of sobriety and has been seen apparently driving drunk. We know that’s not the best connection to have with a living person if you’re going to play them on the silver screen. Still, we think Ben and Michael might have enough in common to make a great film.
2. Johnathan Chase
Another of our top picks for Michael Phelps would have to be this man, Johnathan Chase. The tall dark and handsome actor is probably best known for Gamer, but he’s got fantastic range. We think he could do Phelps some justice. He’s married to Sarah Greenfield, a dietician, and the happy couple spends a lot of time on physical fitness. These ‘fitness freaks’ like to go hiking and walking together as often as possible. They seem to prefer an active and adventurous lifestyle, which is wonderful. Johnathan’s connection to a healthy and very physical lifestyle seems like a perfect fit for the role of a champion swimmer. We don’t doubt he’d look great in a speedo, but don’t tell his lovely wife we said so.
3. Jason Momoa
We know the Hawaiian hottie isn’t the first actor who comes to mind when you think of Michael Phelps, and we’d never get him to cut that gorgeous hair for the part. Nevertheless, Jason has just about everything on our checklist for playing Michael Phelps in a movie. To begin with, they’re the same height and not too far apart in age. Jason is well known, heroic in stature, and incredibly familiar with swimming. The Aquaman actor spends plenty of time in the water and working on fitness. Additionally, he’s a dedicated family man just like Phelps. The connection to the water is ultimately what made us add him to the list, and we’re not sorry. We’ll even let it slide that Jason has green eyes instead of brown since Michael’s are hazel. We can never really get enough of him, and we think Jason Momoa is the most believable as the king of Olympic athletes out of all our picks.
4. Daniel Cudmore
Did we just seriously put Colossus on the list to play Michael Phelps? You bet we did. Michael is a good looking guy with a unique set of features, and we’ve accepted that we’re not going to find him a perfect lookalike among Hollywood actors. If you’ve noticed the trend, more than half the actors on this list have played superheroes. That wasn’t a random coincidence. You don’t win more gold medals than anyone in history, battle depression, and start a charity to help people have better health without deserving our respect. Michael Phelps is about as close as you can get to being a real live superhuman. Daniel’s affinity for sports and his superheroic background landed him this role on our list. We love seeing him on screen, and we’re pretty sure we’ll love him even more in tiny spandex swim trunks.
5. Adam Driver
Okay, he’s not a superhero. Adam Driver is about as far from being ‘that kind of actor’ as anyone gets. Regardless, we think he’s a decent choice for a Michael Phelps. Driver was a real-life hero as a member of the USMC. He achieved the rank of Lance Corporal long before he played Darth Vader’s grandson, plus he was a Jedi for a while. We admire this tall, serious and dedicated actor. Adam’s attitude is what reminds us of Michael Phelps, who has also been described as serious and dedicated.
Anyone stepping into Michael Phelps size fourteen shoes has a significant role to fill. Choosing an appropriately moody, tall, heroic, and water-friendly actor is no small task. Hollywood abounds with stunning talent and some truly amazing actors, but not everyone is suited to play the role of a living legend like Michael. We don’t envy the casting director who might have to make this choice if a Michael Phelps biopic is ever on the table. Moreover, we stand by our selections because the king of Olympians deserves the royal treatment, even if his depression probably makes him feel otherwise sometimes.