SMYRNA, Ga-- Within moments of walking into the Golden's Smyrna home, Nicholas held up a drawing: "That's you. And your camera."
The three-year-old teetered between bashful and precocious as I turned the living room into the location for our interview. By the end of the trip, he was using my microphone to interview his mother, showing off his firefighter costume, and putting on a concert for the camera.
"He was always such a creative kid, so I thought this would be a great outlet for him," Heather Golden said. "So I enrolled him in acting classes at Alliance Theatre."
That creativity landed 3-year-old Nicholas a role in a Doritos ad. If it wins the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, it will air during the big matchup February 2nd. The ad opens with Nicholas playing football with his "pretend dad". The father is called to duty, there's a tearful goodbye, and then a final shot of a care package including, of course, Doritos.
Heather said the crew was great with Nicholas, always remembering it's tough for a toddler to be "professional" on set. "The first day, was kind of like this," she said, as Nicholas ran laps around the couch. He stopped on his next lap.
"Mommy," he said holding up a green plastic toy phone. "Be quiet, I'm on the phone." He tells us he's on the phone with co-workers, and doesn't have time to interview with me. But he does take my call.
"The number is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1," He said.
"Answer you phone, it's ringing," his mom said.
"Hi!" he giggles.
Through that excellent plastic cell phone reception, Nicholas explains his motivation: "It's about Doritos, I love it!" he said. He points to the goodbye scene: "That's when he was leaving, Pretend leaving."
Since 2006, the Doritos contest has drawn on social media to solicit creative commercials. Unlike the wacky, crazy, kinky competitors, the commercial with Nicholas is pretty serious.
"The theme this year was going bold," Heather said. "So I think it's rather a bold move for our producer to go the non-traditional, funny route. It's really a heart-warming piece and that in itself is bold."
Nicholas won't get paid for this gig unless the ad wins. He did get paid for a small extra part in Fast and Furious 7, filmed recently in the Atlanta area. Heather said every penny is headed to a college fund.
"As soon as he stops having fun, we're done," Heather said. When I asked if he wanted to be in movies when he grew up, Nicholas said he hadn't decided yet. "I might drive a truck, a Home Depot pickup truck," he said. "Or, be a dancer."
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