Mike Whaley, the veteran episodic television actor and multiple Effie Award winning star of hundreds of commercials, is scheduled to appear as Officer Blake in Safety, a Disney+ film that opens on December 11. In this dramatic role, Whaley offers an energetic performance to the film’s empowering depiction of Ray McElrathbey, a college football player whose faith and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Safety is directed by Oscar® nominee Reginald Hudlin.
“Working with Reginald Hudlin on this film was a great opportunity for me as an actor,” Whaley said. “The story dealt with so many important issues affecting African Americans today, I felt proud to be a part of it.” Hudlin also directed Django Unchained and Marshall, among many other films.
Safety is a biographical-sports drama film. Produced by Mark Ciardi (Chappaquiddick) and written by Randy McKinnon (Where the Water Runs) and Nick Santora (Scorpion), it stars Jay Reeves in the role of McElrathbey. The film deals with McElrathbey’s struggle to raise and care for his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, while playing football for Clemson—because their mother Tonya, is unable to hold custody of them due to drug addiction.
Whaley is known for playing law enforcement roles, which made him a natural choice for Officer Blake. He appeared in Under the Dome (2013), Army Wives (2007), Atlanta (2016) and Homeland (2011). Whaley has also had reoccurring roles in such shows as The Oath, The Outsider and Saints and Sinners. As a commercial actor, Whaley is recognizable by hundreds of millions of people in the US after appearing in 300 commercials for more than 40 brands—including 200 commercials where he was campaign spokesman for Walmart. He has won six Effie Awards for his work in commercials.