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Who Is The Star In The Hanes 'Ball-Ance' Commercial?

Maybe you've seen him turn up on your TV screen in between segments of your favorite show. He rides a mechanical bull under a star-lit desert sky, poses precariously while hanging from some red rocks, and swings in a hammock high above a cheekily green-screened canyon. The message we're getting: The star of the new Hanes "Ball-ance" commercial fears nothing, least of all appearing publicly in his skivvies to promote the brand. And we've learned a lot, too, listening as he lists the benefits of the total-support-style pouch in his ambiguous accent. Who knew "perfect separation and support" were such critical marketing points to the discerning consumer?

Actor Tony Cavalero may not have had that particular knowledge before filming the ad, but he came at the material with plenty more going for him — a background in comedy, an unforgettable role in a TV show based on a fan-favorite film, and even a stint portraying a real-life, mega-rock-star.

Cavalero came up in comedy

Ever heard of Will Ferrell? Ana Gasteyer? Paul Reubens? Lisa Kudrow? All alumni of The Groundlings, an LA-based improv theatre that's been launching comedy careers since the 1970s. So it's a pretty big deal that Cavalero is a mainstage company member himself. He performs and acts alongside the rest of the crew and also serves as the theatre's artistic director. 

When Cavalero moved to LA, he didn't know anyone and had no clear direction for his acting career. He studied theater arts and dance at California State University, Los Angeles, did some extra work, and eventually auditioned to take classes at The Groundlings. (Yes, he had to audition just to train there.) Once he started studying improv, though, he had an epiphany.

"This is my calling in life," he recalled in an interview with AfterBuzz TV. "This is what I want to do with the rest of my life ... be a big goofball that's making stuff up for a living. How much fun is that?"

Tony Cavalero reprised a Jack Black role

In 2016, Nickelodeon decided to reboot the beloved movie "School of Rock" as a TV series. And who did they want in the role of teacher/rock-star-wannabe Dewey Finn, formerly portrayed by Jack Black? None other than Tony Cavalero.

As he told J-14, every day on set was "like a party" and he definitely got to live out his dreams in the role. But it wasn't all fun and games, noshing on donuts, and stealthily tooting to annoy and amuse his kid castmates. There was also some serious study involved. "We learn each instrument," he said. "Every instrument on the show is played by the characters ... and we learn each song chord by chord, note by note and actually play them on the show."

Mastering the music must have been challenging, but his "School of Rock" education paid off in more ways than one. In fact, it helped Cavalero land his next big gig.

He stepped willingly into Ozzy's shoes

When Cavalero was tapped to portray Ozzy Osbourne in 2018, it had to have something to do with his "School of Rock" skills. After all, he was proven rockstar material. All he needed was a chance!

He got it in the Mötley Crüe biopic "The Dirt," alongside Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Daniel Webber as Vince Neil, and Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee. Cavalero's onscreen moment was fleeting but unforgettable, requiring him to snort ants like drugs and lick urine off the ground (surely a Hollywood concoction and not actual pee). It was disgusting stuff and he was willing to do it — a credit to his all-in attitude as well as his acting skills.

With training and willingness like that, it's no surprise he aced the comparatively tame — yet still comedic — Hanes "Ball-ance" commercial. Kind of makes you wonder what Cavalero will do next.