When Texas A&M hired their new assistant Tanica Jamison, they got a swimmer with a sizable resume of swimming accomplishments. She’s an 11-time All-American, a two-time US National Champion, and in May of 2010 shattered six Masters National Age Group Records. And all of those things will serve her well in her future as a swim coach.
But also buried in her resume, amongst her impressive myriad of swimming accomplishments, is an acting credit from her role in the featured film The Guardian, which starred Ashton Kutcher as a cocky swimmer who is fighting his way through Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer camp, where he’s instructed by Kevin Costner’s character.
For the film, the directors had to cast 20 “featured extras” to play the other students in Kutcher’s class. Jamison only learned about the tryout the day before it happened, and even that was a fluke. The film’s original casting and filming schedule was delayed, and moved from New Orleans to Shreveport, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Jamison was ultimately one of 12 swimmers chosen from the Shreveport call, and spent four months there filming the movie.
She would say afterwards that the one-week mini bootcamp that director Andrew Davis put the swimmers through, designed to mimic the actual 16-week training course used in real life for Coast Guard rescue swimmers, was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to go through. That’s big talk from a swimmer who’s put in the years of hard work that Jamison has.
Will Jamison bring a little bit of that Hollywood, err Shreveport, flair to Aggieland? I think coach Steve Bultman is counting more on her National-Championship swagger, but it’s still a unique experience that might even offer up a few new cross-training ideas.
Check out the trailer for the movie below. I was able to pick out Jamison at least once, at about the 1:29 mark where the group of trainees is walking across a helipad – she’s at the very back of the group. See if you can pick out another accomplished swimmer in the group. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff was also amongst the movie’s cast.