His 30-second spot is competing against four other finalists for a $1 million prize and a chance to have his Doritos ad run during the Super Bowl, set to start at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
Wilkins worked on the advertisement with two longtime friends Ryan Thomas Andersen and Raj Suri, both of whom live in Phoenix. The duo has submitted commercials in the Doritos contest before but never made it to the finals.
Wilkins lived in the Arizona city before moving to Los Angeles with his wife, Melissa, on June 3, 2010 —their fourth wedding anniversary — to pursue an acting career.
The idea for the commercial sprang from a conversation Andersen had with his 6-year-old son, Gavin, while they were watching “Back to the Future” and the boy began asking about time machines.
Andersen created a time machine out of a refrigerator box so Gavin, who is featured as the boy in the commercial, could go on imaginative journeys.
While Wilkins earned a degree in global business and has held some non-acting jobs, including a car salesman, he knew that acting was his calling.
“It was always in the back of my mind. I was supposed to be an entertainer,” he said.
His wife, who is a pharmacist, encouraged him to go after his dream and he got some acting work in Phoenix, but the leading roles always went to actors from Los Angeles. So, they made the move here to hopefully improve his chances.
While Wilkins hasn’t landed many paying gigs yet, that could change if his Doritos commercial makes it on the airwaves during the Super Bowl.
It’s probably one of the least expensive finalists. It was filmed in seven hours in Phoenix with a $300 budget, which “went mostly for food,” Wilkins said.
The voting period for the finalists ends Jan. 29. To vote, go to doritos.com.
Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.
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