We tracked down the veteran "SportsCenter" anchor, who appears on channel 133 in the insanely interactive sing-along, about how the video came to be and what he thought of his own performance.
How in the world did you wind up in a Bob Dylan video?! It started with an email from our Senior VP Laurie Orlando. She didn’t seem to know too much about it. She said they weren't paying any money, but it could be a fun thing if I wanted to do it. I'm pretty open to everything and it was only going to be 10 minutes so I agreed to do it. Next thing I know I'm in a studio and they want me to mouth the words to "Like A Rolling Stone!" The director was telling me he was going to play the song in my earpiece and he wanted me to just mouth the words and I said "I don't know all the words! I don't know the whole song!" It's hard to make out all of the words. He takes these pauses and hangs on to certain letters and words.
Has it totally sunk in that you, Steve Levy, really were in a Bob Dylan video!? All I know is one other anchor was asked before me, but they weren't paying so he turned it down. What can I say, I'm easy.
How long was it between filming and when the video came out? Honestly, I couldn't see the big picture or what it was going to be so I didn't make much of it. Usually with stuff like this it is a four-second clip that pops up six months after you shoot it. But this was done like a week ago! The amazing thing was we shot this right across from a live "SportsCenter!" But I wasn't making any noise at all and the music was in my ear so it was totally silent the whole time.
So you probably didn't know who else was going to be in the video before it came out? Not at all. At first I thought I was going to be the whole thing which was very concerning! I knew they were going to mix in some highlights or something like that but I didn't know the extent of it. I thought it was going to be three-and-a-half minutes of me which would have been terrible for everyone involved.
How would you rate your performance? I would give myself a C-. I was off on so many of the words. But Bob has such a unique style. I shouldn't be too hard to myself, this was a bucket list kind of thing. People keep saying "you were in a Bob Dylan video!"
Not that you're music credentials will ever be called into question now, but what was the first and last concert you attended? First concert was The Cars at Madison Square Garden. Last was Shania Twain in Las Vegas.
How did the nerves involved with this compare to some of your movie cameos? I wasn't as nervous with this. In the movies my biggest fear is screwing up the star of the movie. I was afraid I would have to make the star do another take because I messed up. I don't want Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson yelling at me! That's pressure when someone like that is tired and just wants the day to be over. This was just me alone on a set trying to make my mouth match Bob's brilliant lyrics.
Where does this fit among all the cool things you've been able to do in your job? I've been truly amazed at the hype and reaction this has received. I never could have anticipated it. But this is what I truly love about ESPN and "SportsCenter." It's a job -- if you can even call it a job -- that I love to do. It allows me to take care of my family in a way I never imagined possible. I get to do things the regular Joe doesn't get to do like cameos in the movies or visiting our troops in Kuwait when we took "SportsCenter" on the road ... and appearing in a Bob Dylan music video!