"I played baseball in high school and college," the 31-year-old said in a recent phone interview with the Herald.
But an injury during his junior year at
And when he graduated in 2005, he headed to
"I was ready to try something new anyway," he said. "So I gave theater a try at college and found out I got that same feeling of excitement when acting as I did playing baseball."
The move to
His Banshee character is
"He's not a good guy for sure," Russert said. "The show is very well put together, in a Tarantino kind of way."
Some of his credits include Touch, a TV series starring
His childhood chum,
"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine Ricky in
Stemp added that he and other friends of Russert's try not to miss any of his acting gigs.
"We watch everything we can, even when Ricky tells us not to," Stemp said. "We loved him
Stemp said that his friend's showmanship was apparent long before Russert left high school.
"Even on the baseball field, Ricky always had to put his own flair on every play," Stemp said with a laugh. "Always had to look flashy making even routine plays on the field."
Russert doesn't deny it, either. He has no inhibitions when it comes to performing on a stage, in front of a camera or on a baseball diamond, he said.
"It's joyful for me to entertain people," he said.
But he has no illusions about becoming a megastar like
"I was fortunate to be able to work on a project with
"That experience was invaluable to me," he said. "
Russert also runs his own production company called
"There is no right answer for that," he said. "They are two different beasts that I love equally for different reasons."
Right now, Banshee is what keeps him busy and he recently moved from L.A. to
It also means he doesn't get home to Tri-Cities very often to visit with family and friends. His parents are
"My parents have been together since their freshman year in high school," he said. "It's pretty amazing."
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