Petrolia man’s Super Bowl moment

Blake Ellis

Local Journalism Initiative

There was a Petrolia connection in this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, but it wasn’t on the field or the half-time show.

Jesse Grandmont was featured in a Super Bowl commercial with NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier for Lays potato chips.

“It is not as exciting as it sounds,” Grandmont tells The Independent. He was assembled with a group of actors vying for a spot in the commercial, except there was a catch. There was no actual audition.

Instead, hidden cameras were set up in the waiting room to catch all of the actors’ unscripted reactions. Playing off Messier’s famous Lays commercials with Betcha can’t eat just one, this year’s commercial was Betcha you can’t just eat one flavour.

The actors were told that $1 million was given away if they could only just eat one flavour of chip. Each actor was called into audition, and there sat Messier who told them what actually going on.

Grandmont, who now lives in Stratford, says he didn’t even recognize Messier at first, as he was so focused on the audition, which in the end didn’t happen.

The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia performer heard later he made the cut. He only found out it would air during the Super Bowl the day before.

Moments after it aired, Grandmont says his social media sites blew up with friends who had recognized him in the commercial as it aired.

Grandmont has gone in to many auditions for commercials over the years, and this is definitely one of the easier ones. They are often looking for specific things depending on the commercial, said Grandmont.

Only one out of 10 actors get called in for an audition and out of that one out of 20 will actually be in the commercial.

Grandmont has been with the VPP for the past 12 years, starring in the opening show of the theatre’s 50 anniversary season with Jesse’s Country Jubilee in 2023. He has also performed at other Canadian theatre companies across Ontario and The Stratford Festival.

He started playing the violin at three and his musical talent has taken him across Canada, the United States, China and the United Arab Emirate. Besides being a performer, he is an arranger, a producer and a musical director.

BLAKE ELLIS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent