With his playing career presumably in its fourth quarter, Amar'e Stoudemire continues to explore his many other interests in preparation for life after basketball.
Prominent among them: movies.
"This is the real deal," said the Knicks forward, who turns 32 on Sunday. "Film is definitely something that I'm going to continue to do even after basketball is over."
This is a big week on that path, given the opening Friday night of "Beyond the Lights," a film for which he is a producer and in which he makes a cameo appearance.
It concerns a popular female singer who falls for a policeman and has gotten mostly positive early reviews.
Stoudemire said he got involved through his relationship with Relativity Media. "Once I heard Gina [Prince-Bythewood] was the director, I wanted to hear more about it,'' he said, "and that's when I jumped on board."
Prince-Bythewood directed "Love & Basketball," a highly regarded 2000 film of which Stoudemire said he is a "massive fan."
Stoudemire said Tuesday that he had seen "Beyond the Lights" twice already and planned to see it again with some Knicks teammates and coaches Thursday night.
"This is definitely not a sports film by any stretch of the imagination," he said.
Not that there's anything wrong with sports films.
"Either or," Stoudemire said. "I think there are some sports films that are pretty intriguing that I would not mind attaching my brand to, but for the most part, this one is something totally on a different place on the spectrum."
He said his favorite sports films are "Blue Chips" and "He Got Game," basketball-themed movies that came out in 1994 and 1998, respectively.
He said that his primary interest in film is behind the camera, but Stoudemire added, "I think acting is something that is a part of it also. I don't mind it. I've acted a few times so far. It's not too bad."
The cameo was filmed in Los Angeles over the summer, where Stoudemire also got to spend time on the set talking to the production team, writers and actors. "It was a great atmosphere," he said.
He insisted the experience goes far beyond mere offseason dabbling.
"Film is becoming kind of a second career for me," he said. "I've been involved for quite some time now, from documentary producing to acting and so forth, so film is another avenue I think I can take advantage of once I'm done with the game of basketball."
"Beyond the Lights" stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver and Danny Glover.