Lights, Camera, Taylor!

Less than two weeks after being arrested on charges of possession of crack cocaine, former NFL star Lawrence Taylor auditioned for a role in an upcoming film by Oliver Stone.

Taylor, who checked into a drug rehabilitation center in New Jersey earlier this week in order to avoid going to jail for violating his probation, was escorted by two counselors to the audition at the Tribeca Film Center in Manhattan on Friday.

Taylor's marketing agent, Mark Lepselter of Maxximum Marketing, said Saturday that coordinators from Warner Bros. studios contacted Taylor about auditioning for a part as an aging superstar in the film "Any Given Sunday" three days after his Oct. 19 arrest on drug charges in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

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  • Lepselter thought that Taylor, who acted in HBO's "First and 10," performed well in the audition and has a good chance to receive the role.

    "Lawrence was a little nervous going in, but the one thing about LT is when the lights are on he's always at his best," said Lepselter, who also attended the audition. "One of the women in the audition said that Mr. Stone seemed quite happy with how things went. We are optimistic that he will be offered the role."

    The audition came at the end of a two-week perioin which Taylor, a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time team, was arrested, checked into drug rehab and filed for personal bankruptcy. Lepselter said some of those issues were discussed at the audition but they did not scare Stone off. There was no talk about what would happen if Taylor is convicted of the charges in Florida.

    "That's a bridge we will cross at another time," Lepselter said. "It is too soon to speculate. They gave him no ultimatums. They've been very fair with Lawrence and we are very appreciative that they are considering him for this part."

    Lepselter, who has worked for Taylor since 1990, said his client does not believer he has a drug problem and "vehemently" denies the charges in Florida.

    "Lawrence checking into rehab is not an admission of a relapse of previous drug problems," Lepselter said. "Maybe it can be a positive if he comes out of this a better man. He would tell you he doesn't have a problem. I want to believe that is true."

    Filming for the movie, which stars Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz and James Woods, is scheduled to begin in January.

    NFL president Neil Austrian sent a memo this summer to teams expressing reservations about an early version of the script. The NFL would not allow any of the league's trademarks in the movie and Austrian urged team owners to follow suit by prohibiting Stone from using their individual logos.

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