Many people have watched actor Rob Riggle earn laughs as an actor in comedies such as “Step Brothers” and “The Hangover,” but it’s likely few know about his career before Hollywood.
Riggle, 47, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. He spent nine of those years in active duty and 14 in the Marine Reserves. As a public affairs officer, he earned the rank of lieutenant colonel and served in such countries as Liberia and Afghanistan.
“All that time in the Marines definitely made me ready [for Hollywood],” Riggle told Fox News in a recent interview. The actor actually left military flight school to pursue a career in comedy and acting. He made a name for himself when he was chosen to be a correspondent for “The Daily Show,” and has since appeared in numerous films and television shows.
“Coming from the Marine Corps, you definitely get a thick skin. You definitely learn how to deal with adversity, and you definitely learn how to overcome things,” Riggle told Fox. “If you’re going to plan on having a life in Hollywood, you better get used to adversity. You better get used to being talked to in a very direct manner, and you better get used to picking yourself up and dusting yourself off.”
Riggle added he’s grateful to live in America and to have served his country. “[America gives you] a chance to pursue whatever dream you might have,” he said. “I wanted to serve my country, so I did. That was one dream fulfilled. I wanted to pursue comedy and acting. I did — that’s another dream fulfilled. I wanted to have a house and children. Those are other dreams I had (and) I did that.”
He added, “You can pursue your dreams if you’ve got the ambition and the drive and determination. You can do whatever you want in this country.”
Riggle remains close to his military service, as he’s involved with multiple veteran-related charities. He’s entertained troops in Iraq through the USO (United Service Organizations) and hosted the Invetational, a golf tournament that raises money for veterans.
“The Invetational celebrates two of my greatest passions in life — veterans and golf,” Riggle said, according to the event’s official website.
He will be hosting the next Invetational on December 4.