B.K. Cannon isn't too surprised to find herself at the heart of a video game controversy.
An actress and a gamer, she appeared in the recent "Call of Duty: Black Ops" commercial — a commercial that has kicked up something of an ongoing firestorm.
The "There's a Soldier in All of Us" advertisement, which was created to promote the newest "Call of Duty" game, shows a group of average people, along with NBA star Kobe Bryant and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, running around the desert, shooting guns as explosives go off around them.
Watch the commercial, and you'll see that Cannon is the young woman who appears wielding a shotgun and wearing a look of immense satisfaction on her face.
While some of us thought the commercial was a creative way to show the thrill of first-person shooting games, others have taken issue with the ad's violent content (even though no one ever gets injured). Still others object to the suggestion that anyone can be a solider. And then, last week, an ESPN commentator ripped Bryant for his appearance in the ad.
But it was Cannon's appearance that set off the early salvo of controversy, with her youthful looks causing some in the media to claim that a child had been used in the making of a violent commercial for a violent video game.
I caught up with Cannon and she assures me that she's certainly old enough to be playing an M-rated game like "Black Ops" much less starring in a commercial for it. In fact, she's 20 years old.
However, she says she can see how her young looks might have thrown some people off.
"I do look quite young," she said. "It's the cheeks. You can't look old with these cheeks."
Cannon said that filming the commercial out in the desert with a whole lot of guns was a whole lot of fun.
"We had some professional gun handler who taught us how to look like we knew what we were doing," she said. "Everything was very safe but very realistic at the same time. I never once felt like I was in danger."
But she said that, when she found out what the theme of the advertisement would be, she knew that some might take issue with the faux violence.
However, she adds, "I think my job in that commercial is to alleviate the intensity of that whole shooting thing and to show that it's just the thrill of the game and it's all just fun and games."
The actress, who has appeared in TV shows like "House," "Grey's Anatomy" and "E.R." said she's currently playing the zombie-killing game "Left 4 Dead," and loves racing games in particular. And she said that she was especially thrilled to be part of an advertisement that breaks gaming stereotypes and shows that women play games, too — yes, we even play games with guns.
"I like the commercial because it shows that girls can throw it down, too," she said.
Certainly, for Cannon, all the controversy hasn't been a bad thing. It's simply meant more people have had a chance to watch her in action. And though the commercial hasn't yet landed her any new acting gigs, it has landed her more Facebook friend requests than she knows what to do with.
All in all, Cannon is happy with how her very first commercial job turned out.
"It is creative and it's beautiful," she said. "And from an acting standpoint there's not many roles where I'm going to get to run around with a shotgun. It was one of those dream roles."
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