KITCHENER — Adrian Misaljevic may look familiar.
Not just because the 18-year-old is an up-and-coming forward with the Kitchener Rangers.
But, also for his lifetime of work behind the lens as a model and actor in print ads, TV commercials and even on the big screen.
“My parents put me into acting at a young age,” he said. “It was a way for me to save up money for when I’m older.”
Misaljevic’s list of credits is long.
There were photo campaigns with Walmart, Roots, The Bay, Joe Fresh, Sport Chek and Winners, among others.
He acted in TV commercials for Leon’s furniture store, M&M Meat Shops, Kohl’s department store, Canadian Tire and Hyundai.
And he had a lead role in “Paranormal Witness: The Lady on the Stairs,” a 2012 horror TV documentary series about real-life stories that defy explanation.
“I was probably nine or 10 and played the main character,” recalled Misaljevic, who hails from Woodbridge. “I was scared to film it. It was about an old farmhouse that was haunted with a kid and mom ghost.”
Misaljevic started as a toddler with the Ford Modelling Agency in Toronto, mostly booking spots for clothing flyers or in-store signage for major retailers.
“It kept going from there,” his mom Marilyn said. “All the way up until before he joined the Rangers. As he started to get more serious with hockey, he couldn’t do it as much.”
As a kid, Misaljevic would read scripts with his parents before heading to practice at the rink.
“I would do hours of lines, then go to hockey and do homework,” he said. “I would have to time manage all that stuff.”
His big break was the starring role in “Paranormal Witness.”
“I thought it was pretty cool,” he said. “I never thought I would see myself on TV.”
Added his mom: “The house actually looked haunted. He was like, ‘Mom, it is so creepy.’ ”
Like hockey, acting is competitive. Maybe more so. It’s not uncommon for hundreds of actors to audition for the same part.
“It’s pretty nerve-racking,” he said. “There would be the director and producer and you would have to perform the lines you memorized.
“You can’t look at your lines when you’re performing. You have to sound like you’re talking to the person you’re talking to instead of reading a book. You have to act natural.
“Hockey just comes easy to me and memorizing lines for a movie is hard.”
So, as he got older, Misaljevic focused on smaller roles.
“You need perseverance,” his mother said. “There is definitely a lot of rejection. A lot of work goes into it. There are a lot more Nos than Yeses, and that goes for the hockey world too.”
Misaljevic’s brother Lucas, 16, also acts.
So too does little sister Maya, whose career has really taken off. The 11-year-old has dozens of onscreen credits including Young Starlight in the Amazon Prime hit series “The Boys” as well as a starring role in the recently released horror-comedy “Here for Blood.”
Misaljevic, who counts Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as one of his favourite actors, still auditions for gigs in the off-season.
He played a character named Jake, who is a bit of a jerk, in the coming-of-age feature film “I Like Movies” which was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival just last month.
He was also a background actor in the movie “Luckiest Girl Alive” starring Mila Kunis, which is currently airing on Netflix.
But make no mistake, playing for the Rangers is his main focus. He has an increased role with the club this season, which takes on the Erie Otters Sunday at the Erie Insurance Arena.
Still, he can’t help wonder if he’s destined to star in a hockey flick at some point in his career.
“We’ll see,” he said.
And maybe, if he’s lucky, it’ll co-star The Rock.