R eal action heroes are starting to make a comeback in American movies. After years of being subjected to 5’7” Tom Cruise cast as 6’5” Jack Reacher, or watching modest-sized Jeremy Renner or Matthew Damon defy physics as they manhandled huge opponents, Hollywood is starting to get a bit more realistic. Actors like Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, and Henry Cavill have the structure and muscle mass to put some realism into the on-screen beat- ings they dish out. That means the time is right for Sam Asghari. A former starting tight end at Moor- park College in California, Asghari is 6’2” and a lean 220 pounds. His transition from athlete, personal trainer, and model into an actor is the culmination of years 48 APRIL 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com of hard work. He moved to the United States from Tehran, Iran, when he was 13 years old. His journey from immigrant to actor, built upon a foundation of fitness, is reminiscent of someone else with a similar backstory. “I feel like my whole story, as far as moving from another country and cul- ture, is like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and how he went from fitness into acting,” Asghari says. Let’s be clear: Asghari is not com- paring himself to Arnold. Modest and self-effacing, he’s the first one to say he has yet to make his mark. What he doesn’t need to say is that he seems perfectly positioned to deliver a huge impact on the entertainment world. Asghari recently booked a modeling campaign for sports apparel giant Under Armour. Before that, he created a funny and inspired online commercial short film for his supplement sponsor, 1st Phorm. And then late last year the call came that he was cast as the love inter- est in a Britney Spears video. The You- Tube video for “Slumber Party” has been watched 58 million times and counting. Ever the gentleman, Asghari demured from commenting on his current rela- tionship with the world-famous mega- star, but a quick look at his Instagram page shows the couple together on New Year’s Eve, at the Grammys, and clown- ing around on Snapchat. In each picture, Asghari looks remarkably comfortable in the spotlight.