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Corinne Van Ryck de Groot and Sean Carrigan triumph in NBC's 'Next Action Star'


By Wade Paulsen, 07/29/2004 

No wonder Sylvester Stallone became an action movie star after making the boxing movie Rocky.

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In the finale of NBC's Next Action Star, two boxers, American Sean Carrigan and Canadian Corinne Van Ryck de Groot, were chosen as the male and female "next action star." As a result, the two each won $25,000 -- and the male and female leads in next week's NBC TV movie, Bet Your Life, which will air on Wednesday, August 4 at 8 PM ET/PT.

Because of the series' low ratings, the next-to-last episode of the series, which ended with the elimination of John (good actor, but not an action star, per the judges) and Melisande (emptionally aloof on camera), was skipped. Thus, the finale began with Sean, Corinne, Jared, and Jeanne Bauer preparing for a screen test entitled "Score to Settle."

As it turned out, neither Corinne nor Jeanne wanted to partner with Jared in the scene -- which probably said everything that needed to be said about Jared's chances of winning. Ultimately, after the day's rehearsals, Corinne received her choice of men to pair with and picked Sean, which probably said everything that needed to be said about Jeanne's chances of winning as well.

Prior to the final screen test, the four finalists received a makeover for interviews with Access Hollywood. During the rooftop screen test, which included wire work, Corinne came across as an obvious winner, while Sean fought with her over her acting suggestions to him both on-set and off-set, hurting his chances -- but not enough to cost him the victory.

Corinne will now play a bounty hunter in the Joel Silver-produced Bet Your Life, while Sean will play an NFL quarterback turned Vegas limo driver. However, Corinne's real life to this point is more interesting than any bounty hunter's backstory.

Born in Toronto, Corinne graduated from Carleton College with a degree in criminology and then spent three years as an Ottawa police officer. She moved to the U.S. to pursue a career as a professional boxer about five years ago -- a career featured on her website. She is currently 10-0 with 5 KOs, including a victory in a bout on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis heavyweight championship fight.

We certainly hope that the TV movie does better in the ratings than the show itself did. In the meantime, according to the Ottawa Sun, Corinne and Jeanne are planning to share an apartment in L.A. and take acting classes together. Just like any other aspiring actresses ... action heroines or not.

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