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Robert Nkemdiche -- Call him "Sweeney" -- makes his stage debut

Robert Nkemdiche had arguably his best game with the Cardinals against the Redskins, a small bright spot in a game with few.

"I liked his physicality," defensive coordinator Al Holcomb said, noting a "fantastic" play Nkemdiche made chasing quarterback Alex Smith down on the sideline for what officially went for a sack.

Nkemdiche was using his physicality in a different way Thursday night -- in a cameo during the musical "Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in a production at the Herberger Theater. Nkemdiche's eyes lit up talking Thursday afternoon about the opportunity, which includes getting into full costume and makeup.

"It's a cool movie, I've seen it before," Nkemdiche said with a smile. "It's a cool concept. Hopefully I can be Johnny Depp. A modern-day, football Johnny Depp."

Depp starred in the recent movie version of the play, which is about a man bent on revenge after being unjustly sent to prison.

"I just think it's such a cool aesthetic that you can act," Nkemdiche said. "No matter what it is, you can be yourself in any situation."

As far as being in front of an audience, Nkemdiche did take drama and act in high school. When the play's producers reached out to one of Nkemdiche's agents, Nkemdiche quickly said yes.

"I fool around regardless, so I don't know what's real and what's fake," Nkemdiche said with a laugh. "I'm going to be acting as Sweeney Todd for awhile and then Friday, they're going to have to tell me, 'You're not Sweeney Todd no more.' "

Nkemdiche has a different kind of personality and varied interests off the field. Sometimes, it's been suggested that it is a problem for Nkemdiche in reaching his potential. But Holcomb said those interests aren't a problem.

"That's fine," Holcomb said. "We talk about it all the time. We want our players to have their own personality. Anything that has gone on in the past with Robert, that's not been a distraction. I actually like being around Robert. He's a pleasure."

DT Robert Nkemdiche
DT Robert Nkemdiche