Bryan Anderson: Conquering Hollywood at iLevel
Bryan Anderson is used to being in front of a camera. So when he appeared in the Oscar-nominated film American Sniper last year, he had no reason to be nervous—even among professionals like Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. Over the past several years, Anderson has come into his own as an actor, but there is much more to his story. His success has been the direct result of his irrepressible will and inspiring outlook, with a little help from cutting-edge wheelchair tech like the iLevel Seat Elevator.
Bryan's Post-injury Media Success
An Iraq War veteran, Anderson, 34, served two tours of duty in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of Sergeant in the military police. In October 2005, he was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that resulted in the loss of both of his legs and his left hand. After recuperating for 13 months at Walter Reed Army Hospital and being awarded a Purple Heart, Bryan returned home to Chicago to a hero's welcome.
When Anderson told his story, everyone was captivated by his message of hope and determination. From there, the cameras started flashing. In addition to having his story featured in USA Today, he appeared on the cover of Esquire magazine in 2007. He was also the subject of numerous articles in major newspapers, including the New York Times, and released a book, No Turning Back, in 2011. Today, Anderson divides his time between numerous activities, which include meetings with fellow veterans, public speaking and more.
Since entering civilian life, Anderson has amassed a long list of acting credits. During his rehabilitation at Walter Reed, he met Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise and eventually became an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation. Anderson appeared on an episode of CSI: NY with Sinise, in which he played a murder suspect. In 2007, he appeared in the HBO Documentary Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, which was hosted by James Gandolfini. He also appeared in the Golden Globe Award-winning film The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, as well as the daytime drama All My Children. Additionally, he hosted a PBS show in the Chicago area, Reporting for Service with Bryan Anderson, which received a Regional Emmy Award, and appeared on an episode of the rebooted Hawaii Five-0 in 2014.
Quality of Life Skyrockets with iLevel TechnologyAnderson has played many parts in Hollywood, but one of his most significant roles in real life is that of National Spokesperson for Quantum Rehab, a company that might sound familiar to Abilities Expo patrons. Quantum manufactures power wheelchairs for individuals with disabilities. Anderson is particularly excited about the company's new iLevel Seat Elevator, which he says will have a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities. iLevel allows users to reach standing height with their power wheelchair and still drive at walking speed, allowing them to have conversations more easily, see through crowds, and enjoy more social interaction.
"Having a power chair has helped me regain my independence, but sometimes I still feel like an outsider," Anderson said. "With the iLevel Seat Elevator from Quantum Rehab, I can be on the same level as everybody else, both literally and figuratively. When I'm out with my friends, I can elevate to standing height and still move at walking speed. This means I can stay in that position and no one has to wait on me. It's a simple yet brilliant idea that has helped me live my life to the fullest."
Anderson attended the American Sniper premiere in New York City last December in Quantum's new Q6 Edge® 2.0 Power Chair, which was equipped with iLevel. The following month, he and Bradley Cooper visited Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, for a special invitation-only premiere of the movie, where they met with soldiers and took questions from attendees.
In the future, Anderson plans to continue with acting, advocacy and everything in between. Oh, and snowboarding. He likes snowboarding.
For more on iLevel technology, visit www.quantumrehab.com.Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!