Get to know UM football beat writer Angelique S. Chengelis: She starred in 'Hoffa', or so she thinks

The Detroit News

Editor's note: As coronavirus sweeps the globe, shutting down so many entertainment options including sports, we thought this would be a good opportunity for you to get to know a little bit about us. Up today: Michigan football beat writer Angelique Chengelis, who can be followed on Twitter @chengelis.

►1. I am the youngest of four. The “mistake." My sister is 14 years older, and I have two brothers, 11 and seven years older. I always wanted to hang out with my brothers. One time they were shooting their BB guns at a pyramid of empty cans in the backyard. They told me I could help by standing behind and holding the cans in place. Stupid, gullible me. I did finally realize they were shooting at me. I was tormented on a regular basis, things like telling me ex-lax were chocolates, tossing me up and down in a blanket they held from both sides then dropping me, dangling me over the staircase and pretending they were going to drop me, telling me not to tell Mom when they “accidentally” threw a football at me and I got a black eye. But I knew it was with love; they were building character. They did, however, make sure I could throw a football, so there’s that.

Michigan football beat writer Angelique S. Chengelis.

►2. You won’t see me wearing a dress very often. My mother made me wear them to school every day through sixth grade and especially loved Polly Flinders dresses, with all that smocking. All the cool girls got to wear jeans, and I had to wear stupid dresses with stupid smocking. More character building.

►3. I am of Greek descent and proud of it. Both sets of grandparents were from Greece and came to the U.S. in the early 20th century and settled in Ohio — Zanesville and Dayton. I understand the language and can speak it to an extent, but I get very shy when it comes to carrying on a conversation. Opa!

►4. I saw the movie "Jaws" when it came out in 1975 and I have not been in the ocean beyond ankle depth since then.

►5. In 1992, Danny DeVito directed Jack Nicholson in “Hoffa” and there was a scene shot in our old, fabulous Detroit News newsroom. Our sports editor, Phil Laciura, and I were extras. My “role” was to file something while talking to some guy. You only see me if you slow the movie down as much as possible and I’m sort of a blue shadowy figure. (I’d like to thank the Academy for this Oscar for best millisecond on film.)

Angelique S. Chengelis' major movie breakthrough, as a "Hoffa" extra.

►6. When I was little I wanted to be an astronomer. I had a telescope and I would draw constellations for hours. I even wrote Carl Sagan millions and millions of years ago. And he replied. Then I realized you had to be good at math, and that dream went into that vast black hole.

►7. My first concert was Billy Joel in 1978 at Riverfront Coliseum, and thus began a career of avid concert-going. A highlight was seeing up-and-coming REM in 1983 at Wittenberg University. Have seen many of my faves, including The Police, J. Geils, U2, Dire Straits, Springsteen, Paul Simon, Coldplay, and, of course Green Day. Seeing them at The Fillmore a few years ago was THE BEST. Really want to see Kenny Chesney. Finally getting into country, and he had me from hello.

►8. My father had a grocery store in Cincinnati, so I have an affinity for grocery stores. It’s like my getaway place and I will go four, five times a week. I always visit them when I’m traveling and just wander the aisles.

►9. I’m always happy listening to music and love it with a passion, but my all-time favorite song is “Message in a Bottle” by The Police and a close second is U2’s “I Will Follow”.

►10. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with jewelry. Like, totally obsessed. All kinds. I was five or six when my father gave me two “diamond” rings (which I still have). They look like gumball machine rings, but I treasured them then and thought they were real.

►11. Jane Austen is my favorite writer and Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite book. It’s important to me for a lot of reasons, but this stands above all — I was extremely shy (not with people I knew, but…) and when I read this in 11th grade, my life changed. I suddenly became a participant in class and not a listener. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy gave me a voice (which Bob Wojnowski regrets to this day).

Angelique S. Chengelis with former Detroit News sports editor Phil Laciura, before their "big" scene in "Hoffa."

►12. As much as I love sports, I love, love, love romantic movies. Mostly romantic comedies like "You’ve Got Mail", "Serendipity", "Bridget Jones’ Diary", "Something’s Gotta Give". They’re not classics like "Philadelphia Story" (an all-time great) but they make me happy. They’re downloaded on my phone, so when I need to chill out, I watch a few minutes of one of them and smile. BUT NO HALLMARK!

►13. Traveling is among my favorite things. While I love a nice walk on the beach, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve wanted to see places and experience more. My brother says I take “nerd trips." Whatever. I have a strong pull toward WWII history and have geared several trips around learning more of that time. I am especially fond of London. I can even speak British — I think Wojo is daft, don’t you?

►14. My mom took me to a lot of opera, ballet, symphony and theater when I was a younger, and they’re all things I still very much enjoy. Seeing The Three Tenors at Tiger Stadium in 1999 was an absolute thrill. I took a bunch of art history classes, so give me an art museum any day.

►15. I am a nester. I certainly like to go out, but I’m happy at home cooking and baking, reading and entertaining and of course watch movies and shows (like Billions! Team Axe! Dreamy Damian Lewis! Sorry, I sometimes digress to my inner 12-year-old with a schoolgirl crush). A line from Axe is now my motto: “The moral of the story is, you get one life, so do it all.” But let’s all get through this, first.

Previous installments

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Get to know Pistons beat writer Rod Beard: #StartWriting was wrong just this one time

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