Hollywood seeks child for upcoming film

Published 11:01 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It’s tough for an adult struggling with acute obesity. When it is a child, the pain can be multiplied. Exploring that is one of the themes of an upcoming feature film that will be produced by Greg Shapiro, the producer of “Hurt Locker.”

To cast the character of that child, a Los Angeles-based casting company is reaching out to middle America to find just the right young person for the part of Will.

“The character is somewhat shy and he has been thrown into a really difficult situation,” said Portia Henry-Warren of Richard Hicks Casting, via a phone interview from Los Angeles.

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Richard Hicks has been responsible for the casting of such feature films as “Hairspray,” “Gravity” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“His mother has disappeared and now he has to live with his father with whom he’s been estranged,” Henry-Warren said. “He has a lot of heart and is very brave. In the script it is difficult for him to come out of his shell. He sort of finds a way to open up and reconnect in spite of everything that has happened.”

The casting company is not looking for a child actor, rather a boy with little or no experience in the trade. Physical characteristics are the boy must be between the ages of 8 and 12 and between 150 to 200-plus pounds.

“This will be quite a unique opportunity,” Henry-Warren said. “This film is sensitive in the way it portrays this struggle the child goes through and the way it talks about the issue. It is a great outlet to feel comfortable in your own skin on camera. It would help so much in daily life.”

The first step for the child and his family interested in being considered for the part is to apply online at www.weightlessaudition.com with name, address and photograph.

Then the casting company will contact those children it believes could be potential candidates for the next step in the audition process.

“Every audition is a unique process,” Henry-Warren said. “When people apply from out of state, they will make a video submission. We may be able to meet with them in person and read scenes and see how we can work with them.”

Henry-Warren emphasized experience is not necessary.

“We have a really great crew working on this,” she said. “They have ways of helping the kids on how to work with the camera and work with everybody else and act on the screen. We have found kids have so much potential. Their brains are sponges.”

Starring in the film will be Nick Nolte of “48 Hours” and “Cape Fear,” and Jason Clarke of “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Shooting will start in the fall and an on-set teacher will be provided.