Local teen picked for movie part

 justin thunder hart

Barbara Lawlor, Nederland.     Okay, it’s only one line—but Justin Thunder Hart figures it’s better than nothing. Actually a lot better. And playing Geek 2 is better than not playing any geek at all.

On Monday afternoon, Justin had just spent a day working with the TEENS, Inc. Youth Work Corps and was waiting for his dad to pick him up. He paced around the teen center with a piece of paper in his hand, a page of the script, his line, the words he was going to say in front of the camera sometime after 1:30 a.m. at the Pioneer Inn.

Justin is an only child from Gilpin County where he went to school until sixth grade, after which he was home schooled for the next five years.

“It was a life void of social interaction,” says the obviously boisterous, very social young man. “I got tired of isolation and found Chinook West.” Justin will be a senior in the fall and has determined that he wants to be an actor someday, and Monday night he had his chance to shine, to put his one line out there for the world to see.

Earlier this spring a representative from My Teen Movie, a new film project, visited Chinook West and asked the students if they wanted to audition for a part in the Colorado-based movie, some of which would be shot in Nederland in July.

Justin says he fell in love with acting when he saw a movie with Robert Downey, Junior when he was around six years old. He had parts in three different productions of Oliver Twist at the Arvada Center. When he was 12 he saw Iron Man, and “flipped out. I knew I wanted to be an actor, so when they asked me if I wanted to audition, I lit up like a light bulb, raised my hand, read the lines, and was asked to come back.”

Justin was asked to a second call back, one of six candidates to play Tanner, but he said he blew it, biffed it, looking away from the camera when he shouldn’t have.

He then received an email from executive producer Ronda Belser asking him to come read a bit part in the early morning hours at the Pioneer Inn. He was told he would be Geek 2. He says, “A geek is the highlight of society, someone who can actually have fun.”

Justin Thunder Hart is charming, outspoken, a hugger of adults and definitely a teenager.

After getting over his Hollywood dreams of this being his big break, he says that actually a bit role is probably perfect, a good place to start, to put his toe into the cold water. He says he doesn’t know if he’s getting paid, but “It would be nice to get $15 or $20 for showing up early in the morning.”

The production company put out the call for extras who looked between 15 and 21 to show up in Nederland last week.

The first auditions took place in 20 cities in Colorado, attracting over 320 teens. Producer Belser came up with movie idea about three years ago and decided she wanted something that would appeal to teens. She proceeded to talk to them, learning that in horror films, the audience didn’t care if the leads were famous.

My Teen Movie is being filmed, produced, acted in, and shot in Colorado. A graduate of CSU, Belser put out the call in Colorado sites. The cast was narrowed to five candidates per role and the vote was put online. The actors were chosen by the public.

The film is tentatively slated to be released in October.

justin and his dad

Other Nederland teens Sam Churches and Luke Harrison made it to finals, didn’t make the cut, and were also offered small parts but couldn’t be here for the shooting.

When the movie comes out, the Ned audiences can look for Geek 2 who says, “So if the hybrinoids are not aliens, does that mean they can’t live on Zandar?”

Who knows. It could be Justin’s open door to the stars.


Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.

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