Film's casting call 'wide open' for hundreds of extras

Flash your sexiest smile Rock Hill. Grab a hot new outfit York and Clover. Strike your best pose Fort Mill. Hollywood is looking for you.

Casting directors from "Gospel Hill" -- a movie about a Southern sheriff revisiting past sins and a civil rights activist revisiting a friend's death -- are holding an open casting call today and Wednesday at Freedom Temple Ministries in downtown Rock Hill. In addition to using York County as its backdrop, the movie has plenty of room to offer area residents their 15 seconds of fame in extra roles.

The $6 million feature film, directed by Giancarlo Esposito, will star Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Julia Stiles.

Casting assistant Sam Smith of Charlotte-based Talent Link, the firm screening applicants, said directors will be filling anywhere from 500 to 1,000 roles with people who respond to the casting call. The movie will be filmed in various locations in York County this summer.

Smith said people of all ages, sizes, genders and colors are needed. "It's wide open," he said.

The casting call is the second opportunity for residents to get involved with "Gospel Hill." Last week, movie officials asked anyone with experience in the local civil rights movement to share their memories with writers to give the film a local flair. MLK Task Force liaison Dorene Watts said a handful of people already have come forward to share.

Some of the open roles to be filled this week are modestly paid positions, many are volunteer. But Smith said the attraction for most extras is the chance to see behind the silver screen.

Protest march and church memorial service scenes likely will use the most extras, he said. The exact locations and film dates aren't concrete.

"There's no way it can be a negative experience," Smith said. "For those who love movies, you might go out there and catch the bug. Others might say, 'It's not for me.' Most will catch the bug."