Two local boys have gotten the acting bug early and this love of performing led to them being featured in this fall's drama "Won't Back Down."
Joshua and Jacob Roddy, of Kenton, have always loved to perform whether it's singing, acting, or playing an instrument. So it wasn't a surprise when Joshua, 12, told his parents two years ago that if "America's Got Talent" ever came to town to sign him up.
Ironically two days later, Josh got his chance in an American Mall Model search in November 2010. Josh won in the "Film and Fashion" category, giving him a one-year contract and access to sites with acting and modeling jobs all over the country.
Two years later Josh and Jacob, 10, have been in a few movies and modeled in "Beautiful Child Model" magazine.
'Won't Back Down'
The Roddy's biggest break to date has been in the film "Won't Back Down," which stars Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a movie about two mothers trying to transform their children's inner city school.
Josh — a seventh grader at Smyrna Middle School — was featured in the choir as well as a dancing student in the classroom. Jacob — a fifth grader at Clayton Intermediate School — was also featured in the choir.
Filming took the Roddy boys and their mother, Helen, to Pittsburg, Pa. a few days a week for several months. Both boys enjoyed their time on set.
"It was pretty fun," Josh said. "It was long days. The days we were there we'd be on set for 12 or 11 hours."
For Jacob, not only is working on a movie set fun but it also proves to be a confidence boost: "If you doubt yourself, you can pick yourself back up. If I say 'Oh I suck,' I think about it again and say 'Oh no I don't.'"
A flexible approach
For Helen, while her sons' interest in the entertainment industry has been exciting, it can also be very time consuming. Along with her full-time job, she spends a lot of time looking on websites for new opportunities and taking the boys on location. Though she may be doing a lot of the searching for possible opportunities, she never makes Josh or Jacob take a gig they don't want to do.
"The thing is, this is what they want to do," Helen said. "Before each thing, I ask if they want to do it. They do the interview and the audition. If they don't feel comfortable they don't do it."
She's even been told before that she isn't the typical stage mom because she's really there just for support instead of pushing her children into modeling and acting.
"As long as they enjoy it, they can keep doing it," she said.
Names in lights?
For both boys, they definitely want to keep acting in the future.
Jacob said acting is a hobby he wouldn't mind continuing, as he gets older.
As for Josh, he has big aspirations for the future.
"I like how you get to meet stars and get noticed," Josh said. "I'm hoping to become famous someday."
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.