By Treena Mielke
The dream of being an actress has turned into reality for a Rimbey teen whose natural ability and easygoing charm has earned her one of the lead roles in the movie, A State of Being, which is now being filmed.
Robin McNeil, a 15-year-old Grade10 student at Rimbey Junior/Senior High School, will play the role of the teen daughter, Jody, who is part of a family torn apart by religion, finances and divorce.
The legal drama, directed by Ken Thompson of YA/NO Productions from Airdrie, is based upon the true story of a Jehovah Witness family.
The plot has many twists and turns as the family’s problems escalate after they suddenly become wealthy.
Accusations of bigamy and incest against the husband in a divorce settlement brings the RCMP in to investigate, understandably leaving the teenage daughter confused and unsure of whether to support her mother or her father in the escalating warfare going on between them.
McNeil finds playing the role exciting and challenging.
“I am nervous, but mostly excited about it,” she said. “I love being able to play different characters and ‘be’ different people. It really is fun. For as long as I can remember I always wanted to do acting.”
McNeil was accepted into acting school two years ago after she read a commercial for The Gap.
A State of Being is her first acting assignment.
She plans to look into attending theatre schools in Vancouver to gain more experience in the field.
Thompson said he heard about McNeil from her grandmother, Peggy Barry, who lives in Airdrie.
When Barry learned that Thompson was producing a movie and looking for a girl to play the role of Jody, she told him about her granddaughter who was attending acting school in Calgary.
He met with McNeil and decided she was the right fit for the role. “She fit very well. It’s a huge role for her, but she’s doing very well.”
Thompson, originally from England, said the film has caused some public stir, but it doesn’t bother him.
“Sometimes you have to be controversial,” he said.
“The media is a great industry to be in. You never know what’s going to come around to you.”
Trailers have now been shot and the movie is to be released in 2012.
For more information visit www.astateofbeingmovie.com.