Local Casino Becomes A Movie Set - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/24/02

Local Casino Becomes A Movie Set

Under the watchful eye of a security guard, the props were rolled in, the lights were set, and the camera was rolling - all for an independent film entitled "Grift", staged at none other than the Copa Casino in Gulfport.

"It's a tale of three con artists in the south and it takes place mostly at a travelling carnival that we staged in Mobile at the fairgrounds, and right now we're going to shoot the opening and the ending of the film, which takes place at a casino," said producer Brian Etting.

"We're shooting a scene where Norman, who plays Archie who is the star of the film is caught card counting in a casino. And so we're shooting in the casino itself and then outside of the casino where he's sort of being dealt with for card counting," director Richard Shephard said.

Actor Norman Reedus plays lead character "Archie", who is a con artist. Reedus is known for numerous roles, including "Gossip" and "Blade 2".

But no good actor goes without a stand-in, and that's where 22-year old Jeremy Ching of Mobile comes in. He went to audition as an extra, and actually the directors wanted him to do something "extra".

"We'd like for you to audition as Armand Assante's stand in ,and so I went in and they said, um, basically, they said actually, we think you'd be better off as Norman Reedus's stand-in," Ching said.

And that's the way of the film industry. You never know what to expect.

Besides Armando Assante of the movie "The Mambo Kings", the film also stars Dagmara Dominiczyk, who is featured in the film"The Count of Monte Cristo".

The producer says film will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and hopefully the Sundance Film Festival after that.

By Karla Redditte

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