OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Sun and Sand Film Festival is in full swing, and celebrity guest Gerald McRaney spoke to a group of fans at the Mary C. O'Keefe Museum on Saturday afternoon.
McRaney, a South Mississippi native, talked to WLOX about his film career and recent role in "The Best of Me."
From the Gulfport Little Theatre to the silver screen, McRaney has truly climbed the ladder in his acting career.
"When I finished high school at Long Beach, I went to Ole Miss and studied theatre arts there. In my sophomore year, there was a rep company in New Orleans," said McRaney. "I dropped out, auditioned for them and got a job as an actor."
McRaney has since moved to California and married famous actress Delta Burke. His most recent role in "The Best of Me" was filmed in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi.
"It was like being at home. On my days off, I would get in my car and come over here and knock around for a little bit," said McRaney.
The "House of Cards" actor says he would really like to see a stronger presence from the film industry in Mississippi.
"There's no reason in the world why they can't be done here, and they are being done here," said McRaney. "We're getting more and more work all the time, but with the right kind of incentive, the right kind of training for crew people, little things like that, it could be a thriving industry in Mississippi."
McRaney is proud to hear of events, like the Sun and Sand Film Festival, which are aimed to promote the film industry here in Mississippi.
"I would like nothing better than to be able to come home here and do one movie right after the other," said McRaney.
The "Major Dad" star says the Coast will always be home, and that's why he was honored to be a guest speaker at this year's film festival. He also offers some advice for aspiring actors out there.
"Unless you love this business enough to do it for free, as a profession it can break your heart, because there's an awful lot of rejection in it," said McRaney.
The Sun and Sand Film Festival continues through Oct. 26. All of the movies will be shown at Cinemark in Gulfport.