TERRE HAUTE —
Some star power has been added to an independent movie being filmed in Terre Haute.
Actor Richard Bryant — popularly known for his portrayal of Pvt. Jeremy Sherwood on Lifetime TV’s “Army Wives” — has been cast as the father of a 9-year-old Terre Haute girl who is abducted.
Bryant, who goes by the nickname “Bubba,” is now filming at the home of Candy Beard, the director, writer and executive producer of “Vanished.”
“We’re just telling the story of a child who gets taken in broad daylight, and the emotional rollercoaster of that event,” said Bryant before filming on Wednesday. “When I first read the script, I thought that it’s very real to human emotion and very revealing.”
Though he has no children of his own, the 28-year-old actor said he can relate to how a father would feel if his child were abducted. Bryant said he is close to his sister’s four sons, and he enjoys taking the boys fishing near his South Carolina home.
In the short time he has been in Indiana, he has bonded with young co-star Katelyn Atterson Barnhart of Clinton. She is the child who gets taken.
“She’s very quick. Very smart,” Bryant said of his co-star, looking at the 9-year-old and saying, “You probably hear that a lot.”
On Tuesday, Katelynn and her movie dad “went fishing” for scenes filmed at Deming Park.
“We didn’t catch anything, which is not like me,” Bryant said. “I’m a good fisherman.”
Katelynn had a small part in Beard’s earlier film, “This Promise I Made,” which was shot in Clinton. She played a flower girl in a wedding.
For this film, she has a lot of lines to remember, even though she “vanishes” early in the movie. To memorize her lines, Katelynn said she sings them to herself, creating a tune to help her remember.
Bryant said he memorizes his lines by repeatedly reading them and then visualizing how his character would say them.
“I go to the reason of why he would say these things, and the words are an afterthought,” Bryant explained. “You can say ‘pass the ketchup’ a million different ways.”
Beard said she is pleased with how the filming is progressing. And she is thrilled to have cast Bryant, who is her favorite actor. She said she was disappointed when his character in “Army Wives” was killed in combat after five seasons. But that also prompted her to reach out to his agent to see if he was interested in her independent film.
Beard said she has been wrapped up in the emotion of some of the scenes filmed so far.
“We had a scene where it was hard for me to yell ‘Cut,’” she said. “He was bringing the story to life.”
Many of the scenes shot with Bryant will be filmed in her home, where her family moved just four months ago. The living room of the home is decorated with photos of the “vanished” child Kimberly Bennett, portrayed by Katelynn, and her parents, Chris (Bryant) and Carla (Caitlin Smith). The couple also has two younger children in the film.
Beard said filming will continue through February, in part because the movie occurs during an eight-month period of time. She said that Brian Neal of Indianapolis is the assistant cameraman, and her son, Daniel Beard, is working on the editing process as the filming proceeds. She expects to have a rough cut of the film by April 2014.
Beard has already written 13 movie scripts, a series of children’s books and seven novels. She started her production company, Dreams Come True Films, in 2011.
“Vanished” has received a lot of online publicity, especially through its Facebook page (www.Face
book.com/VanishedFilm) where updates about the cast and filming are regularly posted.
As for Bryant, he will be in Terre Haute until he catches a flight home next Thursday.
Interestingly, he found a personal connection to Terre Haute that he did not know existed when he learned that some of his father’s relatives reside in the city. He said he plans to visit with them this weekend.
“I’m glad I got to come up here,” he said of the film project. “This is fun for me, to be able to do the sport I’ve been practicing for a long time. I can’t wait to get into the nitty gritty.”
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.