Actor with local roots to film in Charlemont
CHARLEMONT — A Hollywood actor with Charlemont roots is preparing to produce his first feature film, using scenes to be shot in Charlemont and Shelburne Falls.
This will mark the third time since last June that settings in West County have been used for Hollywood films.
Jordan Marder, who has appeared in such films as “L.A. Confidential,” “American History X” and “Lord of Illusions,” started his own production company, called “Charlemont Pictures” about a year ago in Los Angeles. The movie he hopes to shoot here will be his first production.
The movie, titled “Then There Was,” is about a widespread, long-lasting blackout and the lives of three groups of rural New Englanders, as society collapses around them.
“It’s ‘The Road’ meets ‘Babel,’” Marder said in a telephone interview.
“Babel” is a 2006 film, with three separate story vignettes that take place in different nations, while “The Road,” filmed in 2009, was a post-apocalyptic drama based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy.
Marder plans to star in the film, along with New York and Los Angeles-based “name actors” that Marder said were under consideration. But he also hopes to find qualified local people to play some of the smaller roles.
“There are seven background actors who have one or two lines of dialog,” he explained. “Ultimately, we feel that it’s better to have some (local) people — there’s a colloquialism we want to capture.”
He said a casting call will be announced later.
Marder said the film director will be cinematographer Salvador Lleo.
If all goes as planned, Marder hopes to start filming scenery and aerial scenes of the landscape during the week of Sept. 14. The shooting of primary scenes would begin the week of Sept. 23. Most of the filming will be done on private property in Charlemont — including at the home of Marder and at another residence, he said.
Marder also plans to do some shooting at Avery’s General Store and the Mohawk Park Restaurant. He said the production crew would like to do a couple of scenes in Shelburne Falls, which he hopes could be done in a single day.
Besides appearing in movies, Marder played the character Dimitri in the television series “24” in the 2010 season. He was Rex Barton in the TV series “Ringer,” and he has been a guest performer in many TV shows, including “The X Files,” “NCIS,” “Nash Bridges” and “The Drew Carey Show.”
Marder, 40, first came to Charlemont when he was 7 years old, and inherited his Charlemont home when he was 19.
Although based in Los Angeles, he returns to Charlemont several times a year, along with his wife, a Rowe native.
Marder said he got his professional acting start on Broadway, as a child. According to his website, Marder was discovered at the age of 7 by Elizabeth Swados, a Tony Award-winning writer, composer and theater director. In New York, Marder appeared in small films and off-Broadway productions until hired to do a revival of “The King and I” on Broadway, with Yul Brenner. He went on to take a lead role in Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude,” starring Glenda Jackson and Brian Cox.
At 13, he was cast in a TV movie, “Walking on Air,” starring Lynn Redgrave.
Over the last two years, he has been developing Charlemont Pictures and scoping out projects. Another film project in the works, “Ride the 9,” is about a pool-hustling prodigy who returns to his hometown, New Orleans, to try to make amends for his rocky past.