Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Randy Wayne on his role in  Hardflip. The 30-year-old whose resume includes recurring roles on ABC Family’s The Lying Game and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, as well as guest turns on shows ranging from HBO’s True Blood, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland. He also, notably, played Luke Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, the 2007 TV-movie prequel to the classic TV series. But it was his lead role in the successful faith-based film To Save a Life (for which he was nominated for a Grace Award for inspiring acting that led to his latest role as Caleb Jones, the angry teen skateboarder ,in Hardflip, the surprisingly-edgy youth-oriented faith-based film opening this Friday (June 1).

Endorsed by Movie to Movement, Hardflip tells the story of the  young competitive skater, his seriously-ill and financially-struggling mother (Rosanna Arquette) and the man who left them both years earlier to pursue his dream and amass his worldly fortune. Ironically, the absent dad is played by John Schneider who first found fame as Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard TV series. To a younger generation, of course, Schneider is known for his role as Clark Kent’s far-more responsible adoptive dad on Smallville. Most recently, he scored box office success playing another good adoptive father in October Baby. (Note: My interview with John will run tomorrow.)

I recently spoke with Randy about his burgeoning career and his role in Hardflip. Here are some highlights:

JWK: What brought you to your role in Hardflip?

Randy Wayne: I did another film called To Save a Life.  After that I got offered roles in the faith-based (film) community. I’m very picky about what I’ll do and the message the film has in it. So, Hardflip had just a strong, strong message about forgiveness, understanding and compassion and I just really related to it. I think it can make a difference in a lot of families’ lives, so I wanted to do it.

JWK: Are you a Christian?

Randy Wayne: I am a Christian, yes.

JWK: Does that, to some degree, inform the roles you’ll choose to play?

RW: It never really has in the past. As an actor I want to build a career as an actor. It’s hard to even get a job sometimes  so as my career builds I can be more picky than I used to be. It does now. I always want to do films with positive messages and maybe some faith element to it but (in the beginning) I took any role I could get…As my career goes I can be more choosey and to do films that make a difference.

JWK: The skateboarding scenes were pretty awesome. Was that all you? Are you a natural when it comes to skateboarding? 

Wayne: I am not a natural skateboarder (though) I picked it up pretty quickly.  I am a surfer but I definitely have some stunt doubles in there.

JWK: What was it like working with John Schneider and Rosanna Arquette? 

RW: John Schneider’s cool. I mean he is the epitome of cool. To be that confident without any chip on his shoulder is very hard to do and that man just has it. To be that well-known and still be so personable and social, it’s just fantastic.  And Rosanna Arquette is just a fantastic actress. I mean she’s so talented and she helped raise the film up to another level with her acting.

JWK: You bear a remarkable resemblance to John Schneider which is pretty interesting since you actually played the role of  Luke Duke  in TV-movie prequel to The Dukes of Hazzard, the older version of whom was played by Tom Wopat in the original series. So, really, you had previously played John’s cousin.

RW: Yeah, it’s so strange. It’s so random. I read for Bo Duke. I was gonna play that role but the other guy…wanted to play Bo so they ended up dying his hair blond and dying my hair brown. So, I was supposed to play Bo Duke. It was weird working with the original Bo Duke (John Schneider). It was kind of surreal. It was so much fun. It was kind of cool.

JWK: What kind of roles do you see yourself playing in the future? 

RW: It’s tough to say. I’m really a big fan of HBO and Showtime shows so I wouldn’t mind being on an edgy show…where I could challenge myself to do gritty stuff — a homeless guy or just some guy with a lot going on, who’s got problems. It’s more fun to do as an actor.

JWK:  You say you liked the theme of forgiveness in Hardflip. Was there anything else that attracted you to the film? 

RW: I liked the skateboarding too.

Tomorrow: John Schneider

Randy Wayne flashback:

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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