October 7, 2008

Casting Call Puts Word Out for Whiskers

THOU shall not shave -- if you want work as an extra in a big- budget blockbuster movie about Jesus Christ to be filmed in Wellington next year.

In the Bible men are instructed to not clip their beards -- and the same directive will apply to those who land roles in Kingdom Come, with an open casting call this weekend.

Having dark hair, dark skin or a tan will also be an advantage. The film, which is using Peter Jackson's studios, has advertised for "a large number of extras" for shooting early next year in Wellington.

The producers are seeking men and women aged 18 and over who are, "or could pass" as, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, North African and Mediterranean and ideally have dark hair and skin, or a tan.

Men need to have or be prepared to grow beards for the film, which is set during Christ's life.

An open casting call will be held at the Thistle Hall, in Cuba St, on Saturday from 9.30am till noon and at Belmont Memorial Hall, in Lower Hutt, from 2pm till 4pm.

The film, directed by Dean Wright, a visual effects supervisor on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, will also be shot in rural Falstone in central Otago, Oamaru and Motueka. Lake Benmore, near Falstone, will represent the Sea of Galilee. Some scenes may also be shot in Hawke's Bay.

The big-budget film is being made by South Vineyard, whose Japan- based directors Paul and Joshua Broman and Naoyuki Baba are also executive producers for the movie. The three men run multinational software company GrapeCity, which Paul Broman founded in Japan. He emigrated from the United States after World War II.

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