A young Coleraine actor is hoping he is destined for stardom after landing his first film role and the lead in a local production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats.
Shea Eastwood (17) has just finished filming Dead Outside, a 15 minute independent zombie film directed by Belfast filmmaker and writer Niall Carey.
Filming took place over two days at a house off the Ormeau Road.
“It’s very much a family movie, deconstructed”, said Shea, who plays the main character, William, in the movie.
“The story is about what one would do if there was a zombie apocolypse. William is sitting in his room for 40 hours and meanwhile his parents and sister downstairs have been taken over by zombies.
“It’s down to William to save his baby sister Zoe who is also in the house.”
Shea got the role after a monologue he filmed with Land Film was seen by Niall Carey on You Tube.
He said: “A couple of companies saw the monologue and Niall got in touch. I went to the audition and two days later I got an email saying I had got the part.
“Up until now I’ve been a theatre actor with Ballywillan Drama Group and MORE Dramatic Company.
“The film will be shown in the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast in the second week in June and will be shown at other film festivals.”
It’s been a momentous fortnight for Shea, who is set to study Performing Arts in either Londonderry or Ballymoney after leaving Loreto College in Coleraine. He has just been notified that he will play the lead rold of Munkustrap in Ballywillan Drama Group Youth’s production of Cats in the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine next April 25-30.
“Since second year at Loreto I’ve always been in school productions and with Ballywillan I’ve had parts in Jesus Christ Superstar, Hairspray and The Railway Children.
“I’m passionate about film and theatre and finding any opportunity to get out there. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks but very enjoyable.”
Shea is also on a shortlist for a role in Peter O’Hara’s local film Decisions as well as for a production by Yellow Fever film company in Belfast.
Kathy Walsh, a director of MORE, said: “Shea has demonstrate a real drive and passion for performance work and developed his skills through hard work and determination. We are so proud of him and the huge interest he has received is down to his ambition and talent. This is all happening as he prepares for his Gold Medal Acting Examination in June.” We hope that Shea will continue to work with us at MORE in September as we aim to assist him in producing his first ever Director’s Project.
“Shea Eastwood really is a name to watch out for!”