Langford teen actress Rowan Rycroft making her small screen debut across the globe this week.
Rycroft, 13, is playing a supporting lead role in Duke, a Hallmark Movie Channel film, which has its premiere airing on April 28.
The film tells a story of how a dog, Duke, helps a homeless war veteran heal from post traumatic stress disorder, played by veteran TV actor Steven Weber. Rycroft plays the role of Alice, the veteran’s daughter.
In the fashion of Hallmark movies, this one has a happy, feel-good ending. “They’ve got a little bit of crying in it though,” Rycroft notes.
Seeing herself on TV will be an amazing experience, Rycroft says. She gets giddy just talking about filming the movie, which was shot in Vancouver, much of it outside in the cold.
“It was unbelievable. Everything was all about me. If my lips were chapped they brought me chap stick, if I was cold they brought me a blanket,” Rycroft said. “I couldn’t look cold when we were filming, and when one rain drop fell on me (the crew) all came to dry it up.”
Of the experience, Rycroft was astounded that after filming for 10 hours, they had only covered five minutes of the film’s running time. But the experience has hooked her to the career she wants to pursue.
“I want to do this everyday, I love acting so much,” Rycroft said. “My dream would be to be in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. That would just make my life.”
For the past year and a half, Rycroft has travelled to Vancouver for more than 30 auditions, with the help of her mother, grandfather and family friends.
She auditioned for the part in Duke in August after her Vancouver-based agent landed her the opportunity. She pushed through her addition after stepping on a hot hair straightener.
“I had second and third degree burns on my foot and I was hobbling,” Rycroft said. “I wasn’t as focused as I should have been, my foot hurt like no tomorrow.”
Despite the pain, Rycroft earned the role. This is her first film gig, but she is well-known in the community for her work with the Four Seasons Musical Theatre, based out of Isabelle Reader Theatre in Langford.
She has been acting for the past five years and has performed in Four Season’s Willy Wonka and Treasure Island. She is also starring in the up coming musical theatre production of Charlotte’s Web.