Forward boy making big-screen debut

By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer

It’s a long way from Forward Township to Hollywood, but one local first-grader already appears to be on his way to fame.

Dylan Bruce, 7, has a small part in the new movie “Unstoppable” starring Denzel Washington, which reaches theaters today.

Dylan’s role in the movie about a runaway train didn’t actually take him to Tinseltown; his scenes were shot in State College, Centre County, and Bellaire, Ohio, but the young actor nods when asked if he’d like to be in another movie.

“I was happy,” said Dylan, the son of Alvin Bruce and Amy Eversole.

Though he was only in kindergarten at the time the scenes were shot last fall, Dylan said he learned a little about how films are made.

For instance, in a scene where TV news choppers hover around the freight train loaded with deadly chemicals that threaten a town, Dylan, who plays the son of one of the film’s heroes (Chris Pine) and his wife (Jessy Schram), recalled his instructions were to ignore the spectacle above him.

“I couldn’t look up at them,” said Dylan.

Though he and his family were supplied with a trailer on the set and put up in nice hotel rooms for the couple of days they were out of town, Dylan said of the moviemakers, “They kept me busy.” In one of the scenes, he said, “They filmed me going to the school bus.” That’s a scene Dylan, who was on his first acting job, was in good shape to play, considering Amy is a bus driver for Elizabeth Forward School District.

Amy said she heard there were auditions



going on for the movie in July 2009 from her cousin, who’d seen it advertised on TV. Auditions for the film — which also features scenes shot on location in Carnegie, Lawrenceville, Monaca and other railroad towns in the state — were being held at Dougherty Talent & Modeling Agency in Pittsburgh. So Amy took Dylan and his brother Chris Eversole, who is now 9, to the tryout.

Dylan, who was the right age for the role, apparently pleased the producers because he got the part after auditioning on a few lines.

Amy noted that Dylan’s blond hair and facial features also made him a good fit playing opposite his onscreen mom, played by Schram.

The family is planning to see the movie at the Waterfront Saturday afternoon. Relatives, family friends and some of Dylan’s classmates from William Penn Elementary School and youth football are expected to attend. Dylan’s father Alvin said the family is excited.

“We haven’t gotten to see anything” of the final movie, he said.

Alvin, who is in the construction business and coaches youth sports, said Dylan got along well with the cast and crew and at one point struck up an informal game of football with them.

Dylan said he always will remember the experience.

And even if he starts to forget, he’s got a scrapbook of photos and autographs to fall back on as a reminder.

“Unstoppable” is one of three movies being released this month that were shot in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The Next Three Days,” a thriller starring Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Nelson, is due out Nov. 19. Scenes from that film were shot in downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland, Regent Square and other parts of the metropolitan area.

“Love and Other Drugs,” a movie staring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, comes out Nov. 24. That moviewas shot in various locations, including Monongahela, Brownsville, McKees Rocks and Pittsburgh.


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