Friday, October 24, 2014

Local Actor Hosts ‘Unstoppable’ Viewing
October 24, 2013 by Ann Wishart | No Comments

For Geauga County resident and actor Bill Ward III, his role as a reporter on the 2010 movie "Unstoppable" gave him a couple…

For Geauga County resident and actor Bill Ward III, his role as a reporter on the 2010 movie “Unstoppable” gave him a couple of first-time events to add to his biography.

“‘Unstoppable’ was the first big-budget movie I’d ever worked on,” he said during a recent interview.

It was also the first time he got a role because he “went up on his lines” while trying out for the part, ad libbed his way through the casting call — and still got the gig.

In fact, Director Tony Scott, who, uncharacteristically, was handling the casting calls himself, laughed and said he liked it.

Ward will share his recoll-ections of working with Scott on his last film during a special “Unstoppable” viewing at Geauga Theater and a meet-and-greet session at Beans Coffee Shop the evening of Nov. 8.

The program is being arranged for Leadership Geauga alumni, said Connie Babcock, who helped organize it.

In fact, Ward gave her credit for being unstoppable in getting permission from Criterion Productions to show the film to the group.

Alumni may attend for free and bring a guest. Reservations for alumni are available by calling 440-286-8115 or emailing patti@leadershipgeauga.org.

Non-alumni will be able to purchase any remaining tickets, which will be posted the last couple of days before the event at the website www.leadership

geauga.org.

Before attending the casting call in Pittsburg in August 2009, Ward said he learned four parts and read for them all, muffing just the last one.

“I started making it up,” he said, adding it caught Scott’s attention and the role.

When he arrived in Pennsylvania for the filming, he was handed a script that took up a whole page and had until the next morning to learn it.

After working on it all night, Ward got to the set and learned all but the first and last paragraphs had been cut out of the scene. What part does he remember of his remaining script?

“‘This could be one of the worst disasters in the history of Pennsylvania,'” he said, to be repeated as the run-away train full of toxic material thundered by behind him, two cameras rolled and 80 crew members waited for him to get it right.

No pressure.

After an hour of backing up the train and resetting the stage, he got the lines right on the fourth try and breathed a sigh of relief.

“I was so happy,” he said.

But he didn’t know if he’d made it to the screen until a year later, when he was asked to do a voice-over to change a few words in his lines.

“I got 20 or 30 seconds on screen. That’s good for my industry,” Ward said.

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