Local actress landing Silver Screen roles. By Lisa Hanchey

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Graham2Lafayette’s Lauren Graham spent two consecutive nights in May shooting a scene for the upcoming star-studded apocalypse comedy The End of the World by first-time directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

“We watched the sun come up,” says Graham, 19. “We didn’t sleep at all.”

The daughter of George and Roxanne Graham, Lauren has been acting since age 14. Her first tryout in eighth grade landed her the lead role as Snow White in Firelight Children’s Theatre’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That year, she also played Juliet in a scene from Romeo and Juliet.

During her freshman year at Ascension Episcopal School, Graham was cast in her first film, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. She spent a week filming in New Orleans with Josh Hutcherson, current star of the smash hit The Hunger Games.

Graham, who played a student in Vampire’s Assistant, sat in a classroom with Hutcherson and was in a hallway scene with him.

“It was really cool that I spent a week filming with him, because back then, he wasn’t really well-known,” says Graham. “Now, he’s really famous because of The Hunger Games. So, it was neat that I got to meet him and film with him, and now he’s a big star.”

Following The Vampire’s Assistant, Graham won three back-to-back roles in Bullet Films’ Monster Wolf, Swamp Shark and Swamp Volcano, which aired on the SyFy Channel. Her first speaking part was in Swamp Shark as Laura. Until now, her biggest role was in Swamp Volcano, where she played a tennis player who smashed a ball of molten lava through her coach’s chest.

In high school, Graham garnered the lead in every play, served as president of the Drama Club, won awards in speech and debate and competed at UL’s literary rally. During the last two summers, she attended acting workshops at the New York Film Academy and UCLA, respectively.

In April, Graham auditioned for a part as a young teenager in The End of the World. After she landed the role, she traveled to New Orleans for rehearsals mid-May, and the scene was shot May 18-19 at a set-made convenience store in Jefferson Parish.

“It was pretty much an improv scene,” Graham says.

Graham plays a character who is 14 or 15 years old. Makeup artists have commented that her youthful appearance can serve her well in her acting career.

“It makes my career go even longer, because I now can play a 13-year-old, and I have a lot of years to be an actor,” Graham says.

Graham1
               Graham on set with actor/director Seth Rogen


Among the all-star ensemble cast are James Franco, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and Michael Cera (unconfirmed media reports on Monday also had Paul Rudd, Aziz Ansari and Jason Segel in the movie). The flick follows a party at Franco’s house, where Rogen and scores of his celebrity friends hide out as an apocalypse hits Los Angeles.  

For her scene in The End of the World, Lauren worked alongside actor/director Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Yohance Myles, Carol Sutton, Doug Griffin and Rick Holden, assistant professor of acting and directing and co-head of undergraduate performance at the LSU Department of Theatre. Coincidentally, Graham had previously met Holden when he led her high school class on a tour of LSU’s theatre department.

“They were so nice,” Graham says. “They treated everybody the same. Seth was really busy, because he was directing the film as well as acting in it.”

Like the stars, Graham had her own trailer and a hair/makeup team. While the film’s publicity department prohibited her from disclosing details about her scene, she does disclose that she particularly enjoyed working with Baruchel.

“I really liked him a lot,” she says. “He’s hilarious. He had everyone laughing on set the whole time. I really would have liked to hang out with him more.”

Last month Graham finished her freshman year at LSU, where she is majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in theatre. She hopes to audition for more roles during the summer and eventually take “Acting for the Camera” classes from Holden.

“For now, I plan to just keep auditioning and hopefully do more movies and stick around this area, because the film industry is so good right now in Louisiana,” she says. “So, it’s definitely a great place for me to be.  

“Acting is definitely my dream,” she continues. “It’s something that I’m going to pursue for the rest of my life.”

Anticipated release date for The End of the World is June 14, 2013. Graham hopes to attend the Los Angeles premiere next year.

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