The Black Phone brings local actors to the big screen

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington is no stranger to the big screen, and Friday you can catch one movie filmed here for the first time in theaters.

The Black Phone opened this weekend, and features local talent. Born and raised in Wilmington, Reagan Shumate was excited to be apart of this movie after years of traveling to other cities for roles.

“It was nice, because I didn’t have to go to a hotel, I got to come home and rest,” she said. “It was just such an amazing experience.”

Troy Rudeseal acted in theater and film her for years. He moved to Atlanta when productions slowed a few years ago. The Black Phone brought his back to Wilmywood. He plays Detective Miller, hot on the trail of the movie’s child murderer. But filming in May of last year posed its own challenges.

“There was so much rain, we had to run from one house to another through the yard, and the yards were completely muddy and washed out,” he laughed. “They kept coming in and filling in, putting straw down. And we were sinking in the muck trying to run across these yards.”

Despite the challenges, Rudeseal and other local cast members, like Banks Repeta say they had a blast.

13-year-old Repeta played a ghost of a child the murderer already killed, and said he was never afraid on set.

“When you’re filming, it’s not the same experience at all,” he explained. “You’re there, you put on the prosthetic makeup, and you look at yourself and you’re like, Wow! And then you get in the position and you’re done, and it’s the best time ever.”

Repeta has acted in a number of things shot in the area, and is excited film is back in his own backyard.

“I think supporting that will help the economy, and – I mean – I don’t really follow that a lot but, I know that it’s a better place with film,” the 13-year-old smiled.

Shumate agrees. The movie gave the hopeful a chance to accomplish and long time dream, walking the red carpet. The teen hopes this is the first of many movies back in the Cape Fear.

“This is… I want to do this more. It’s so fun.”

The Black Phone was filmed at Screen Gems Studios and in downtown Wilmington in May of 2021. You can catch it in local theaters starting June 24.

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