There is nothing like traveling all the way from North Carolina to North Hollywood! That’s exactly what Edwin Modlin has done in the pursuit of the Hollywood dream.
“My first break in film and TV was in North Carolina while working on the show, Dawson’s Creek,” Modlin told The Hollywood Billboard. “Because I rowed crew for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the production needed a rower for a scene (I got the role).
“I was fortunate enough to be picked and continued on the show for two years doing various roles and also worked on films in North Carolina,” he said. Those roles included New Best Friend with Eric Michael Cole and Dominque Swain, and Freedomsong with Danny Glover.
After 9/11, Modlin took a hiatus from the entertainment industry and enlisted in the Army, serving as an Infantry Officer. He also wrote and published a romance novel in that time. “After my service, I was a news reporter in North Carolina and also went to graduate school for business, then went off to New York to work in finance,” he said. “It was there that I was literally chased down by a film producer asking me if I was a model or an actor. He tried to talk me into moving to Hollywood, but I stayed in NYC working in finance and also continued writing novels. A few days later, a twist of fate intervened and I decided to make the move to California.”
Shortly after arriving in Hollywood, Modlin began working on the film, White House Down, with Academy Award winning producer, Volker Engel. Not long after that, he was spotted by a photographer when working in Studio City. Soon after, he had a meeting with an agent at Mavrick Artists Agency who signed him. “He said it was because I took direction very well and was told I ‘glowed’ on camera.”
In 2013, while auditioning for a role in Reese Witherspoon‘s film, WILD, Modlin was hand-picked by director Jean-Marc Vallee to portray the part of Witherspoon’s “Hot Smoking Guy.”
“Author Cheryl Strayed, who helped turn her book into a movie, talked with me and said I was actually better looking than the original Hot Smoking Guy she met in 1995. Obviously, I was very flattered,” he said with a chuckle.
In 2014, Modlin was called by a photographer to do a few poses for a military movie. “(They said it was) because I looked similar to the lead actor, and had no idea what it was,” he said. “Because I was former Army infantry, I knew the weapons and how to handle them. The photographer was impressed and then I found out it was to beBradley Cooper‘s photo double for the film, American Sniper.”
Modlin’s involvement in the next project is best told in his own words.
“Several weeks ago, my agent contacted me to let me know I was hand-picked for an audition for the show, Gunslingers, because I knew how to ride horses from living and working on my parents farm in North Carolina."
“Though I did not get the part, I was contacted by the casting director who said the director of the show was impressed by my audition and wanted to cast me in a much bigger role – Wyatt Earp. A few days later I was on a plane to Santa Fe, New Mexico and filmed on location for two weeks in the desert to portray one of my all-time favorite lawmen of the West."
“Though I already knew so much about Wyatt Earp, I researched him even more because I wanted to portray him as real as possible. Being out in the New Mexico desert was an awe-inspiring experience because on our ‘off days’ a few of the other actors and I would go on beautiful scenic hikes to see Native American cave dwellings and adobe homes.”
Season two of Gunslingers premieres July 2015 on the American Heroes Channel.
Up next is an indie film he did in September. It’s called Hill Hive. The main thing about that project was the director and producer did not want him for the film because they thought he was a muscle meathead who couldn’t act, (before he even auditioned). But while he was doing the long monologue, they were so moved by my performance that they compared everyone else to him.
A month later he was offered the role and had to grow a beard and lose 20 pounds for the role, which was tough, but he really liked the story. It will be playing at the Cannes Film Festival this year.