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Alumnus Gets Spotlight

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Action! Under the scorching, sweltering heat of the July sun and the thick, authentic war uniform, Cody Hanshew steps out on set to begin filming for  his first Hollywood production.

Hanshew is a graduate of the class of 2013 from Prince George High School. The name might be familiar to you due to the fact that Hanshew was very involved around the school. Other than theatre, Hanshew was involved in Student to Student and the drama department, just to name a few. By some of his fellow graduates and classmates, Hanshew would be described as a very outgoing character with many fans and friends.

Long before his passion for acting had bloomed, Hanshew had selected theatre as one of his electives at JEJ Moore and since then he has been hooked. What really kept him interested was that his teachers pushed him out of his comfort zone. By being cast in odd roles he was not used to playing, such as animals instead of human characters, he had to figure out how to be more flexible in the way he acts.

Hanshew, back right, plays a Civil War soldier in the drama A Field of Lost Shoes. Photo contributed by Cody Hanshew.
Hanshew, back right, plays a Civil War soldier in the drama A Field of Lost Shoes. Photo contributed by Cody Hanshew.

Inspired to act by one of the best, Hanshew strives to be like his favorite actor. Who is that, you might ask? Johnny Depp, of course. “He plays a lot of different people from a chocolate factory owner, to a guy with scissor hands.” His versatility and the fact that he is multitalented is very inspirational to many, especially Hanshew.

Staying involved in the theatre department while in high school, Hanshew made it certain that he was always be placed in the class, he made it a priority to stay connected to to the teacher by talking and seeing him more than just in class. Also, Hanshew auditioned and took part in the PGHS plays and the competition shows. Participating in the competition plays is what eventually got him a callback to study theatre at Longwood University.

Currently, Hanshew is studying theatre at Longwood University, which has been included in four national or regional rankings of the best colleges. During the summer of 2013 Hanshew was very involved with his agent and in doing that, he gained a role in a Hollywood production. The film he was a part of was Sean McNamara’s Field of Lost Shoes, which is an American war film.

Hanshew’s movie experience would be described by him as different. “There are different terms for theatre and different terms for acting.” When asked in an interview conducted by phone call, Hanshew said “One thing that I learned that I thought was interesting is that for every one minute of screen time is equal to ten hours on set.”

While filming, a lot of people had a great inpact on Hanshew. But the two main people who helped him the most would be Zach Roerig, also known as Matt Donavan as from the Vampire Diaries, and one of his special instructors who was teaching him to fire a rifle. Roerig and Hanshew discussed goals and how to get where he wanted to be while Hanshew’s instructor told him “Keep doing what you’re doing because I can see you going far.”

Not only was Hanshew offered a role in Field of Lost Shoes, but he was also given the chance to audition for Killing Kennedy just two weeks after getting hime from filming. Sadly, Hanshew declined due to the fact that he was sick. Also, Hanshew was urged to take an audition slot for Pirates of The Caribbean which would have given him the chance to possibly work with the man who inspired him to act, but again, he had to turn down the offer seeing that he had to begin college.In Hanshews future, he hopes to continue acting and make a great impact on people.

“By acting, I want to understand the world by playing people. Not everybody walks the same way. We all have different journies to get to the same place,” Hanshew said.

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