Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Here's your chance to be in a movie: Casting call to be held

by on May 23, 2014 10:59 AM

An independent movie production company is planning to turn the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex into Madison Square Garden and, alternatively, an arena in Las Vegas.

Hope Films Inc. will film scenes for “Southpaw,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a boxer who fights his way to the top only to find his life falling apart around him.

Offers for roles have been made to other stars, but no one else has signed on yet, Joni Tackette, extras casting director, said this week.

Filming is set to take place at the Kovalchick Complex starting June 16 through the end of the month, but first, casting employees are looking for between 1,500 and 2,000 people as extras to portray boxing spectators.

Tackette said that anyone can stop by the Indiana Mall (at the site of the former Old Navy store) Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to sign up. Casting calls only take about 10 minutes, she said, and involve some paperwork and having your picture taken.

While the vast majority of extras will be part of the audience during filming, Tackette said some may get the chance to play a small role at ringside, in closer range of the camera.

Extras will be paid minimum wage, for up to eight hours a day, Tackette said. Lunch will be provided every day, and being paid overtime is a possibility.

“It’s perfect for someone who is between jobs,” she said.

Ideally, she said, extras will be available for multiple days, and men will make up the majority of the audience since, realistically, more men are boxing fans.

The Indiana County area has been the site of movie shoots before. Most recently, scenes for “Promised Land,” starring Matt Damon, were filmed near Avonmore in 2012.

Filming for “Southpaw” will continue in Pittsburgh in July, but a separate casting call will be held for scenes shot there. Director Antoine Fuqua is a graduate of Ambridge High School in Pittsburgh, Tackette said.

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News editor Jason Levan has been with the Gazette for more than 15 years. He oversees the newspaper’s reporting and photography staff, coordinating much of the local content, as well as planning for various special projects. He is also very involved in the layout and design of the newspaper. He can be reached at or (724) 465-5555, ext. 270.
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