So You Want to Be in Pictures

Pine View Grad Adele Romanski Produced the Academy Award-Nominated Moonlight

Plus, just in time for the Oscars, meet a few film actors, writers and producers with Sarasota connections.

By Kay Kipling February 23, 2017

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Image: Shutterstock

Sarasotans sure have made a name for themselves in Hollywood. Alan Ball and Nancy Oliver were friends and members of an acting troupe here in the 1980s. Ball went on to write the Academy-Award winning film American Beauty and also wrote and produced TV’s multi-award-winning Six Feet Under and True Blood. And Oliver, who has worked with Ball in Hollywood, wrote the 2007 film Lars and the Real Girl, nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Screenplay.” More recently, Adele Romanski, a 2001 graduate of Pine View School for the Gifted, produced 2016’s Moonlight, which won a Golden Globe for “Best Motion Picture Drama” and is nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Picture.”

Here are a few more Sarasotans with film connections:

Carla Gugino

The connection: Born in Sarasota in 1971, Gugino grew up here and in California after her parents separated.

You may know her from: TV series Karen Sisco, Entourage and Chicago Hope. On the big screen, roles in the Spy Kids movies, Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes, Sin City and Night at the Museum.

Now filming: Gerald’s Game, based on a novel by Casey Key’s Stephen King.

Stephen Root

The connection: Root was born in Sarasota in 1951 to a construction supervisor and his wife.

You may know him from: TV shows NewsRadio, The West Wing and as a voice actor on King of the Hill. On the big screen, in Office Space, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men.

Now filming: Life of the Party, a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy.

Ashley Rickards

The connection: Born in Sarasota in 1992, Rickards had her first acting experience in a Montessori school opera production.

You may know her from: TV shows One Tree Hill, MTV’s Awkward, Ugly Betty. On the big screen, Fly Away, At the Devil’s Door, A Haunted House 2.

Now filming: a recurring role on the CW series The Flash.

Paul Reubens

The connection: Born as Paul Rubenfeld in Peekskill, New York, the creator of Pee-wee Herman grew up here, attending Sarasota High and honing his chops on the Players stage.

You may know him from: Duh, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Big Top Pee-wee, and, of course, his big arrest here in 1991 at an adult movie theater.

Now filming: No news yet, but since his new Pee-wee’s Big Holiday did well on Netflix last year, we predict another Pee-wee payday.

Shanley Caswell

The connection: Caswell was born here in 1991 to arts-involved parents Chris and Patricia; she appeared locally with Teen Source theatre troupe and as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.

You may know her from: TV shows Zoey 101, iCarly, and The Middle. On the big screen: Detention, with Josh Hutcherson; The Conjuring, with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.

Now filming: a recurring role as Scott Bakula’s daughter on NCIS: New Orleans.

Dallas Roberts

The connection: Born in Houston, Roberts later moved to Sarasota with his parents, graduated from Sarasota High and attended then-Manatee Community College.

You may know him from: TV shows The Walking Dead, Rubicon, The Good Wife. On the big screen: A Home at the End of the World, Walk the Line, The Notorious Bettie Page.

Now filming: Two movies currently in post-production, My Friend Dahmer and Mayhem, with fellow Walking Dead alum Steven Yeun.

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