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Thursday, July 31, 2014, 4:57 p.m.
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Conway man extra in movie; Monday deadline for tickets

By Tammy Keith

This article was published January 30, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

CONWAY — John Stiritz of Conway has played a lot of characters in his acting career, and his latest movie role was an adventure, he said.

He and his wife, Marette, were extras in an independent comic/horror film that was made two years ago in Spokane, Wash. The film is finally being released just in certain cities, he said, including Little Rock.

The film, Knights of Badassdom, stars Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn and Summer Glau. It is directed by Joe Lynch.

It will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Dickinson Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre in Little Rock, only if a minimum of 70 reservations are made by Monday, Stiritz said. Reservations can be made online at www.tugg.com.

Because he made a small investment in the film, the 77-year-old Stiritz said, he and his wife were cast as extras.

“We hopefully survived the cutting-room floor,” Stiritz said. “You may catch a glimpse of us back there in the fight scene.”

Dressed in medieval clothing, they were sword fighting, he said.

“We met the stars,” Stiritz said. “They were nice guys, seemed to be nice guys and gals. It was just a brief meeting — an introduction, and [we] shook hands. It was something,” he said.

However, one of them spoke to Marette, who isn’t the actor in the family, he said.

“Steve Zahn had been watching us on the monitor and said to Marette — not to me, unfortunately — ‘I’ve been watching you, and we’re going to be seeing more of you later,’” Stiritz said. “That’s a precious moment for her.”

The story follows three best friends, the three main male actors, who are dedicated live-action role players, or larpers.

“They had these people who were actually larpers. They were very enthusiastic,” he said.

“It has demons and wizards,” Stiritz said. “There is blood; there is guts. It ends happily,” he said.

“We motored out to Los Angeles and saw it on the small screen. We didn’t have time to get a real good look,” he said, so he’s not sure whether he and his wife can be seen.

“The production values are pretty good.”

The film has been shown in several cities, thus far, including Atlanta, New York and Boston.

“It premiered in Israel to rave reviews,” he said.

Stiritz said he will be available to answer questions after the Little Rock showing.

Whether he’s on the screen or not, Stiritz said, it was a fun trip for him and his wife.

“Well, it’s an adventure,” he said. “It’s something to make life interesting.”

In addition to being active in community theater, Stiritz’s movie credits include playing “the grandpa” in My Dog Skip, directed by Arkansas native Jay Russell, and portraying Jesse James’ stepdad in Frank and Jesse “for a brief, shining moment,” Stiritz said.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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