Once word got out that Chad Michael Murray was outside, the room full of fans, hopeful actors and film students flooded onto the deck adjacent to the small room at Screen Gems Studios.
The group of mostly women failed to look inconspicuous as they readied cameras and inched closer to the star of ‘One Tree Hill.’
An event organizer soon asked everyone to take their seats inside in preparation for a panel discussion with Murray, fellow actor Paul Johansson
and director Greg Prange.
Veteran actor and teacher Peter Jurasik assumed the role of James Lipton in the ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ style discussion.
The small room created an intimate setting for guests willing to donate $40 to the Cucalorus Film Foundation.
Cucalorus Board Chairman Bo Webb hoped the event would bring awareness to the upcoming independent film festival that runs Nov. 12-15. ‘One Tree Hill’ has been a big supporter of the group and the intimate panel seemed like a great way to bring it all together, Webb said.
Christina Laine, sitting in the front row with her mother before the discussion started, said she hoped to learn more about the film industry she is studying.
Others just came to catch a glimpse of the actors and learn more about the show they love.
Deepa Pillai came all the way from Mississippi to catch a glimpse of people behind her beloved show – and to see her sister who lives in Wilmington.
Guests submitted questions beforehand to Jurasik who spent the hour discussion prying the panel guests to talk seriously about the film industry while leaving plenty of room for laughter.
When asked about their inspiration, Johansson credited legendary actor Paul Newman, who died of cancer Friday.
He said he approached Newman once only to hear him say, ‘I’m busy.’
‘I did talk to him,’ he joked.
All three talked about the challenges and joys of the film industry and where they are headed next.
Murray will soon put on the director’s hat and bring to life a script he wrote for ‘One Tree Hill.’
Johansson said the seasoned cast is supporting him.
‘Chad’s going to do a great job,’ he said.
Director and ‘father figure’ to Murray, Prange offered the audience advice they could take to stage.
‘Be prepared,’ he said, adding knowing the script and the part leaves more time for fun and shaping the performance.