Actor Rodney Wiseman knows how to play a good bad guy on the screen but his latest, and perhaps greatest, incarnation of evil comes in the faith-based film “Frontier Boys.”
Wiseman, who attended United Christian Academy in Cleveland in 1986, has gone a long way in films after starting out singing Gospel hymns on stage in churches across America.
He has appeared in such films as “The Last Castle,” starring Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo, “Lie to Me,” starring Brandon Roth of “Superman Returns” and will appear in the upcoming films “Ben and Alex” and “Dark Island.”
His latest film, “Frontier Boys,” is the story of four high school boys in a small Northern Michigan town whose undefeated basketball season and friendships are threatened after a drive-by shooting leaves one of them in a coma and one of them with a dark secret.
Their basketball season is shattered when one of the boys’ older brothers, Mike, attracts a tough Irish gang leader named Sean O’Sullivan (played by Wiseman) who is intent on setting up a rural meth lab in the peaceful community.
The film is described as a suspenseful and intense story of how guilt can erode a person from the inside out, and how in the midst of life’s trials there are people who turn to God for comfort, conviction and hope.
Wiseman, who can channel the same charm and innocence of a Michael J. Fox into the menacing mystique of a Sean Penn, is making a name for himself playing rough-and-tough bad guys who people love to hate. The North Carolina native said his latest film has a message for everyone facing the realities of life.
“Christian or no Christian, religious or not religious — life is not harmless,” said Wiseman. “There are unexpected obstacles in life, temptations and setbacks. In short, life is not like the movies.
“Frontier Boys” is about real life. It illustrates life’s challenges, revealing, if you stick together as a family or as a team — you will come out on the other side. You may get dirty, scarred or bruised — but you WILL come out!”
Raised by missionary parents Gene and Lorene Wiseman who still live in Cleveland, Wiseman said it’s fun to play the bad guy in films although his characters usually ‘reap what they sow.’ Still, the talented actor says he enjoys his life of making movies and is very proud of his latest work in “Frontier Boys.”
The provocative drama was recently accepted at the Sabaoth International Film Festival, in Milan, Italy and took home the Adam Award, being recognized as Best Film of the international faith-based film festival held March 2-5, according to Wiseman.
“I hope when it comes to Cleveland the community will come out and support it,” Wiseman added. “It has a message for everyone, youths and adults, especially in the faith-based community.”
The film is the vision of Producer/Director John Grooters who calls it “a faith-based, family-friendly film that combines action, sports, and drama.”
“I set out to make the film that I wish had been made when my son was 12 years old,” said Grooters. “My vision was to make a film that a father and son could enjoy together. It had to be cool enough for a 12-year-old boy, but deep enough to be valuable to anyone who wanted to help that boy become a man.”
With the help of writer Jeff Barker, Grooters polished the script and shared it with Dove Foundation president Dick Rolfe, who was so impressed with the script that he introduced Grooters to some of his contacts in Hollywood, including executives at Disney, Fox, Walden, and Sony.
The Dove Foundation became involved early on, checking scripts and rough cuts in order to ensure that the final film would be truly family friendly.
According to Grooters, young teen boys have “precious little in the way of fiction or film that features positive, God-honoring role models.” So he took the essence of a story idea developed by he and his then 12-year-old son, Jed, and created a manuscript, which led to a winning screenplay.
Wiseman, whose singing talents led to him singing with legendary country music artist Merle Haggard, admits the acting bug didn’t bite him until later, when he was on the set of “The Last Castle,” playing a prison inmate.
“During this time, I began studying under acting instructor Alan Dysert in Nashville and later under Scott Arthur Allen, founder of Creative Actors Workshop,” he said.
Hanging out in Nashville, Wiseman was introduced to other areas of entertainment, like country music videos, which led to his being cast in an uncredited role on the set of “The Last Castle.”
Although he no longer lives in Tennessee, Wiseman said he visits his parents in Cleveland as often as possible.
For further information, visit www.frontierboys.com or visit Rodney Wiseman on Facebook.