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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sebree native to make Network Television debut tongiht


by MATT HUGHES
J-E Editor

On Thursday night, television fans across the country will get the chance to see one of Webster County’s own shine when he appears in an episode of ‘The Astronauts’ Wives’ on the ABC network. It will be Sebree-native and Webster County High School graduate Glenn Hobgood’s network television debut. Not bad for a guy who launched his professional acting career only five years ago.

After spending years on the road as a stand-up comedian, appearing under the name of Bubba Saunders, Hobgood hung up his traveling shoes and decided to pursue a career in acting. It was a big career change for a man in his mid-fifties, but one Hobgood had planned ahead for.
“I decided to make a change when it became evident that we were going to stay in  St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana,” Hobgood said.


He says at the time, the film industry was really beginning to take off in the area around New Orleans. Although the Crescent City’s history of filmmaking goes all the way back to Cecil B. DeMille’s 1938 movie “The Buccaneer”, 2004 was the year New Orleans became an important hub in the industry. From 2003 to 2004 the city went from average two or three movies a year to producing 13 projects.

In 2010, the year Hobgood decided to pursue his acting career, New Orleans turned out 35 movie and television projects, according to the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy.
Hobgood appeared in a 2011 short filmed titled ‘The Argument’, then made his feature film debut in 2012, appearing in Will Ferrell’s “The Campaign’.

“The cool thing is, when you do a project that has a budget, you might end up in the makeup chair right next to Will Ferrell or some other big star,” Hobgood said. “Then you find out, they are just regular people like us.”

Working as an actor and an extra in various films, he said he has met a whole list of famous actors, including eight Academy Award winners. Some of the most note worthy to Hobgood have been Forrest Whittaker, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates, Luiz Guzman and G.W. Bailey.
Recently Hobgood had the chance to audition for a bit part in the ABC drama ‘The Astronauts’ Wives’, one of the many television shows that is filmed in the area around New Orleans. The show, which is based on the New York Times Bestselling novel by Lily Koppel, tells the story of the wives of the Gemini and Apollo astronauts of the 1960’s.

“I play a limo driver during the funeral scene of the upcoming episode,” Hobgood said. “I get to drive a 1960’s limo and I spend some time on screen with JoAnna Garcia Swisher who played Cheyenne on ‘Reba’.”
Swisher plays Betty Grissom, the wife of Astronaut Guss Grissom, who died in last week’s episode of the show, mirroring real life events from the space program.
“The three days I was on set, I got to meet the entire cast,” said Hobgood. “Normally when you just work two or three days on a show, you only get to see the people in the scene with you. But the entire cast was there for the funeral scene, so I got to meet everybody.”
2015 is shaping up to be a good year for Hobgood. In 2014 played a larger role in a movie called ‘Sand Castles’. The independent film, which also stars Clint Howard, was recently picked up by a studio and is slated for a 2016 theatrical release.

“It’s a very unique business,” he said of the film industry. “It’s not glamorous at all until you get on the set. And you have to have very thick skin. I’ve been to 60 auditions this year and have only gotten two or three roles. There just aren’t a lot of roles for men in their 50s and 60s.”

Hobgood added that at times it gets a little surreal when he shows up for an audition for a casting call that is looking for a very specific look.

“When that happens there will be 20 or 30 people who look just like I do,” he said.
Before ending the interview, Hobgood made it a point to say hello to all of his friends from the WCHS class of 2015.

“They’re getting ready to have our fortieth reunion in August,” he said. “I’ll be busy and wont be able to make it, but I will be thinking about all of my friends.”

Reach MATT HUGHES
 at 270-667-2068 or
matt@journalenterprise.com

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