Thursday, January 9, 2020

Young Windham actors play roles in “Little Women”

Gracie Rulman
By Lorraine Glowczak

The latest movie of “Little Women”, directed by Greta Gerwig and currently showing in theaters, is the seventh film adaptation of the 1898 novel of the same name, written by Louisa May Alcott. What makes this recent movie version so special for one Windham family is that siblings Gracie and Lincoln Rulman were picked to play small parts, acting with Hollywood celebrities such as Emma Watson and Laura Dern.

“Lincoln acted as one of the four King children whose nanny is Meg, played by Emma Watson,” explained Sarah Rulman, the actors’ mother. “Unfortunately, his scene was cut due to timing, but Gracie’s scene remained in the movie. She played a church goer and a child in the Town Square on Christmas Day while actors Emma Watson and Laura Dern walked by, performing their scenes.

Their acting debut all started when Sarah answered a simple ad in the Portland Press Herald last spring. The ad was from a casting agency asking for young actors to apply as extras for the film. She applied and within a few weeks, nine-year old Lincoln was the first to get the call back, with ten-year-old Gracie receiving a call shortly thereafter.
Lincoln Rulman

The Rulman family had many exciting experiences that included being on a professional movie set, filming on location and riding in a limousine to a nondisclosed location.

“First, we traveled to Bellerica, MA for costume fittings for the children,” Sarah began. “Then, Lincoln filmed in Canton, MA at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate and Gracie filmed in Harvard at the Harvard Town Square and Town Hall. The time we all spent at the movie location was a really neat experience and it was so crazy to be on a Hollywood movie set. I don’t think the kids fully understood the importance of their experiences. It didn’t catch on for Gracie until she spent three hours in the sleet and snow filming in a scene with Emma Watson and all the other “Little Women”. 

When Laura Dern walked by and I got excited, Gracie had no idea who she was. The set was incredible, especially when I found myself standing behind Greta Gerwig while she was directing.”
Sarah further explained that the set was fully catered with every kind of food imaginable and there was a child life specialist on location to make sure all the young actors were being treated fairly and had plenty of food to eat. As for her own children, Sarah said, “It was their first real paid job and they loved it. They get to say their first job was being an extra in a Sony Pictures film!” young Windham actors also discovered that they didn’t know where the filming location would be until the last minute. “We were always given an address to drive to, we were picked up in a black Mercedes van and driven to the set,” Sarah said. “It was a secret every time where would be going.”
Once on the set, the Rulman siblings began to play their roles. When each was asked what they loved most about being a part of the “Little Women” film, they each had a different answer. “My favorite part was when the director said ‘background’, ‘rolling’ and ‘cut’”, Gracie said. “I also love the acting itself.”

Lincoln, on the other hand, said; “making money and just being a part of a movie was my favorite part.”

We will get to see these Windham actors performing again. Lincoln has a significant role in the “Defending Jacob” miniseries, an American crime drama coming out on Apple TV+ that stars Chris Evan and Michelle Dockery. Dockery is best known for her role on the PBS Series and recent movie of “Downton Abbey” as Lady Mary Crawley. Lincoln’s youngest sister, six-year-old Libby, will be acting along with him in this series. people in the greater Windham area may recognize Libby as the local philanthropist who collects toys for young children with cancer and other medical challenges and who are staying at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland. When asked what she is most looking forward to as an actor, she stated with enthusiasm, “Being famous!” What Libby does not seem to know is that she is already a local celebrity.

“’Little Women’ and ‘Defending Jacob’ are both from the same casting agency,” explained Sarah. “How it works is they usually contact us if they have scenes where the kiddos are a good fit. All three of my children will play a role int this series.”

If you haven’t seen “Little Women” yet, it has been a highly rated film and a suggested must see. But if Boston wealthy women who experienced poverty in the 19th century is not your fancy, then perhaps “Defending Jacob” may be more your style. Either way, you will get to see – and support - local young celebrities in action.

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