Hudson Cash is the son of clowns. Played by Adam Ferguson, Hudson is a struggling actor whose return home sets in motion the drama at the center of the film. Yet the son of clowns isn’t the only character with a significant role in Son of Clowns. The clowns themselves, along with their circus companions, make for quirky characters viewers won’t forget.
Eric Hartley (Dad) is a former Marine who grew up in Pierce City, Missouri. His acting career didn’t begin until 2012, when his daughter auditioned for Miracle on 34th Street and asked him to audition with her. Both daughter and father got parts and performed in 11 shows together that Christmas season. Since then, Eric has acted in two television series and was a crew member on Evan Kidd’s short film “Displacement Welcomed.”
April Vickery (Mom) was also part of “Displacement Welcomed.” She played a principal supporting role as a homeless woman with a troubled past, and her performance earned her the “Best Supporting Actress” award at the 2015 Eastern North Carolina Film Festival. A multitalented artist, April began acting at 14 and has also pursued music and dance. In addition, she recently finished writing her first feature-length screenplay.
Eric and April have been together for about five years and plan to get married in October. Sharing a love for all things Harry Potter, the two got engaged on April’s birthday last year at Universal Studios’ Hogwarts Castle. “As individuals and as a couple, Eric and April are simply awesome,” says director Evan Kidd, “April has great range, and Eric can do comedy, drama, anything. And off set, they will do anything to help out.”
In addition to the clowns, Cash Entertainment stars the strongman Angus, played by Rob Kellum. Professional wrestling fans across the country know Rob as The Stro (short for The Maestro of Wrestling) or “Papa” Stro. The grandnephew of Hall of Famer Gorgeous George, Rob began his professional wrestling career in 1990 and has gone by multiple names, including Gorgeous George III. He has wrestled for several organizations during his wrestling career, including the WCW, and he faced Sting on August 14, 1993. The Stro is currently the UPWA Heavyweight Champion and defends his title in Wilmington on March 26. “He may be a tough guy in the ring, but, in person, Rob is the nicest guy you could meet and was a delight to have on set,” recalls producer Bradley Bethel.
Cash Entertainment’s DJ is Hudson’s brother, Jabari, played by Darryl Postley Jr. “When Darryl auditioned, I knew right away he would be great for the role, and he ended up being amazing,” says Kidd. Darryl hadn’t acted in three years before auditioning for Son of Clowns, but he says the role of Jabari was the perfect opportunity to get back into acting. Jabari is an aspiring rapper, and Darryl himself is one part of the rap duo Coma Goat. Darryl’s favorite scene in Son of Clowns involves painting a picture for Jabari’s album cover, but he says you’ll have to see the film yourself to find out what makes that scene so great.
A circus wouldn’t be a circus without acrobats. Cash Entertainment’s acrobats are Hudson’s sister Claire, played by Kirsti Leighton, and her partner Sara, played by Nikko Smith. Kirsti graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Dance, and Nikko is currently studying acting at Coastal Carolina University. In their roles as acrobats, Kirsti and Nikko were part of the film’s most challenging scene, a stunt involving Angus and a swing set. “We couldn’t have gotten that scene right if the actors hadn’t been committed, but they were great, and we pulled it off with grit and style,” recalls Kidd.
Real-life magician Shaun Jay also contributed to the film’s big circus party scene. Shaun has been performing magic in the Triangle area for nearly decade, and he dazzled the cast and crew with his tricks, adding spectacle to one of the film’s biggest scenes.
Although a minor part, the role of Cash Entertainment’s behind-the-scenes assistant, Tony, is nonetheless memorable. The actor behind Tony is Jackson Honeycutt, a young musician and multitalented entertainer whose comedic timing, everyone on set agreed, is brilliant. Last year, Jackson’s music video for “Sweetheart I’ve Noticed” (directed by Evan Kidd) earned him a Carolina Music Award, and two of his songs are featured on the Son of Clowns soundtrack.
“The chemistry among this group of actors makes you believe they are really a family,” says producer Bradley Bethel. With a big smile on his face, Kidd echoes that sentiment: “We had so much fun together. This cast is so rad, and they connected so well. I think we all feel like we gained another family through this experience, and I definitely hope to work with all of them again.”
The world premiere of SON OF CLOWNS will be April 3 at The Cary in Cary, NC. You can purchase tickets here.