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Small-town body shop owner and aspiring actor Brandon Gray, 29, of Marshfield, Mo., hit the jackpot, sort of, when he signed on to play a small role in a low-budget movie filmed in his home state. The film, "Winter’s Bone" the story of a young woman hunting down her meth-addicted father in the Ozarks struck a nerve with critics, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, garnering four Academy Award nominations in 2011 and appearing on many 10-best movie lists for 2010.
Gray, 29, owner of Gray’s Collision and Customs, played a character named Spider Milton, spending about 12 hours on set, he told the Marshfield Mail.
"I never thought it would take off like it did," he told the newspaper. "The subject matter is really harsh, so I didn’t know how something this real would go over."
Gray landed the role through an actors’ workshop, with over 30 actors from his group auditioning for the film and only five getting parts.
So, will Gray be walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 27? Not exactly. However, he plans to travel to Los Angeles that weekend to celebrate.
"I know I plan on going there for the weekend, having a good time and trying to get together with the people from the film," he told the Marshfield Mail.