U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph ...
Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Length: 101 minutes
Released: April 20, 2012 Nationwide
Cast: Zac Efron, Blythe Danner, Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, Riley Thomas Stewart
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Will Fetters
Matthew Michaud of Maryville will make his major motion-picture debut Friday.
Matthew, 11, has a role in "The Lucky One," opening in theaters nationwide. In the movie, Matthew plays the nephew of Zac Efron's character, Logan.
The movie, based on a Nicolas Sparks novel, tells the story of a Marine (Efron) back from three tours of duty in Iraq who searches for an unknown woman (Taylor Schilling) he believes was his good luck charm during the war.
A fifth-grader at Maryville Intermediate School, Matthew said he was on the movie set in New Orleans, where the film was shot, for two days in December 2010.
Working with Efron was "great," Matthew said. "He's a very nice guy."
Some of his favorite memories from his time on-set with Efron include a funny photo and some basketball tricks Matthew learned.
"I had to have a few pictures for the room I lived in for the movie and (Efron) brought down a picture of me on crazy-hair day with crazy hair, and everyone was laughing. It was really funny. ... He (Efron) also taught me a few basketball tricks ... like a shot behind his head (and) a few dunk shots."
Matthew said he hasn't tried the basketball tricks on his friends yet because "well, they're pretty tricky."
Another favorite on the set for Matthew was director Scott Hicks.
"He was very, very nice and funny too. During the shoot, a phone went off, and he was kind of dancing to it. It was funny!"
Matthew said he will continue pursuing acting, and says, "I'm trying very hard to get into more movies.
"I went to California for six and a half weeks, doing auditions and acting classes. It was a lot of fun out there. ... I was recently in a commercial for Dollar General. Unfortunately, it only runs in California."
Locally, Matthew may be best known as "Splashman" in a Dollywood Splash Country commercial.
He said his friends, teachers and school have been "very supportive" of his acting career.
Matthew is represented locally by Talent Trek Agency and coached by Jayne Morgan.
Matthew's parents are Roland and Cheryl Michaud of Maryville. Matthew has a twin brother, Shane, and older sister, Morgan.
Matthew recently went back to New Orleans for a special private screening of "The Lucky One."
"That was really good," he says. "We had a lot of fun."
Unfortunately, Efron and Schilling were in Australia for the movie's world premiere, but Matthew said the producers were in attendance.
As for his plans to see the movie Friday, Matthew said, "a lot of my family and friends are all going to the movie theater to watch the movie."
And will Mom and Dad be letting him skip school on the day of his big movie debut?
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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