Actress and Plant City native to star in Christmas movie
PLANT CITY - Charleene Closshey, a Plant City native who has worked in theater, commercials and music since her 2002 college graduation, has landed her first starring role in a feature film. Filming starts in early February on the film, tentatively titled either "Evergreen" or "Christmas Eve." Plans call for completing the production by the summer in time for a 2013 holiday season release, probably for a TV movie. "I view this as quite the opportunity. It's like a dream come true," she said in an interview at the Plant City home of her parents, Charles and Jennifer Closshey. She stars as a musician who returns to her hometown after her father's death and ultimately finds the true meaning of the holiday as she helps save the family's struggling Christmas tree farm. The movie is being shot on a tree farm in the Charlotte, N.C. area. The setting is a fictional Tennessee town that Closshey describes as "kind of like Plant City set in the mountains."Closshey, 31, has enjoyed a varied career that included her debut as the red headed baby on packages of Northern bathroom tissue. She was a member of the Florida Strawberry Festival's queen court and held other titles including 2003 Miss Tampa before her graduation from Florida Southern College with degrees in marketing and exercise science. She continued her artistic education at both Circle in the Square Theater School in New York City and with Juilliard's Dalcroze studies. She eventually moved to Los Angeles for a few years and has had a varying roles that ranged from singing opera in Rome to appearing in television commercials. Recent theatrical projects include the feature film "A Thousand Cuts," television pilot "Terminal Kill," and a variety of appearances in other feature and short films. On the stage, she appeared in the Los Angeles productions of "A War Cycle: Wounded," and "Sherwood Forrest," as Maid Marian. She is also an accomplished violinist who has shared the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr. and the TransSiberian Orchestra. Closshey said she likes her latest new role because it calls on both her acting and musical talents. Also, she enjoys the movie's theme. "I like the fact that it's set a Christmas time. That's my favorite time of year. I love Christmas because it is all about people and family," she said. Closshey said she will work 12 hour days during the shooting, scheduled to take place through early March. Editing and other work will last through July. She said she will split her time between Charlotte and Los Angeles during the production. She doesn't anticipate moving back to Plant City any time soon. "Plant City will always be home. It always feels like home here," she said.
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