Student gets small roles in big shows, Hitch and Prime

Nate Stutzman, one of the most recognizable students on Eastern’s campus, may soon become known to many more than just the Eastern community.

Stutzman was an extra for the movie Hitch starring Will Smith, and he has a slightly larger role in the upcoming film Prime, currently in post-production, which stars Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep.

Stutzman, a senior majoring in business and marketing management, is considering entertainment as a career.

“I’ve actually thought about it: take a year and move to New York City, get an apartment and maybe pursue acting and modeling,” he said.

“And I know the odds are pretty much against you in the entertainment business, but I just want to try it out. But whatever God has for me, I’ll try it out.”

It may seem a little strange for a business and marketing major to go into entertainment, but Stutzman does not see it that way.

“The entertainment world is all business,” he said. “It’s all about who you know, what you do and how you do it.”

To get noticed by the entertainment business, Stutzman pointed out that he really has to market himself, a skill his major was a big help in providing him with.

To get his part in Hitch, Stutzman answered an ad calling for extras. He sent his photos and information to Amerifilm Casting agency, of which he is now a member. Amerifilm Casting got Stutzman the part for Hitch, and they later contacted him with the role in Prime.

In Hitch, Stutzman plays a Columbia University student who walks right by Will Smith. At the time of the interview, Stutzman was not sure if he appears in the final cut of the film. It would all depend on which shots and angles are used.

In Prime, however, Stutzman is guaranteed to have some screen time and even some lines. His character plays a game of basketball with some buddies. Prime’s director, Ben Younger, is also in the scene as the player that Stutzman covers throughout the scene.

Off-camera, Stutzman was able to hang out with and be encouraged by some of the other actors of Prime, particularly Bryan Greenberg.

“All the girls are familiar with him from [the WB television show] One Tree Hill,” Stutzman said.

His foot in the door, Stutzman has sent his résumé to a number of popular television shows, like C.S.I. and Everybody Loves Raymond, hoping to get a part.

Stutzman also attended a modeling convention last weekend at the Marriott in Philadelphia, where he gave a monologue and then walked the runway in front of thousands of spectators.

“I’m actually more nervous about this [than I was about the movie roles],” Stutzman said before the event. “But it’s doing these things that will open doors.”

Despite all these ways that Stutzman is willing to give himself to the industry, there is a line he will not cross.

“I would never want to play a part that was compromising to my values,” he said, citing sex, nudity and taking God’s name in vain as things he refuses to do on screen.

He does, however, note the temptation.

“If I was sitting there looking at a couple million bucks [for playing a compromising role], what would I do? I don’t know. There’s a very important issue that lies in there,” he said.

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