Excitement over the Coen brothers’ choice of the Old Blanco Courthouse for courtroom scenes in their remake of the movie classic, True Grit, is mounting. A Christmas Eve KXAN TV news story by Josh Hinkle featured the Old Courthouse and its role in the film. Rebecca Doll, Courthouse Manager for the non-profit owner of the building, the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society, was interviewed concerning the history and functions of the Old Courthouse. She explained past uses had included a short term as a county seat courthouse, followed by, at various times, a bank, a school, a hospital and, currently, a Visitor Center and event venue. Local residents stated their great enthusiasm for the production and Doll expressed hope that the filming might spark renewed tourist interest in the Old Courthouse and Blanco.
According to the film’s official website, the producers’ nationwide search continues for an unknown teenager to fill the starring role of Mattie Ross. TrueGritCasting.com tells how any 12-17 year old girl can submit an audition tape or find out about open casting calls for the role of Mattie, a “simple, tough as nails, young woman in post-Civil War Arkansas.” Auditions have been held throughout the south looking for a “12-17 year old girl who is tough, strong and tells it like it is.” The website states that open auditions will next be held in Oklahoma on January 9. Self-taped entries can be mailed and instructions are included. Any girl wanting to try out is asked to download the included scene and learn it, with the following instruction: “Don’t try to ‘act’ it. This girl is sassy, fearless, sure of herself, doesn’t care if the other person likes her. She’s just real and feisty.” All submissions for this particular call are due by January 9.
How cool would it be for a gifted young actress from the Blanco area to be the one discovered? Or to see oneself as an extra in a Coen brothers’ film? Word on the street is that a number of extras will be needed for the April or May filming.
Information on filming activities will follow as received, promises Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society president, Glen McFarlin.