An international model recognized for his platinum blond hair and striking blue eyes is making his acting debut in a film about discovering the meaning of true beauty in others.
The dynamic helps convey the main theme of the movie, "Love Everlasting," said director/producer/writer Rob Diamond.
"This film is a reminder that it's what's inside that counts, the value of inner beauty," Diamond said while filming on location in Magna in the fall of 2015. "If there's a scarred person on the outside, there is still beauty on the inside; and if you're a beautiful person on the outside, it doesn't mean you are not wounded. This movie is for everybody."
"Love Everlasting" stars 18-year-old model Lucky Blue Smith, Christie Burke ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2"), Emily Procter ("CSI: Miami," "The West Wing") and Shawn Stevens ("Cokeville Miracle") and opens in Utah theaters on Friday, Feb. 10, on a limited theatrical run.
The film premiered in California last November and can be found on Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Plus and other video streaming websites. It will also be released internationally this year.
The story features Smith's character, Bridger Jenkins, a high school teenager with hidden scars and a lifelong dream of seeing the ocean. An abusive stepfather drives Bridger and his mother to hit the road with less than $200 in their pockets. A series of events leads them to a small town where Bridger meets a young woman named Clover, played by Burke, who has more visible scars of her own. As their friendship deepens, they learn the meaning of true love, Diamond said.
The film is based on the true life experiences of two people, Diamond said.
Smith's character was inspired by a friend of Diamond named Jason Wixom, who received a heart transplant as a boy. Burke's character stems from a woman who suffered a severe facial injury as a girl. She never married and lived in a trailer near her parents, Diamond said.
"The timing was right and the stories collided," Diamond said.
Diamond is a longtime friend of Smith's father. The lean, 6-foot-5 model with a trademark smolder has more than 2.7 million Instagram followers and several hundred thousand more on Twitter, but didn't have any acting experience. Diamond, an acting coach, saw potential in Smith.
"He's a model, but not just a pretty face. I saw much more than that in Lucky. This is a young man with a gentle soul. He's a good person," Diamond said. "Once we locked him in, everything fell into place."
Smith, who has lived in Spanish Fork and Salt Lake City and now resides in Los Angeles, seemed at ease on the movie set. To loosen up before shooting a scene, Diamond could be seen tossing spirals to Smith, who showed off by catching the football one-handed.
"It's been a fun experience," Smith said. "This movie is a reminder of what beauty is all about."
It was a thrill for Burke to accept her role, especially after she caught a glimpse of her co-star.
"I read the script and felt I could relate to this beautiful love story," Burke said. "Then I saw a picture of Lucky Blue and thought, 'I have to do this movie.' He's such a babe."
Shawn Stevens, whose character, Will, is Clover's father, believes all audiences will enjoy the film.
"I find the demographic for this movie to be across the spectrum," Stevens said. "I think everybody can identify with the characters in this movie."
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