Actor from Miami Valley lands major role in new film

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM



Photo contributed by Alex Henry
(Photo contributed by Alex Henry)

Come late next year, Dayton will be able to watch one of their very own on the big screen.

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Chase Crawford, a 2014 graduate of Butler Tech and Monroe High School, has landed a major role in the new JM Productions film, Stronger Than Pretty

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The film, set to premiere in late 2018, is one mother’s unfiltered, true account of how she escaped domestic abuse. 

“It’s not too often that you get a script in a story as raw as this one. It all happened … You get to be forever attached in telling that story,” Crawford said. “I can’t imagine living through what she went though.”

The story is sure to be true to its core. Crawford will be working side by side with the mother’s son, one of the producers working on Stronger Than Pretty.
Joining Crawford for the project is a well-known cast including “Shameless” actress Kate Amundsen, Raquel Castro from “Empire,” and “The Birth of a Nation” actor Jason Stuart.

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“Everyone just wants to make sure that this story is given justice,” Crawford said. 

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While Crawford is more accustomed to comedic roles, this will not be his first time playing a serious character. Two successful independent films where he appeared in such roles were the 2016 Sundance Film Festival selection “Goat” and the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (tiff) selection “The Radiant City.”

Shooting for Stronger Than Pretty is expected to begin principal shooting in Los Angeles this September. 

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3 things to know about Dayton’s historic, ‘handsome’ Union Station

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Dayton’s Union Station was the majestic and bustling train hub of the city for decades.

Dayton’s Union Station was the majestic and bustling train hub of the city for decades. 

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Here are three things to know about the historic train station. 

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1. Described as a “handsome palace” when the train station opened at Sixth and Ludlow Streets in 1900, it was crowned by a seven-story clock tower. 

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2. During the first 30 years the new station was open, as many as 66 passenger trains served Dayton daily, according to the Dayton Railway Historical Society website. 

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3. Amtrak, which took over passenger rail services in the county in 1971, continued delivering travelers to Dayton until 1979, when the last passenger train left the station. 

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Oakwood-raised Oscar nominee featured in Forbes, New York Times and more

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Actress Allison Janney poses with her award for Best Actress for 'I, Tonya' backstage at the BAFTA 2018 Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Joel C Ryan/Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
Actress Allison Janney poses with her award for Best Actress for 'I, Tonya' backstage at the BAFTA 2018 Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)(Joel C Ryan/Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Allison Janney was far from the “It Girl” when she started her acting career. 

With a long list of film and television roles under her belt, the Oscar contender and Dayton Hall Walk of fame inductee is certainly the “It Woman” now. 

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Favored to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as LaVona Golden being pinched by a bird in “I, Tonya,” the Oakwood-raised actress has been featured by nearly every major American news organization in recent weeks. Below are just three examples.

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Allison Janney at the Whitby Hotel in New York, Nov. 16, 2017. The actress, who portrays figure skater Tonya Harding’s tough-as-nails mother in “I, Tonya,” talks about sexual harassment and the unlikely perks of working with fowl.(Allison Michael Orenstein/The New York Times)

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Janney dropped several nuggets about her upbringing in dayton during her interview with Forbes contributor Russ Espinoza.

“It was two brothers growing up in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio, in a house built by my great grandfather in 1911. A beautiful, big ole brick house with a golden retriever and bunny rabbits and cats and kittens and a menagerie of pets; and brothers who would take my Barbie dolls and take their heads off and make them watch their bodies drown in the sink—and do brotherly things and, you know, hold my legs and arms down and spit on my face and we’d cry and scream. We were all 18 months apart so we were all growing up together and being mean to each other and going to a really small private school called the Miami Valley School in Ohio that was first-through-12th grade—under 300 kids, so a really small school. I don’t think I had a date until I was in college because I went to such a small school. No one really dated. We all just hung out together.

Then I did plays: And my first play was playing Noah Claypole, the undertaker’s son, in “Oliver;” that was my first performance as a young actress. And just doing plays, playing field hockey, going to ballet. I had a pretty happy childhood in Dayton, Ohio. (It was) a pretty, lovely, bucolic setting and pretty beautiful.”

She told the New York Times that playing Golden, who actually was interviewed wearing a fur coat with a bird on her shoulder, was right up her alley. 

(Entertainment Weekly)

The more complicated and twisted the role, the more fun it is to play for me. I love making sense of a hot mess, you know? It’s a lot of fun. It was hard to try to find humanity for [Ms. Golden], it was really hard. But I have empathy for her. I know that she had to come from a terrible environment.

Following her BAFTA Award for her role in “I, Tonya” in London, the star of CBS’s “Mom” met Prince William and his very pregnant wife, Kate Middleton, at the Royal Albert Hall.

She told James Corden about it on his show, “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

“I did meet Kate and William and she was in her heels and pregnant, so I felt like a bit of a wimp that I was there in my bare feet.”

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This Dayton mom unwittingly accepted a challenge to take 30 kids to the movies -- and she doesn’t even know them

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Mi'Kel and Samil Pullen. Samil Pullen is taking 30 kids to see the Black Panther Movie.
Photo: Samil Pullen
Mi'Kel and Samil Pullen. Samil Pullen is taking 30 kids to see the Black Panther Movie.(Photo: Samil Pullen)

Samil Pullen is doing something most people would find crazy: taking 30 kids — who she doesn’t even know — to the movies.  

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Pullen, a program manager at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, dropped $240 on 30 tickets to Marvel’s “Black Panther” and gave the tickets away on Facebook.

Although she didn’t know it at the time, the single mother had accepted the #BlackPantherChallenge.

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Celebrities and everyday people around the country are paying for tickets so that needy children can see the blockbuster movie. The movie’s production was designed by Wright State University and Centerville High School alumna Hannah Beachler.

Accepting the challenge, the Atlanta Hawks hosted a screening for 150 youth and their chaperones Wednesday.  

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New York resident Frederick Joseph started the challenge after raising $40,000 on Gofundme to take Harlem children to see the movie.

The Saturday screen in Huber Heights will be a third viewing for Pullen. With her 13-year-old son Mi’Kel on punishment for his grades and chores, the Dayton native saw the the movie alone the first time and was amazed. 

“After I saw it, I said it is so bigger than him being on punishment,” she said.  

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Pullen said she decided to buy tickets for other children after her son saw the movie, which prompted him to ask questions about African heritage and black history. 

It was only after the movie that Pullen, who took a DNA test a year ago to trace her roots, said that her son wanted to research the African tribe from which her family comes. 

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Pullen’s son also expressed great interest in the movie’s female army. That conversation lead to a discussion about the Dahomey Amazons, an all-female regiment from the former African Kingdom of Dahoney in what is now Benin.

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We were live with a discussion on the cultural and social impact of Marvel's "Black Panther.”
 

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This local comic shop just expanded to take over 3 storefronts

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Bell Book and Comic, which has been located at 458 Patterson Road in Patterson Park Plaza for nearly 15 years, recently expanded into a third space.

A local comic book and game store has gotten a much-needed makeover. 

Bell Book and Comic, which has been located at 458 Patterson Road in Patterson Park Plaza for nearly 15 years, recently expanded into a third space. 

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Bell Book and Comic, located at 458 Patterson Road in Dayton, recently expanded to take over a third storefront. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin(Josher Lumpkin)

The shop had already annexed another storefront two doors down in 2011 and was using that space as a gaming area.  

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Owner Pete Bell explains, “When the tanning salon closed in the middle in 2016, we got it from the landlord. We spent most of '17 renovating it to make it one store.” 

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Bell Book and Comic, located at 458 Patterson Road in Dayton, recently expanded to take over a third storefront. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin(Josher Lumpkin)

Bell and his team took out part of the wall separating the original storefront and the new space. The result is a welcoming location that has more retail square footage to spread out Bell Book and Comic’s selection of new comics, back issues, and games.

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Bell Book and Comic, located at 458 Patterson Road in Dayton, recently expanded to take over a third storefront. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin(Josher Lumpkin)

“We wanted there to be more of a distinction between the comic books and toys in one area and then your games and gaming supplies in the other side, close to the gaming annex,” says Bell. “It's a lot more streamlined for customers to shop.“

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The shop’s wide selection of board games will now greet shoppers entering Bell Book and Comic. Due to the limitations of the original shop’s shotgun layout, these games had previously been hidden away in the back room. 

Bell says the new layout is paying off.

“I've sold six different boardgames today,” he told Dayton.com.

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Bell Book and Comic, located at 458 Patterson Road in Dayton, recently expanded to take over a third storefront. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin(Josher Lumpkin)

Visitors shopping for comics will also enjoy Bell Book and Comic’s new floorplan. The back issue comic books now share the same room as the new comics. Readers missing an issue can quickly grab it while picking up that week’s titles.

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Bell Book and Comic, located at 458 Patterson Road in Dayton, recently expanded to take over a third storefront. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin(Josher Lumpkin)

Bell Book and Comic also sports a good selection of action figures and toys, table top role-playing books and supplies, and a room full of used science fiction and fantasy novels.

Though his shop may be seeing changes, Bell says it’s the same old comic books that sell the most. 

Walking Dead... Spiderman... Batman…” 

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But he says he can see a new-felt comfort on his customer’s faces. “I've noticed a difference already in the demeanor of people who come in. They go ‘Oh my god, this is what you needed for so long.’ I hear that a lot,” Bell says.

When asked if he wants to take over the entire strip of storefronts in Patterson Park Plaza, Bell doesn’t rule it out.

“I hope to,” he says.

Want to go?

WHAT: Bell Book and Comic

WHERE: 458 Patterson Road, Dayton

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

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