Hilton Head native's love of 'pretending' leads to roles on the stage, in films

abredeson@islandpacket.comOctober 11, 2013 

curveball

Hilton Head Island native Jean-Luc McMurtry played the main character in "Curveball," an independent feature film shot in Atlanta and produced by Supremacy Films. McMurtry said the film will be released in the spring.

SUBMIITED — Submitted photo

When Jean-Luc McMurtry was a little boy, he loved to play "cops and robbers" and other games that involved using his imagination.

The 19-year-old Hilton Head Island native still loves pretending. But now, he does it in front of an audience or a camera.

McMurtry was born and raised on Hilton Head Island. His father, Steven McMurtry, is the medical director of the Preston Health Center at the Cypress of Hilton Head Island. His mother and stepfather, Lucie and Larry Mann, own Park Plaza Cinema.

In middle school, he began acting in school plays and making films with his friends.

"That's how it all started," Jean-Luc said.

He's gone from local stages at Hilton Head Island High School and Main Street Youth Theatre productions to performing at the South Carolina Repertory theater, Jelks Auditorium in Savannah and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

McMurtry said the high school's choral director and drama instructor, Larry Mercer, was probably the biggest influence on him in high school.

Now a sophomore majoring in acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, McMurtry has recently appeared in feature films. He was an extra and worked behind the scenes in an independent movie called "Savannah," which was filmed in 2011 in Savannah. And he played the main character in "Curveball," an independent feature film shot in Atlanta and produced by Supremacy Films. McMurtry said that film will be released in the spring.

"I just love the journey that this is every day," he said. "I have no idea where it's going to take me yet. I'm excited for the road ahead."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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