Lights, camera, action: alumni cast in same movie

The movie industry might seem vast, but for Paige Hullett ’16 and John Henry Ward ’17 it has gotten a little bit smaller as they have both been cast in Karen Maine’s “ Yes, God, Yes.”

John Henry Ward ’17 & Paige Hullett ’16
By Tyler Seibring ’19

The movie industry might seem vast, but for two Elon graduates, it has gotten a little bit smaller. Paige Hullett ’16 and John Henry Ward ’17 have both been cast in Karen Maine’s “ Yes, God, Yes.” “It did feel like a small world situation,” says Hullett, in reference to being cast with an Elon alumnus, “but with Elon’s training and education, I wasn’t too terribly surprised.”

A strategic communications graduate with a passion for acting, Hullett’s journey after graduation led her to Atlanta. Determined to get her foot in the door as an actor, she took classes and also found a coach, Sara Mornell, who helped her with acting and prepared her for the industry. Armed with this newfound knowledge, Hullett was able to book her first lead role in a feature in “Burnt Offering” just a few months before landing the part for “Yes, God, Yes.” The movie, starring Natalia Dyer of “Stranger Things” and Timothy Simons of “Veep,” is the feature adaptation of Maine’s short film by the same name and explores teenage angst.

Ward, a music theatre graduate, also went to Atlanta after graduation. He originally planned to move to New York but his plans changed after being cast in a short film, “The Boogeywoman.” The movie was filmed in October in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so he was able to stay in Atlanta, his hometown, until the end of filming. That’s when he found out about the part for “Yes, God, Yes.” After submitting and taping for the role—with the help of Hullett and the acting studio Catapult Acting Studios—Ward landed the part. Due to their different majors, Hullett and Ward did not run into each other often at Elon, but each was happy to see a familiar face during the process. “I specifically remember thinking that he would be a great fit for the part,” Hullett recalls. “When I saw his name on the call sheet, it was an exciting feeling.”

Having just started his professional acting career, Ward is aware of the power of connections. “You find these connections with people on set that you would never expect,” he says. Both Ward and Hullett are excited for the next steps in their journey as they begin to focus on “Yes, God, Yes,” which is expected to be released in 2019. “It’s really nice to finally put everything I learned at Elon into practice,” says Ward, who will be in the musical “The View Upstairs” at Atlanta’s Out Front Theatre Company in the fall. “This isn’t really the path I thought I would have after school, but I have really enjoyed it.”

Hullett, who is represented by Privilege Talent, now finds herself on a different side of the industry as she gives writing a try. All of her experiences in Atlanta, she says, have helped her to prepare for various opportunities, including her latest movie role. “Director Karen Maine is fantastic,” Hullett says, “and working with a female director alongside two female producers (Katie Cordeal and Colleen Hammond) is also really special.”