Many teenagers dream of appearing in a movie, but for 15-year-old Hudson Harris of Lee’s Summit, it’s becoming a reality with next month’s nationwide release of “The Favorite,” featuring well-known actor John Schneider.
“The Favorite” is the story of the Bernard brothers, Luke and Benjamin, who both seek to be their father’s favorite son. After a tragic accident, one brother fights for his life and everyone is left praying for a miracle. In the end, the family finds both physical and spiritual renewal.
“I really enjoy the story of this movie as it’s based off of true events,” Hudson says. “Those are the best because nobody can make up that story line.”
Hudson plays the young Luke Bernard and appears in a few scenes, and his father Mark Harris appears in three scenes as a major league soccer scout. Hudson’s sister, Arianna, and brother, Hunter, also appear as extras in another scene.
Hudson had his first introduction to acting at the age of 5 at the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival in Tennessee, which focuses on musical theater and performance. After developing skills through that festival and other experiences with the Annie Moses Foundation, he has been performing theater productions at school as long as there have been opportunities. In addition to singing and acting, he plays the piano and guitar.
The Harris family is close friends with the Bernard family. They knew Hudson was involved in theater, so they invited him to try out for their movie. Additionally, when the accident portrayed in the movie happened in real life, the Harris family was involved in praying for Luke Bernard. As a part of his healing process, Luke actually wrote the script and starred in the movie.
“We watched the miracle happen, so we have been allowed to re-live something there is no rationale for,” Mark says. “There is something really special here and something magical going on.”
The movie was filmed in Tampa in the fall of 2016 when Hudson was in 7th grade. Though previously in musical stage theater, Hudson had never performed on film.
Hudson says everyone on the set from the actors to the production crew were extremely kind, and he enjoyed watching the process of filmmaking. He says he’s been reflecting on the experience and has gained a greater understanding of the film industry.
“The Favorite” had a citywide release in Tampa a few months ago and will be released nationwide on September 13 and will be shown in Lee’s Summit. Increased demand and awareness will bring the film to more theaters. They have also launched a crowdfunding campaign at thefavoritemovie.com.
For now, Hudson says he’s going to continue to audition for productions at his school, Summit Christian Academy, and whatever other opportunities might come his way.