It's the kind of overnight sensation experience that brings fame-hungry wannabes to L.A. by the busload: with no prior credits to his name, Jeffrey Wadlow recently bagged a $1 million production deal as winner of the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival.
Of course, he had been working steadily at a film career almost since he could walk. After finishing grad school at USC Cinema, he took odd jobs where he could find them, including small acting gigs in Pearl Harbor and "Roswell," and hit the festival circuit promoting his short, "Tower of Babble," with narration by Kevin Spacey. He entered "Babble" into the CMDFF--cosponsored by Chrysler, Universal Pictures and The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman's production company, Hypnotic--and months later found himself among the contest's final five, pitching his prospective feature, Living the Lie, to a panel of industry elite in Toronto. "It was so hot on that stage that I was dripping sweat on the podium," laughs Wadlow. "I thought I was going to pass out."
Thankfully, he didn't--instead, he won. Currently in rewrite hell after pounding out the original script with partner Beau Bauman in just 12 days, Wadlow hopes to begin shooting Lie--"a modern-day retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf"--in the spring in time for a fall 2003 release. Now that he's better acquainted with L.A. luxury, how does he hope to tend to his own life? "I'd like to hire a chef," he laughs. "I love to eat and hate to cook."