News Column

Oxford man turns actor at 50 years old

November 15, 2013


Nov. 15--BILOXI -- Johnny McPhail started acting at age 50. He hasn't looked back.

McPhail, who lives in Oxford, was at the Sun & Sand Music & Film Festival's movie screenings at the Saenger Theatre on Thursday night. Tall and with an enviable mane of thick gray hair, he stands out in a crowd.

"Curiosity," he said when asked what led to him to pursue acting. He began with stage productions and eventually got small parts in small films, such as "Big Bad Love" and "Almost Made."

"'Big Bad Love' was my first speaking part," he said.

Then came "Ballast" in 2008, in which he was one of the stars of a film critic Roger Ebert considered one of the best of that year. He has roles in two later episodes of the upcoming HBO series "True Detective."

McPhail is bringing the film "Last Call" to Sun & Sand in hopes it will be shown either today or Saturday.

The festival's music portion will be at Hard Rock Casino Biloxi with Collective Soul performing at 8 p.m. today and Black Jacket Symphony performing The Beatles' "Abbey Road" at 8 p.m. Saturday.

All film screenings are subject to change without notice. Admission per screening is $10 for adults and $5 for students. General admission tickets for Collective Soul start at $19.99; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Saenger Theatreschedule of activities

Today (doors open at 9 a.m.): 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Panel discussions on topics including movie making in Mississippi and production legal, accounting, pre-production; 1-3 p.m. "Into the Black," "In Tune," "The Man Left Behind"; 4-6 p.m.: "Last Call of Duty," "Good People"; 7-9 p.m. "Category 5"; 9:30-11:30 p.m. "Big Sur"

Saturday (doors open at 9 a.m.): 9:30 a.m. Panel discussions on topics including movie making in Mississippi, producing, directing, equipment, cast, crew locations, wardrobe, set decorating; 1-3 p.m. "Echo," "Spring Eddy"; 3:30-5:30 p.m.: "Posey," "Phantom of a Previous War"; 6-8 p.m. "As I Lay Dying"; 9-11 p.m. "The Secret Keeper"; "Tin Tone"; "David Bailey: Four Beats to the Bar and No Cheating"

Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center film schedule

Today (doors open at 12:30 p.m.): 1-3:05 p.m. "Grace," "Hypothesis," "Great Chicken Wing Hunt"; 4-6 p.m. "Journey Home," "Figure," "The Heart of a Champion," "Connected"; 7-9:13 p.m.: "Unlikely Encounter," "Cioccolatino," "Toronto Sounds," "The Power of Soul"

Saturday (doors open at 12:30 p.m.): 1-3 p.m. "The Moon Trees," "Cardboard Titanics," "Shoot The Moon," "Hubble's Diverse Universe," "Horsim/Bonim'" 4-6 p.m. "Keeper of the Mountains," "Song of the Kauri"; 7-9:13 p.m. "Wunderland," "Winter Spring Winter," "The Words I Love," "Kazuya"


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