Imagine this: You're a high school student one day, and a movie star the next. That's what happened for one of the young actors in the new movie, "The Holdovers."
Dominic Sessa stars alongside Paul Giamatti in director Alexander Payne's latest film. Giamatti plays an unpopular teacher at a New England boarding school in 1970 whose latest assignment is supervising the holdovers, those students who have no place to go for the holidays.
When some of the students luck out with a last-minute vacation invitation, one student is left behind with the teacher and the school's head cook. This movie marks the break of a lifetime for newcomer Sessa.
"I was a senior in high school at Deerfield Academy. It's a boarding school in western Massachusetts, one of the locations they used for this film," said Sessa. "The casting directors who were part of this movie, I guess as a courtesy, just offered to let anybody at the school audition for, like, a background role or something. And I was hopeful that maybe I could, you know, sit in a classroom or something but went the distance and ended up, you know, scoring the lead role with Mr. Giamatti."
"The Holdovers" also stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph. During his two months of filming, Sessa says he feels like he earned a four-year film degree.
"The whole process with them was just a serious hardcore masterclass on, you know, what it means to be a pro in this industry. I'm so grateful for that," said Sessa. "I just came off of a full year at drama school at Carnegie Mellon and, obviously, this is all happening right now. So, I mean, if opportunities come up from this and people enjoy me in the movies, then, you know, I am here for it. And I'd love to keep making movies."
"The Holdovers" is in theaters now.