ST. GEORGE — Look out Hollywood, two St. George residents are coming to the big screen. Roger Dorman and Angela Pack Plagmann will debut in two A-list movies this month alongside stars like Tommy Lee Jones and Bruce Willis.
Dorman is featured in “Wander,” a psychological conspiracy thriller, which was released Friday on Apple TV, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. Plagmann will appear in “Breach,” a sci-fi thriller that will hit streaming services on Dec. 18.
Both films were shot in 2019 and edited this year during the coronavirus pandemic. Neither is being shown in a wide release, which is the case for most films during the pandemic, nor are there big Hollywood premieres right now, so Dorman’s family decided to throw him a Hollywood-style premiere from their home.
“It was a complete surprise,” Dorman said. “I thought I was just going to watch a movie with the family but they had the red carpet, the backdrop, pictures from the film … what was great about it was we still kept it the family-only scenario but it felt bigger.”
Although the pandemic kept Dorman from being able to watch his first Hollywood film surrounded by the cast, crew and glamor of a red carpet premiere, watching it with his family made him feel like a star just the same.
Plagmann, Dorman’s business partner and ex-spouse, set it up in a day with the help of Legacy Events and Rentals, an events company based out of Washington City. Dorman’s family lined up and asked him to sign autographs and his sister interviewed him underneath a spotlight as if they were on live TV. They printed out cardstock images of Dorman behind the scenes and photos from the film, and they gave him a standing ovation at the end of the showing.
After waiting a year and a half to see the finished product, Dorman said it felt surreal when the day finally came. Friday was the first time he had seen the movie all the way through.
“It was exciting to see my name right between Heather Graham and Tommy Lee Jones,” he said. “There was a whole bunch that happened on set that I never was aware of. I was always focused on my next scene that was coming up.”
“Wander” follows private investigator Arthur Bretnik, played by Aaron Eckhart, a man with a troubled past who is sent to investigate a crime in the small town of Wander. He is convinced the case is linked to the same conspiracy that caused the death of his daughter. Dorman plays a local law enforcement officer named Leiland Ashgrave, one of the characters essential to the film’s larger theme of government overreach and control.
“I’m one of those essential characters who is being used by the government for its own means,” Dorman said. “You’ll see my haunting face throughout the movie.”
For Dorman and Plagmann, acting was never the plan, but when the opportunity came along it sounded like a fun thing to try.
When Dorman was offered the part by producer Mary Aloe of Los Angeles-based Aloe Entertainment, who also manages both actors, Plagmann tagged along to the set and fell in love with the movie-making process. After cheerleading for the Seattle Seahawks in the early 90s, Plagmann’s career in the entertainment industry was paused until she was able to audition for “Breach.”
“Breach” is centered around an interstellar ark carrying 300,000 refugees fleeing an all-too-familiar plague on Earth in search of a new home on “New Earth.” A shape-shifting alien disrupts their voyage and attempts to destroy the remnants of humanity. Plagmann, under the stage name Angie Pack, plays Isabella Ortega, a doctor who comes face-to-face with the alien. Bruce Willis leads the cast in this action thriller with Thomas Jane and Cody Kearsley.
The movie was filmed in a high school gym in Fitzgerald, Georgia. The set was made out of donated pieces of material and created by an artist who turned it into a spaceship-like structure. Walking onto the set and seeing it all come together was the moment it felt real for Plagmann, she said.
“My mind was just blown,” Plagmann said. “It helped create my character even more for me inside because then I really felt like I was really there. It all came together.”
Although the movie won’t premiere in Hollywood, some of the cast and crew will watch it together in Fitzgerald. Plagmann isn’t sure that she will attend, though. Her son is stationed in California with the U.S. Marine Corps and hopes to use his time off to come home and watch the movie with Plagmann.
“I actually love the experience of being home with my family and the kids,” Plagmann said. “I love living in St. George and not having to live in L.A. With the airport here, we can live our private life and have such access to the world.”
Dorman has been cast in four more movies that will start shooting in 2021, and Plagmann has been cast in two more upcoming films. Now that Hollywood is beginning to release movies again after being shut down, Plagmann hopes that it will bring some stress relief to those who have been struggling.
“Now that we’re finally able to get some movies out there I hope it brings people some entertainment,” she said. “I hope it reminds people to not focus on the negative situation we’re all living in and forget our problems for a bit.”
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