(Featured photo: Lorenzo Williams plays an umpire in the baseball movie “The Hill”)
The pandemic hit some businesses and individuals hard, but for Lorenzo Williams, it was his time to shine, catapulting him into the career of his dreams.
“I’ve done 38 movies and TV shows since 2021,” said Williams, a Keysville, Ga. native who now lives in Hephzibah. He plays an umpire in The Hill, a film shot in Augusta, that heads to theaters nationwide Aug. 24.
Williams had dreams of not only being in movies but of making his own when he was growing up in Keysville. When he was a kid, Keysville Mayor Emma Gresham encouraged his talents.
“’You’ve got the gift to entertain people. You’re funny, you can dance,’” Williams said Gresham told him.
Then he asked her if she thought he could make a movie there, and her response was positive.
Williams started his entertainment career five years ago, doing standup comedy. And every step of the journey, he’s made a list of positive affirmations which he said he believes sets him up for success.
“All the stuff I’m doing, I’ve seen it first,” he said. “I said I was going to do standup, stage plays and wind up in movies. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. The first night I did stand up someone sitting in the audience said ‘I want you in my stage play,’” he said.
Since then, he’s appeared in the background as a police officer in Samaritan with Sylvester Stallone, as a homeless person in Spider-Man: Far from Home and in the wedding scene in the Netflix film, Red Notice with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.
Of his more memorable roles was playing in The Menu, which was filmed in Savannah and released in 2022. One reason it made an impact happened off set.
“On the way home from filming The Menu, I fell asleep behind the wheel and woke up off the highway 20 yards away in the grass,” he said. “It was in Jenkins County coming from Savannah. When I stopped, I cried ‘something has got to happen. I’m putting my life on the line.’”
He made another of his positive confessions.
“I said I’m never going to do background again. I’m going to have a speaking role, and I’m getting into SAG (The Screen Actors Guild),” he said.
And he’s accomplished both of those things.
He’s excited about the release of The Hill, based on the true story of Rickey Hill, who dreamed of playing professional baseball despite a degenerative spine condition and wearing braces on his legs as a child.
“The Hill – I’m very blessed to be a part of it,” he said. “Dennis Quaid, Scott Glenn are legendary actors, and Colin Ford on his way up. And they made me an umpire. That movie means a whole lot to me. The storyline is to never give up.”
Because of the current strike, Williams plans to do some standup comedy as he awaits the return to work. But he also plans to shoot his own film called Keysville Horror Stories, in the style of Scary Movie.
“I want to start back next month by Sept. 10,” he said. “I’m looking to wrap by Thanksgiving.”
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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