Player Takes On Whole New Role

Monty Ashton-Lewis, on
Monty Ashton-Lewis, on "The Interpreter": "I got online and saw that it was an 80 million dollar movie. . . . From the moment they called, it was unbelievable." (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)

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By Angela Watts
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Langley senior Monty Ashton-Lewis thought it would be fun to go with a big group of friends in late April to catch a showing of "The Interpreter," then a newly released political thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

He didn't realize it would turn out to be so embarrassing. It didn't help that his friend, Kam Miravi, stood up and announced to the theater that Ashton-Lewis had a small role in the film.

"Going with them was a big mistake," Ashton-Lewis said, laughing. "I had tried to keep it low-key because I didn't want people making such a big deal because it's a small role. But I told one friend and it spread like crazy."

Ashton-Lewis landed the part in Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack's project after an audition the summer following his sophomore year in high school. He said he was stunned when the production team from Universal Studios phoned to offer him the part of a young Simon Broome, the brother of Sylvia Broome (played by Kidman) in flashback scenes.

Ashton-Lewis, 17, was flown to South Africa for his first film role, which comprised about seven lines.

"I didn't even know much about the movie at first," Ashton-Lewis said. "But I got online and saw that it was an 80 million dollar movie . . . and then having the chance to work with Sydney Pollack. From the moment they called, it was unbelievable."

Ashton-Lewis hopes to continue pursuing a career in acting and spent this past pilot season auditioning for television roles in Los Angeles. Though he got several callbacks, Ashton-Lewis said he was passed over in each case by a more experienced actor.

"This is all that I've got on my résumé for now," he said. "But it's a start."

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