On Oct. 28, Munroe Falls native Houston Rhines began shooting scenes for the film "Jenny's Wedding," which has temporarily brought the Los Angeles resident back near his hometown.
Rhines stars alongside Hollywood A-listers Katherine Heigl, Grace Gummer and Tom Wilkinson. "Jenny's Wedding," being filmed in Cleveland, stars Heigl as Jenny, a woman who shocks her family by announcing an unlikely marriage partner.
Rhines, who plays her quick-witted, live-in-the-moment brother-in-law with few inhibitions, auditioned for the role and then four days later was flown out to the set in Cleveland to begin shooting.
If he was not acting, Rhines said he "would definitely be coaching basketball. I love basketball." Today, you can often find Rhines at the Staples Center watching an NBA game, near his home in Los Angeles. However, Rhines has come a long way from his days of being captain of the Cuyahoga Falls boys varsity basketball team.
According to his former coach Mike Meneer, Houston was a very hardworking player. "I remember Houston coming to practice early and staying late, a gym rat might describe him best," said Meneer.
Rhines graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1998. He later attended Michigan State University to study communications, and after a couple of years he went to New York University to take theater classes. Then about eight years ago Rhines moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for acting. He soon landed roles in the hit television shows "Scrubs" and "Criminal Minds."
"I lived next to a filmmaker in college and he got me interested in acting, it was pretty simple," Rhines says.
With a successful TV career and two movies under his belt, Rhines is very exited about his role in "Jenny's Wedding."
"I am working with an awesome cast, and the screenwriter is amazing," says Rhines about his first day on set. "The best part of shooting a movie so close to home is that I can be close to family."
Rhines also shared that he has been able to eat at his favorite restaurant Parassons in Stow and spent time with his parents and brother. The movie's story is based in Cleveland, but Rhines said there's another reason why the movie is being filmed locally.
"According to an industry insider, there are a lot of tax breaks for movie companies who film in this city," said Rhines. This past year "Captain America: The Winter Solider" and "Draft Day" starring Kevin Costner were both filmed in the city by the lake.
Rhines said one of Hollywood's biggest actor influences is Russell Crowe and that he was really into action movies.
"In the future I would love to tackle an action film," Rhines said, "I'm a big comic book fan so I would love to be cast as the next action hero."
Although his full name is Brent Houston Rhines, he has preferred being called just Houston Rhines since high school.
"A lot of my friends just call me Houston, so it kind of stuck; plus it sounded better when I started doing acting jobs," said Rhines.