By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Hyde Park native Dusan Brown and his family recently returned to Chicago for a special screening of the movie “42.” Brown makes his big screen debut in the movie, which is about baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s life as the first African American to play for a major league baseball team.
The parent teacher organization at Murray Elementary School, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., worked with Brown’s mother, Joyce Kelly Brown, to host a private screening of the movie Saturday evening at the recently reopened Harper Theater, 5238 S. Harper Ave. Brown and his brother Dante, who is also an actor, were students at Murray before the family moved to Los Angeles.
In “42,” Brown plays the young Ed Charles, a character that he describes as a “kid that looks up to Jackie Robinson as a hero.”
Brown goes on to explain that when Robinson wants to give up on being a major league ball player he thinks about how Charles looks up to him and makes the decision to press forward.
In addition to being featured in the movie Brown also appeared in the movie trailer and TV ads.
Brown said he had fun during the making of the movie and liked that they had to travel to different locations to particpate in the production of the movie. Having recently starred as Simba in a stage production of “The Lion King,” he compared the live production to the film production.
“With theater you do the performance once perfectly, but in a movie you do a scene multiple times,” Brown said. “I like doing it once because even if you mess up they don’t know anyway.”
Brown said despite the challenge of movie acting, he is excited about doing more film work.
He said he working on this movie was a great learning experience for him.
“I got tips on how to know where the camera is and how to cheat out, which is when a person is behind you, you turn your head and look with your eyes so you won’t have your back to the camera,” Brown said.
Brown said at the red carpet movie premiere in Los Angeles there was a wall of facts about Robinson and he learned that the famed baseball player was celebrated for more than just being the first African-American on a major league team.
“Jackie Robinson was rookie of the year, he won MVP of the league on the all star team and made it into the hall of fame,” Brown said.
Brown’s next project is a lead voice over role in the new Nick Jr. animated television show “Blaze and the Monster Machine.” The show is expected to air in 2014.