Island actor screaming way to top
FEW WOULD have thought that Lipine Fualautoalasi-Avea, a big, strapping kid and former rugby player from Punaluu, would break into Hollywood by screaming like a girl. Well, not like a girl, more like because of a girl. A dead girl. A bunch of dead girls, actually.
Confused? Don't be. But be very, very afraid. Because Lipine is on the verge of winning a part in a new horror movie called "Dead Girls Club," and you can help him.
He has literally screamed his way into the semifinals of a national talent search to find actors who can convey sheer terror via that most basic of all acting skills: the heart-stopping, hair-raising, chicken skin-inducing shriek.
When I talked to Lipine by phone in Los Angeles, he didn't seem like a shrieker. He seemed like a pretty quiet 17-year-old on the verge of achieving the American dream. That particular brand of the dream being not becoming a wimpy old American Idol, but starring in a blood-curdling slasher flick in the mold of "Halloween" and "Jason vs. Freddie."
VOTE FOR LIPINE
Fualautoalasi-Avea win a role in the horror film, "Dead Girls Club":
IN FACT, it was partly his love for the movie "Jason vs. Freddie" that got him this far in the "Dead Girls Club" competition.
"They wanted me to scream to see all the fear that was in me," he said. He imagined himself in "Jason," and apparently what came out was pretty scary.
But the fright flick wasn't his only inspiration.
"I also pictured myself when my grandmother disciplined me," he said.
So Grandma's going to be pretty pleased there.
I shared that my mom favored a quiver of wooden spoons for discipline. Lipine said, "My grandmother uses anything she sees."
Lipine beat out about 100 other actors in the early scream-offs and now is competing against just 11 guys in the semifinals. The selection will be made by you, the future audience, by going to the Internet Web site deadgirlsclub.com. There you will see videos of competitors screaming and can vote on your favorite, just like they do on that wimpy TV singing show where contestants often make me want to scream like a girl.
Lipine's the only contestant from Hawaii, so island residents should join together and pour in votes for him the way they did for island girl Jasmine Trias in that other talent show whose name escapes me.
Start voting today because by Thursday the finalists will be picked.
LIPINE SEEMS unfazed that he has gotten as far as he has. His journey to Hollywood has been a long, strange one. He was born in Hawaii but was taken to Samoa with his mother when he was only 1 year old. He returned to Hawaii and lived in Punaluu, where his dad, Sielu, was a fire-knife dancer at the Polynesian Cultural Center. (You gotta think that having a father who played with flaming knives would be good training for parts in horror films.)
After four years he went to Florida with his mother, Motootua, an airline pilot. There, he won an acting contest of the nonscreaming variety and was sent to L.A. where he won another contest and was asked to stick around for possible parts during "pilot season." (The fact that his mom is a pilot and he was asked to stick around for "pilot season" is strictly coincidental.)
Since then he's been tapped to star in a short film-school production and has screamed his way to the semifinals of director Rolf Schrader's "Dead Girls Club."
What does the future hold for this unlikely young actor from Hawaii? With your help, it could be frightening.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org