Luke Schroder Overcomes Incredible Odds in A Mile in His Shoes
Nasser Entertainment’s newest family film related the story of how an autistic teenager realized his dream come true as a pitcher.
When director William Dear (Angels in the Outfield) and producer Jack Nasser (Christmas Lodge) collaborated on A Mile in His Shoes, the result was nothing less than magical.
To hear Nasser tell the story though, getting the two together was not an easy task. “It took some doing to get him,” Nasser said about Dear. He has directed big movies and big productions. But, we went ahead and shared our story with him. And, we were lucky enough to get him for A Mile in His Shoes.”
Canyon Needed Help
Luck had nothing to do with it. God had His Hand on this project from the beginning. All I had to do was ask Canadian country star George Canyon, who played Clarence, the father of the lead actor in the made-for-TV feature.
Canyon said of his character, “He was not a nice person, and totally opposite from me. I could never have played that character on my own. God helped me play him for sure.”
Nothing Could Stop Him
In the role of Clarence’s son in the project was Luke Schroder, real-life son of actor Ricky Schroder, in his very first role. Schroder played Mickey Tussler, a 17 year-old with a dream, a big dream, to be a pitcher. This dream was bigger than that of most teenagers, because Tussler was a victim of autism.
But autism was not going to stop him from living his dreams. And that, Canyon told me, was the idea behind A Mile in His Shoes, to “live your dreams.”
GMC Offered Right Deal
Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 14, Canyon said he was told “you can’t” all his life, so he loved that this project said loudly, “you can, you can, you can.”
That was the kind of strength of character and story Nasser was seeking when he met with GMC (Gospel Music Channel) in search of his next family film.
And GMC didn’t disappoint.
Daily Life Obstacles Depicted
Wanting the story to depict struggle in the face of a mountain of obstacles, Nasser varied slightly from the content of the book from which this project was adapted. Taking the theme a bit farther, he wanted to show real life, as much as possible, with all its struggles. He wanted the storylines to be personal, everyday type stories, and he revealed to me that his idea was to show, “when someone takes on the challenges of daily life, no matter how difficult the circumstances, one’s belief in the Lord with all their heart will ultimately lead to the right choices.”
Casting Took on New Meaning
Nasser said he was impressed with the energy Schroder brought to this project, his general marketability, and the fact that he was an aspiring actor. So, he took a leap of faith and cast him in the role.
Canyon’s casting came from what both Nasser and Canyon could only describe to me as a total sign from God.
When Nasser was reviewing a list of potential actors for the role of Clarence, for some reason the name “George Canyon” seemed to be in bold type, so much so that he could not focus on any other name on the list.
When he approached Canyon with this revelation, and with the suggestion that he play Clarence, both agreed it was a sign. Canyon told me he took the role for no other reason.
Dean Cain, an advocate of Christian values, also starred as Tussler’s coach, “Murph.”
Project Released to DVD
A Mile in His Shoes premiered on GMC in September, 2011 and was released to DVD on January 10, 2012.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.
Article originally posted at Suite101.