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Montana woman lands role on the big screen

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 20:02:15-04

BOZEMAN — It's not every day that you get to see someone from your town on the big screen, but starting next Friday, Sept. 9, you can. MTN News sat down with an actress from Bozeman who says her acting journey has taken her to many places but she carries her hometown with her wherever she goes.

Bozeman local and Montana State University alum Dawn Long decided to pursue acting after an unexpected experience as a background performer on the major feature film, "Everything That Rises", starring Dennis Quaid. Long says this lit a fire in her.

“I rode Dennis Quiad's horse and I got to rope off of his horse,” said Long. “Something about being on set was so attractive to me and my heart felt like it was at home.”

Long grew up loving the outdoors. she enjoys hunting, hiking, skiing, and horseback riding. Since then, she has carried her bold Montana roots with her to every movie set she's been on. But, she says it hasn't always been easy.

“I had commented on a national acting Facebook page and got a bunch of comments from people from Hollywood,” said Long. "They commented that they’d seen hunting pictures of me and said, ‘you need to take those down immediately, you won't get anywhere.”

But it ended up being Long's adventurous, outdoorsy qualities that landed her the role in her first feature film to hit the theatres: "Lifemark", based on the 2018 documentary “I lived on Parker Avenue".

“Immediately when they said who they were looking for in the film, my agent looked at them and said ‘I knew it, that's dawn long’,” said Long.

Long was contacted by the mother in the documentary, Melissa Coles, who was eager for dawn to portray her in the film.

Long landed the role and then spent a year studying Melissa and building a friendship with her.

“She loves 4 wheelieing, throwing knives, and things like that,” said Long. “It was a dream of mine to research a real, inspiring person and then play them.”

Long says she is honored to be a part of the film with so much depth.

“It's about a woman who found herself in an unexpected pregnancy and didn't know what to do,” said Long. “It’s about love. Just about everyone will relate to someone in the film.”

The film, Lifemark, will be playing at the Bozeman Regal Theater from Sept. 9 through Sept. 15.