Local actress lands role in 'The Last Song'
August 21, 2009By Ken Little
University of North Carolina Wilmington student Carrie Malabre spent part of the summer working alongside Miley Cyrus in the Disney Pictures-produced movie “The Last Song,” which recently wrapped filming in Savannah, Ga.
It was an unforgettable experience for Malabre, 20, who is a junior theater major at University of North Carolina Wilmington.
“It was amazing. It was phenomenal,” she said after completing five weeks’ work on the set of “The Last Song,” which is adopted from a novel by Nicholas Sparks and set in Wilmington.
“I learned a little more about the business. Now I’ve got the bug to go to L.A.,” the Greensboro native said.
Malabre has one speaking line in the film and is in nine scenes. She plays one of two “mean girls” who let Cyrus’ character in the movie, Veronica Miller, know she doesn’t belong when she comes to town.
Malabre said Cyrus is quite personable in real life. They were together frequently on the movie set.
“Everything I was in, she was in. I got to hang out at her beach house,” Malabre said.
Malabre learned of the role through her association with the Wilmington-based Maultsby Model & Talent Agency. The agency works with casting director Jackie Burch, who also lives in town.
Talent agency owner Patty Strader said several actresses were recommended and interviewed. Malabre was eventually chosen by Burch and the film’s producers.
“We are so proud of her,” Strader said. “This is a great start to a quite successful future as a top actress.”
Malabre’s resume includes a featured extra part on the “One Tree Hill” television series filmed in Wilmington. She also spent part of the summer acting in a primary role in the independent film “Hobby Stop,” which was filmed in South Carolina.
“The Last Song” will be released in January. Malabre plans on attending the Hollywood premiere.
“I am just a student now and to have an experience like that really opened my eyes. Everyone was great,” she said.
As a theater major at UNCW, Malabre has a concentration in performance. She said instructors like Ed Wagenseller helped prepare her for the movie role, and Strader’s agency and Burch made her aware the film was casting locally.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the role without him,” she said. “I wouldn’t have heard about it without them. They definitely talked me through it and helped me along the way.”
She also learned a lot from watching Cyrus and how she interacts with the legions of loyal fans that follow her everywhere.
“It’s crazy how many fans there were,” Malabre said. “Wherever she goes, there’s fans taking pictures and everything. She’s really sweet to her fans.”
Malabre and other cast members stayed at a hotel during filming. Cyrus and other major stars in the movie had their own beach houses in the Savannah area.
“The amount of attention the actors get is so surreal. Everything is handed to you,” Malabre said.
Malabre is now Screen Actors Guild-eligible, and thinking seriously about a career in movies.
“I hope it will open some more doors,” she said. “I feel like I made some awesome connections with this film.”