Digital auditions via IMDb, Facebook and Skype facilitated cross-Atlantic casting
LOS ANGELES — Rising European actor, television host and pop singer Timo Descamps has been cast in the time-bending campus drama, “Judas Kiss,” the film’s producers announced today.
The 23-year-old Belgian was recognized last year by the preeminent Dutch and Belgian musical awards. Nominated in both nations, he won the Belgian award for Rising Talent. Descamps recently began a stint as a host on the Belgian VT4 channel.
UPDATE: Timo was interviewed about his role in Judas Kiss on Belgian TV. Watch here.
In “Judas Kiss,” Descamps will play Shane Lyons, an amoral college senior who will do whatever it takes to win the love of film student Danny Reyes.
“Judas Kiss” is the story of a disillusioned filmmaker’s visit to his peculiar alma mater, where he is trapped in a tug of war between his tortured past and a troubling future.
Descamps’ cross-Atlantic casting for the film was made possible by a combination of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Facebook and Skype, said “Judas Kiss” writer-producer Carlos Pedraza.
“I always play ‘good’ characters,” Descamps said. “I’m happy for the challenge playing someone different in an inspirational project like ‘Judas Kiss.’”
Descamps made headlines in his home country last year when he came out as gay.
WHAT IT TAKES “Timo wanted to be on this project the instant he learned about ‘Judas Kiss’ on IMDb,” Pedraza said. “We communicated via Facebook and Skype and had him shoot a screentest in the Netherlands with two scenes from the screenplay.”
The digital audition impressed “Judas Kiss” director J.T. Tepnapa, who saw an opportunity to showcase Descamps’ musical talent in the role of singer Shane Lyons.
“Timo showed us he has what it takes to play an unsavory character who has an entire campus twisted around his little finger,” Tepnapa said. “You can’t take your eyes off him.”
“Judas Kiss” is Tepnapa’s first feature film. He has won many international awards for his short films, including the multiple award-winning parody of 1950s teen health films, “Masturbation: Putting the Fun Into Self-Loving,” the comedy “Drag Queen Heist” and a drama about homeless youth, “Begging for Change.”
Descamps started acting in television at 17, starring in the Belgian soap opera “Family.” At 19, he landed a leading role in the children’s show, “Spring.” A year later, he won third place in the Belgian celebrity singing contest, “Soapstar Superstar.” On the heels of his musical success, he wrote and released his first single, “Phone Call.”
He has dubbed voices in several European versions of Hollywood blockbusters, including “Happy Feet” (Mumble), “Surf’s Up” (Cody), “The Chronicles of Narnia,” (Peter Pevensie), and has hosted a show on Europe’s Nickelodeon network called “Superstar: The Battle!”
Descamps currently stars as Dolf in the Dutch musical “Crusade in Jeans,” and plays a South African student in the Dutch TV drama, “SpangaS.” He just began hosting a kids’ show on the Belgian network VT4.
“Judas Kiss” is being produced by Blue Seraph Productions, a Los Angeles company headed by Tepnapa and Pedraza. Their previous work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, Variety, Frontiers, Fab magazine, the Today Show, MSNBC, and other international news outlets.
The film, scheduled to shoot this summer in Seattle, has already attracted attention for casting former “Dante’s Cove” star Charlie David (host of Logo’s travel show, “Bump,” and writer-star of the film, “Mulligans”). Also cast is controversial adult film star Brent Corrigan, who appeared in last year’s Oscar-winning “Milk” and the comedy, “Another Gay Sequel.”