GUIDING LIGHT’s Tina Sloan (Lillian) has a bit part in the movie of the moment, the Oscar-nominated thriller Black Swan, as a wealthy ballet patroness. But the actress says that her new film, an independent drama titled Happy New Year, hits very close to home. In it, she’s Grace, the mother of an injured Marine, Sgt. Cole Lewis (played by Michael Cuomo), who faces the physical and emotional scars left by his time in Iraq while connecting with others at a rundown veterans hospital. “My own son had been in Iraq, so all the fears I’d had for [him] I was able to use in this,” Sloan confides. “I’d never done work like this in my life because Cole loses his leg, and he’s probably going to lose the other leg…” Sloan is proud to have been a part of this picture and has genuinely high hopes for its success. “It’s the kind of movie that could win everything if it gets the right marketing,” she enthuses. “It’s just brilliantly done.”
Fellow GL alum David Wolos-Fonteno (Charles Grant) also stars as Gunny, another injured vet whom Cole befriends in the VA hospital. Happy New Year will make its world premiere at the South By Southwest Film Conference & Festival in Austin, TX, running Friday, March 11, through Saturday, March 19. Another film making its world premiere at the festival is 96 Minutes, a drama about a terrifying carjacking starring Brittany Snow (Susan, GL). For schedules and screening times, visit www.sxsw.com. Check out the trailer for Happy New Year below.