Highland News Leader

Highland native rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars

Ed Delmore, on right, a 2007 Highland High School graduate, poses for a picture with Nicolas Cage. Cage has the starring role in the upcoming film ‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’. Delmore also has a part in the film.
Ed Delmore, on right, a 2007 Highland High School graduate, poses for a picture with Nicolas Cage. Cage has the starring role in the upcoming film ‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’. Delmore also has a part in the film. Courtesy photo

Ed Delmore did some behind-the-scenes work on a few plays in college, but he never gave acting a shot.

Then, about a year and a half ago, his brother told him about a casting call for an upcoming Bruce Willis action flick, Vice.

“They were seeking extras for the film, and I had myself convinced again that I was ‘too busy’ to even consider trying it out,” said Delmore, a 2007 graduate of Highland High School.

But his brother kept insisting. He finally sent the film’s producers an email with a couple of photographs.

“Not long after, I received an email back asking me if I could attend an appointment-only casting call so the directors, producers, etc., could meet me,” he said. “I walked in a room… About half a dozen people looked me up and down, and they said, ‘Thanks.’ Long story short, I was selected and filmed for three days.”

Delmore didn’t have any lines, but ended up with some face-time in the movie. He was hooked.

“Being on a film set to me is a drug. After one day of filming, I was addicted,” he said.

He has been building his portfolio ever since.

Gaining credits

Delmore, 27, had the principal role — that of a certified nursing assistant — and also functioned as a producer for a short film, Dark Friend, and played a musician in a short, proof-of-concept film, Aether.

He has also garnered parts in much larger movies.

He played an attorney in Jurassic World, starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. It is the sequel to Jurassic Park, and to say that the film has been a blockbuster would be an understatement. Released early this summer, it has taken in more than $1.5 billion worldwide, so far.

“Most of my scenes were cut, but you can see me a couple times in the film. I was humbled to be a small part in one of the biggest films of all time,” Delmore said.

Pratt was an unassuming star, Delmore said.

“We made small talk and complained about the heat. We were filming in New Orleans, and it was over 100 degrees outside. I was wearing a suit and running from ‘dinosaurs’ all day, so it was interesting,” said.

Delmore was a violinist in Pitch Perfect 2, released in May; an extra in the Bruce Willis movie Extraction, which is set to be released over Labor Day weekend; and he plays a blackjack dealer in the film Bus 657, which stars Robert De Niro and Dave Bautista and is set to be released later this year.

His experience in Bus 657 made him think harder about persuing even bigger roles.

“(I) was getting pretty bored between takes. Then I realized I was sitting next to Robert De Niro, and that really put things into perspective for me,” Delmore recalled. “I was sitting next to one of my favorite actors.”

Best role yet

Delmore plays a sailor and has a speaking part in the new Wold War II movie, USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.

The Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea on July 30, 1945. It sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 men on board, about 300 went down with the ship. The rest were left floating in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats for days. When rescue finally came, only 316 men were left alive.

“My grandfather, Edward J. Delmore, was a Seabee in the Navy during World War II, so this film and nailing down this role was important to me,” Delmore said.

The film stars Nicolas Cage and is set to be released next Memorial Day.

“Nic is one of the kindest, most helpful guys I’ve ever met,” Delmore said. “He was offering encouragement/advice and really made an impact on me. We have some really important scenes together.

“(I) also spent some good times with Matt Lanter and Cody Walker, the late Paul Walker’s brother. It’s his first co-starring role in a film.”

Delmore couldn’t talk too much about the film, but did say he was around some animatronic sharks and spent some time afloat in the Gulf of Mexico on top of a vintage PBY Catalina plane, during the filming.

He said it was his most rewarding on-screen experience yet, partly because he also got to work with his father, whom he called his “hero.”

“My father expressed interest in being a part of the film,” Delmore said. “I made a few calls, and my great friend, Brandy Goleman of Goleman Casting, hooked him up. He is a very important part of this film, and I can’t wait until it’s released. It was awesome that we both were a part of this historic, upcoming blockbuster.”

Getting into the business

For other aspiring actors, Delmore offered this advice: “Do it for you. Not for money, not for anyone else, and not for whatever you perceive as ‘fame.’ Don’t expect anything to be given to you. Don’t expect an easy ride. Don’t expect to get every part, you’ll get too down on yourself.”

Delmore recalled getting a part playing a bartender on the CBS show NCIS: New Orleans. He spent 14 hours on set filming. He invited all of his friends and family over to watch the show.

“All of my scenes were cut, and the only thing you could see was my elbow,” he said. “It happens though. And this was a great lesson I learned early on. It’s a running joke between my friends and family that my elbow is ‘famous’ and has been seen by at least 17 million people.”

He said you can’t let hearing, “No,” be a deterrent.

“Do your best to prepare for the, ‘Yes.’ The ‘yes’ will come if you put your mind to it, but you have to make it happen,” he said.

Delmore said he is happy with his career so far.

“After my work on USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, I’m now eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild, which for me personally is a pretty significant rite of passage,” he said.

He can’t wait for his next project.

“(I) would love to be cast in a comedy,” he said.

About Ed Delmore

Delmore graduated from Highland High School in 2007.

“Many of my friends and their families are still in Highland. So I’ll always feel at home in Highland,” said Delmore, 27, who now lives in Gulf Shores, Ala., with his wife, Taylor, a child therapist, former Miss Illinois and Miss Alabama contestant, and a native of Hudson, Ill., a town of about 1,800 near Bloomington.

“(She) supports me in everything I do,” Delmore said.

Delmore found his way to Alabama, when his father, Ed Delmore Jr., the former chief of police in Fairview Heights, was offered the job of Gulf Shores police chief.

“After visiting him numerous times, I decided that this was where I wanted to be. I wanted to be near my father. He’s my hero and the type of guy I strive to be,” Delmore said.

And the scenery is nice, too.

“Gulf Shores has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, and I’m lucky to live just off the water. I’m hoping a few of my former teachers read this and come visit me down at the beach,” Delmore said.

When he is not acting, Delmore works for city of Gulf Shores as the retail operations coordinator.

“I’m in charge of the operations and distribution of all branded merchandise for the city,” he said.

He also tends bar at The Gulf, a popular bar, where he as filmed some spots for the Food Network and HGTV.