America’s Favorite Dancer Takes on “El Empantanado”
MIAMI, FL, JULY 26, 2011
Season 5 Winner of “So You Think You Can Dance” Jeanine Mason, will take the main supporting role of Heili in Colombo-American independent film, “El Empantanado” (The Muddy), to be shot in South Florida and the Florida Keys. After winning “So You Think You Can Dance” Mason returned to her acting career with a guest star role on Nickelodeon’s TV Series “Big Time Rush” followed by an appearance on the TV Series “The Fresh Beat Band”. Mason has since moved on to feature films including “Default”, set to hit the festival circuit this year, and “Bling Ring”, a TV Movie currently in post- production. “El Empantanado” will be her third feature film.
Mason, a South Florida native, is excited to return home as she takes the next step in her career. Mason’s role will be unique and physically challenging for the actress. She will play Heili, a wiser than her year’s 19-year-old, who works at her mother’s Key Largo bed and breakfast, a central location in the film. Heili takes an interest in the main character, Juan Gaviria, upon his arrival at the inn. Her character becomes integral to the story as she forces the other characters to face the truth about themselves and about each other. Heili’s role as “the mentor” creates an especially interesting dynamic because she is the youngest member of the cast.
Mason was introduced to “El Empantanado” by the project’s Co-Producer, Melanie DiPietro. DiPietro met Mason when she hired her for a role in her award-winning short film, “The Dreamer”, which she produced as an undergraduate as at the University of Miami. “Jeanine responded to my casting call for ‘The Dreamer’ and I was completely blown away. I could not believe she had never done a film before,” DiPietro explains, “She was a complete joy to work with and I have been anxiously awaiting the chance to work with her again. This role is perfect for her.” When DiPietro first read the script of “El Empantanado”, she immediately thought of Mason for the role of Heili and contacted her. “For this role in particular I am very excited about the physical challenges, like having to get scuba certified, and getting the chance to work with the people who gave me my first opportunity as an actress,” Mason stated, “It’s nice to see things coming full circle and bringing me back home; I’m excited to see what will come of it artistically.”