Hannibal teen cast in 'Hercules' being filmed in St. Louis - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Hannibal teen cast in 'Hercules' movie being filmed in St. Louis

Posted: Updated:
Taylor Vandelicht, 13, is one of five Hannibal girls serving as Becky Thatcher goodwill ambassadors this year, but she also is an active athlete and aspiring actress. (Submitted Photo) Taylor Vandelicht, 13, is one of five Hannibal girls serving as Becky Thatcher goodwill ambassadors this year, but she also is an active athlete and aspiring actress. (Submitted Photo)

By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Taylor Vandelicht doesn't have a whole lot of spare time on her hands.

The 13-year-old eighth-grader at Hannibal Middle School stays plenty busy throughout the school year playing softball, basketball and volleyball, and running track.

But she also maintains an active schedule portraying Mark Twain's Becky Thatcher character as one of the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce's Tom and Becky goodwill ambassadors who welcome visitors to the author's boyhood hometown.

But that's not all. Taylor also spends many weekends traveling to and from St. Louis to film scenes for a new movie, "Hercules: The Brave and the Bold."

Taylor has been cast in the feature-length film as a villainous goddess, Hestia, who is assigned to kill Hercules. However, the character instead falls in love with the hero, and Hestia will kill anyone who tries to come between them.

"I actually kill someone in probably all the scenes that I'm in," Taylor said. ‘It's great."

She's one of the youngest cast members with a speaking role. Like Taylor, most cast members play gods or goddesses. Most of them are kindhearted and good. But not Hestia.

"There's not many bad ones, but I'm one of them," Taylor said.

For example, she was recently filming a scene that originally called for several other characters to drag away and kill a girl with whom Hestia had been conversing. But after one key cast member failed to show up for that day's filming session, the director changed plans on the fly.

"They told me, ‘OK, you're going to break her neck instead,' " Taylor said. "So I had to shove her against a tree and act like I was breaking her neck."

The evil Hestia character is a far cry from the sweet and gentle Becky character Vandelicht plays on the streets of Hannibal. For that role, Taylor dons a frilly dress, pantaloons and bonnet while carrying an umbrella and miniature chalkboard bearing the words "I Love You."

Taylor was one of five girls selected as Becky ambassadors during last summer's National Tom Sawyer Days festival in Hannibal. Those girls, joined by five "Toms," serve as official greeters to people visiting America's Hometown.

Just last weekend, Taylor was among the Tom and Becky ambassadors who turned out to greet visitors arriving on the American Queen riverboat, which docked along Hannibal's riverfront. As part of that experience, she and her group got to tour the elaborate vessel and meet the captain.

Then later that morning, Taylor changed clothes, hopped in a car with her mother and headed down to St. Louis for another Hercules filming session.

She didn't get back home until late that night.

Taylor, daughter of Robert and Kim Vandelicht, has been interested in acting for much of her life. She has been appearing in various theater productions in Hannibal since she was 7, and she's been dancing publicly since she was 3.

She loves acting, which is why she jumped at the chance to appear in the Hercules movie. She initially signed up through an online casting service to be an extra. But when the director and production crew interviewed her, they decided she would be perfect for the Hestia role.

Taylor is glad she's getting to see what moviemaking is all about.

"It's not a huge movie, but it's still a lot of fun because you get a lot of experience," she said.

Taylor's father agrees the film project is an eye-opening experience not only for Taylor, but also the entire family. He said everyone realizes films are seldom shot in the Hannibal area, so if Taylor wanted to get some movie experience, she would likely have to go someplace like St. Louis.

"It's a great opportunity for children to get involved when they otherwise couldn't," he said.

Taylor said she doesn't know what type of career she might want to pursue after high school and college, but she hopes to remain involved somehow in the performing arts.

"I really like to perform, so I'd like to take this on further," she said.

As for her movie debut, "Hercules" is expected to wrap up early next year and will eventually be released on DVD. More information about the film project is available at herculesthebraveandthebold.yolasite.com/

 

-- ehusar@whig.com/221-3378

 

  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • Cremated remains from Colorado funeral home found in drug suspect's car in Louisiana, Mo.

    Cremated remains from Colorado funeral home found in drug suspect's car in Louisiana, Mo.

    Wednesday, October 1 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-10-01 14:07:16 GMT
    A former Colorado funeral home worker tasked with spreading cremated ashes in the Rocky Mountains instead kept four people's remains in the trunk of his car for several years, police said. A Pike County sheriff's deputy found the ashes in four plastic boxes after police in the northeast Missouri town of Louisiana arrested James Robert Lee II, 39, on methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia charges. Lee went to Louisiana City Hall on Sept. 23 and told officers his GPS system indicated ...
    A former Colorado funeral home worker tasked with spreading cremated ashes in the Rocky Mountains instead kept four people's remains in the trunk of his car for several years, police said. A Pike County sheriff's deputy found the ashes in four plastic boxes after police in the northeast Missouri town of Louisiana arrested James Robert Lee II, 39, on methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia charges. Lee went to Louisiana City Hall on Sept. 23 and told officers his GPS system indicated ...
  • Newsboys returning to Quincy Nov. 4 at Oakley-Lindsay Center

    Newsboys returning to Quincy Nov. 4 at Oakley-Lindsay Center

    Tuesday, September 30 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-09-30 16:24:57 GMT
    Spread the news. The Newsboys are returning to Quincy for a 7 p.m. concert Nov. 4 at the Oakley-Lindsay Center, providing the area with a second major contemporary Christian music event in a little more than three months....
    Spread the news. The Newsboys are returning to Quincy for a 7 p.m. concert Nov. 4 at the Oakley-Lindsay Center, providing the area with a second major contemporary Christian music event in a little more than three months....
  • Culver-Stockton College encouraging more students to study abroad

    Culver-Stockton College encouraging more students to study abroad

    Wednesday, October 1 2014 12:20 PM EDT2014-10-01 16:20:05 GMT
    CANTON, Mo. -- Culver-Stockton College officials hope to increase the number of students taking part in study abroad opportunities by joining the Institute of International Education's Generation Study Abroad...
    CANTON, Mo. -- Culver-Stockton College officials hope to increase the number of students taking part in study abroad opportunities by joining the Institute of International Education's Generation Study Abroad...
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.