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Herd of aspiring actors comes to Hogzilla casting call

TIFTON — The casting call for a horror movie about a monster hog drew crowds from across Georgia and beyond.
    ‘‘We had over 100 last night,’’ Tift Theatre director Dottie Freeman said Wednesday. She helped coordinate the event for the independent, Georgia-based producers of ‘‘Hogzilla, The Movie.’’
    ‘‘Hogzilla’’ was the nickname given to a near-mythical monster hog that roamed south Georgia and was brought down in 2004.
    The film is being made by Lithium Productions, based in south Georgia.
    Auditions were scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Tuesday, but the line of aspiring actors wearing Hogzilla T-shirts started forming two hours earlier outside the Tift Theatre. Freeman said they came from as far as north Georgia and from Florida and Alabama. She said there are parts for about 200 people, most of whom will be extras.
    Chris Griffin, the man who killed Hogzilla in Alapaha, is serving as a consultant.
    Photographs of the hog hanging from a backhoe were sent around the world. The town of Alapaha 180 miles south of Atlanta quickly adopted Hogzilla as its own, even launching a parade in the pig’s honor.
    A National Geographic team confirmed the pig’s existence in 2005 after exhuming the behemoth’s remains. While the experts said the hog didn’t exactly live up to the hype — local hunters said the pig was 12 feet long and weighed 1,000 pounds they still discovered a mighty big hog. They estimated it weighed around 800 pounds and was probably about 8 feet long.
    Robert Underwood came over from Fitzgerald. ‘‘I hunt hogs,’’ he said. ‘‘I saw that hog head (of Son of Hogzilla). Unbelievable!’’
    Eight-year-old Chastity Dillard was one of the youngest tryouts. Her mother, Kimberly, brought her over from Brookfield. ‘‘We need to be famous,’’ she said.
    Sixteen-year-old Kaleb Stone was one of the few people from Tifton who came for the audition. ‘‘Im hoping it will be a way out of Tifton,’’ he said, adding. ‘‘Its time for a change.’’
    The casting call concludes Wednesday.
      ———
    Information from: The Tifton Gazette, http://tiftongazette.com/

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