Local Movie Extra Recounts Positive Experience

Jennifer McDonald of White Rock dressed for her role in “Outlaw Prophet.” Courtesy photo
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

White Rock resident Jennifer McDonald was cast last week in the movie “Outlaw Prophet” as one of the wives of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect.

She filmed Tuesday and Wednesday on a set at Ghost Ranch. Speculation had surrounded the movie as it was being shot earlier this month in a Pajarito Acres home. The announced title of the film is “Jubilee” but the initials “OP” appeared on equipment and road signs around White Rock causing rumors that the movie actually was “Outlaw Prophet,” a Lifetime TV movie based on Denver author Stephen Singular’s 2008 book “When Men Become Gods.”

Tony Goldwyn who plays the president on ABC’s hit “Scandal,” plays McDonald’s husband Jeffs. Jeffs gained international notoriety in May 2006 when he was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Utah state charges related to his alleged arrangement of illegal marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls.

Jeffs was arrested in August 2006 in Nevada, and agreed to be taken to Utah for trial. In 2007, the State of Arizona charged him with eight additional counts. His Utah trial, which began in early September 2007 in St. George, Utah, lasted less than a month, and on Sept. 25, 2007, he was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice and sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years to life.

The conviction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court July 27, 2010, because of incorrect jury instructions and Jeffs was extradited to Texas. He was found guilty of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault of children in connection with a raid of an FLDS owned and occupied West Texas ranch in 2008. After the jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes, Jeffs, 55, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years, to be served consecutively.

“I read in the Los Alamos Daily Post that they were looking for extras for the movie so I contacted White Turtle Casting and was hired the next day,” McDonald said. “There were more than a dozen people cast in the movie from Los Alamos and Friday night I ran into my movie son and his family at Smith’s in White Rock … it’s been a lot of fun.”

Jennifer and Jaret McDonald. Courtesy photo

McDonald’s real life husband is Jaret McDonald who is running for Los Alamos County Sheriff.

“We believe that we should all feel blessed that there has been a presence from “Hollywood” here in our community,” Jaret said. “Several of us have suffered some intrusions from late nights and lights to traffic problems to more activity in our neighborhoods but let’s face it – we live in an amazingly beautiful spot with what we consider to be the best people. It should be with no surprise that Hollywood has found our amazing home.”

The McDonald’s said they feel that movie production in the community should be embraced rather than damned.

“Let’s face it, this isn’t the first movie that has come to our county and won’t be the last,” Jaret said. “I can assure the community as well as Northern New Mexico that the film industry has gone out of its way to help our local people. Georgena Galviz, along with her higher ups Kathryn Wamdgo and Dock Martin have personally gone through our town as well as Facebook connections to find local people who would fit various roles.”

Jennifer has been on a reduced work week at her job so being able to take on a role as an “extra” helped her family’s income.

“We know that we are not like some counties with the same standards of lower income, however, the reality of working in the movie industry is no joke,” she said. “You have to work very hard, the hours are long and there is no time for funny business, but the added income is a true blessing.”

The McDonald’s experience with the movie crew, cast and casting company has been a positive one.

“We would like to see a voice of support for future movie production in Los Alamos because the movie industry has helped our family and many others,” Jaret said.

 

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