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An Extra Shot at Movie Stardom: Village Soccer Kid Stars in 'Bad Parents'

Ten-year-old Lauren Sudol, of Ridgewood, stars in villager Caytha Jentis' soccer satire film "Bad Parents," premiering Wednesday for the Montclair Film Festival.

Talk about catching a big break!

One day Ridgewood’s Lauren Sudol, 10, was simply a pint-sized player with a dream, the next she was cast as a major part and has the local girl on the “watch” lists for future stardom. It sounds like the beginning of a Hollywood dream.

Lauren originally tried out to be an extra in Newton native Janeane Garofalo’s upcoming comedy, “Bad Parents,” about the drama surrounding a suburban girls’ soccer league which pits parents against a hardboiled coach (played by comedian Christopher Titus).

The tiny thespian impressed, and was soon cast alongside Garofalo in a much larger capacity, as Garofalo's daughter.

“This is Lauren's first part, and she was kind of ‘discovered’ for it,” said Suzanne Curry, publicist at Write Ideas PR/JerseyGirlPR for Entertainment. “They were looking for soccer players to play 'extras' and the next thing she knew they asked her to play a major part!”

According to Liza Sudol, Lauren’s mom, they received a flyer about soccer extras at her acting class. Lauren tried out at the Superdome facility in Waldwick, and then got a phone call to audition for the part of Garofalo’s daughter. 

The film was shot entirely in Northern New Jersey in several different towns by director, Caytha Jentis. Jentis, the President of Fox Meadow Films, is a Ridgewood resident and a former 'soccer mom.'  

“Bad Parents” is based on her award-winning play, “It’s All About the Kids.” The movie premieres at the Montclair Film Festival to a sold-out crowd at the Bellevue Theater on Oct. 3.

According to Curry, the movie might also be coming to Ridgewood soon.

“The whole movie is shot in Bergen County and featured a lot of soccer players,” said Curry. “It’s a funny, ‘slice of life’ movie about crazy soccer parents.”

“Lauren had so much fun,” her mother exclaimed. “The people, the cast and the crew were great. They were all really gracious to us.”

Lauren attends Willard Elementary, and started acting last fall in a children’s theater group, called Stage Right, in Ridgewood, where she’s previously performed in “The Wiz” and “Oliver.” Lauren is now managed by Martha Byrne, a soap actress who started a talent agency in Paramus, called Show Biz Boot Camp. Her mom said she played the part in “Bad Parents” because she was able to combine the two things she loves the most: acting and soccer. 

“Yeah, I love soccer. I’ve played it for three years,” Lauren said. “I was excited to be in the movie and I love to act. It was fun and I got to work with Janeane Garofalo, she’s nice.”

“It was very exciting, Lauren’s always wanted to act and perform,” her mother added. “From working in the movie, Lauren fell in love with acting and wants to do more.”

At only a decade old, the child actor has nothing but time to do just that. 

Check out the trailer on YouTube here.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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