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Winner Experience: Shooter Set Visit with Ryan Phillippe

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Charlie and his son Ryan had a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the set of Shooter. They hung out with Ryan Phillippe, Omar Epps and Shantel VanSanten, and they filmed the opening scene for the newest season! Keep reading for more awesomeness.

What was it like being on set?
We got to the set early and everybody was awesome. I played a DEA agent in the scene we shot, and they got me my own trailer! So that was really special. Shantel VanSanten was as friendly as can be to me and my son. She filming a scene in a firing range and practicing her shooting, and she was so friendly, especially to my son—she really took the time to explain what was going on with fake blood and the whole deal.

What was meeting Ryan Phillippe like?
We filmed my scene next. That was when Ryan Phillippe showed up on the set. The only thing that I regret from the whole day is not capturing my son’s face when he got to meet him because that was very special. He was just like a 5-year old on Christmas morning. Ryan was as nice as he can be. Totally casual and very comfortable in his own skin. Between every take, they have these people who sit in the position the actors are going to sit in while the film crew gets the set ready. While that was happening between every take, I was up there chatting with other actors, so that was just really special time because that was probably like an hour of filming for what’s like a minute on the show. So that was very nice. Then we had a tour of the whole stage.

What was it like filming the scene?
I didn’t have a speaking role so I wasn’t nervous. Everything was awesome for me. They told me what I was going to do, then I did it, and then I did it 10 more times. It was amazing to see how it improves with the director’s tweaking. I don’t know if he was just being nice to me, but he was very nice and complimentary, making me feel good about myself. He was being a good leader for me and everybody else. So my acting career has started and ended on the same day.

What would you say was the highlight of the experience?
My favorite part was interacting with the other actors in trying to strategize how the scene was going to improve. I kept my mouth shut for awhile and then I realized they just want to make this scene better and anybody’s input is valued. So I made a couple suggestions and we tried different things in the scene that I filmed. It was a very memorable thing to see how people improvise a little bit to improve the scene. For my son Ryan, I think his favorite part was getting a big fake cut on his arm from the makeup team.

What else can you tell us?
At one point I grabbed a bottle of water and ran into Shantel VanSanten. She was done for the day, so we started chatting and we ended up talking for a really long time. At some point during that conversation, my son Ryan showed up and then Ryan Phillippe showed up and couple of other people, and for half an hour, we just stood around talking. That was really cool. I’m a veteran, so we talked about being a veteran, the service organization that they were supporting with this cause, and just about life. That’s when I realized these are real people. I don’t know anything about actors, so it was fascinating to get a little window to see what their lives are like.

If you could describe the whole experience just a few words, what they be?
Once-in-a-lifetime. I don’t know how you would top that. Extremely memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was a special bonding thing for me and my son. My wife surprised me with this. She was the one that entered the contest on my behalf. It was really cool. So it was bonding on top of bonding, so it was great.

Thanks for everyone for supporting Hidden Heroes and The Mission Continues! Your contributions helped military caregivers across the country access resources, support and community, as well as efforts to empower veterans who are adjusting to life at home.

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