Adam Wainwright Makes Movie Debut in Film Premiering This Weekend, Proximity

Adam Wainwright, movie star.
Adam Wainwright, movie star.

The new movie debuting this weekend at the Wehrenberg Theatres was filmed in greater St. Louis, with scenes in Chesterfield, De Soto and Belleville, Illinois. But those locations aren't the only local draw: It also marks Adam Wainwright's acting debut.

The St. Louis Cardinal plays the ex-boyfriend of our heroine, who is portrayed by Jackie Manker. And let's just say in this universe, he's not the hunk. "He agreed to wear these black 'dad socks,'" recalls director Dan Steadman. "He has a great sense of humor and was willing to look goofy in character."

The film is called Proximity, and it's actually the fifth Steadman has shot in the Midwest in the last two years. An TV veteran based in L.A., he was hoping to branch out into independent films when he shot a movie in Belleville called Expect Delays.

"I kind of fell in love with the area — and I literally fell in love with my partner," he says. That the movie was a success helped seal the deal. Moving here, and forgoing television for a series of indie films of the vein of Woody Allen or Nicole Holofcener, seemed like a no-brainer.

Proximity is based on a play Steadman wrote ten years ago. With its heroine, who is "pushing 40 and meeting a much younger guy," Steadman is consciously blazing a different route than action-obsessed Hollywood. "I like to focus on characters who don't often make it on the big screen — Midwesterners, women, older women."

As for Steadman's big-name supporting actor, he wasn't hard to persuade. A producer on the film was friends with Wainwright's wife, and she made the connection.

And now that Proximity is hitting the big screens, Steadman thinks that Waino's performance could lead to another acting gig.

"He's always wanted to host Saturday Night Live," he says. "This wasn't that, but maybe we'll send it off to them."

For more about the film — which premieres at four Wehrenberg theaters from September 2 to 8 — see its website.

"Proximity" opens Friday (Sept. 2-8) at Wehrenberg: Ronnie's, Chesterfield, Mid-Rivers, O'Fallon IL from on Vimeo.

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Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of the RFT and its sister papers. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and continues to host its Legal Roundtable, as well participating as an occasional panelist on Nine PBS' Donnybrook. She lives in St. Louis.
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