— From the pages of FLL Issue #10 • Written by Maia Cargas • Photos by David Schrott
Doug Root has gone from Lancaster County to the big screen, and he shared his journey with Fine Living Lancaster. A local landscaper, he has found his way into films such as Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, and State of Play starring Ben Affleck. Doug’s newfound acting career has been planted and is beginning to take root.
A devoted husband and loving father of two, Doug has always had a flair for the arts. He explored becoming a musician, playing in bands throughout high school and college. He dabbled in drums, as well as singing for many years. Doug compares being a musician on stage to acting, as they both require you to develop yourself as an entertainer. Aspiring actors would do well to develop themselves in multiple artistic endeavors.
While attending Millersville University for communications and marketing, Doug also tried his luck at modeling. Although his modeling in college was short lived, he found success when he picked it up again several years ago. He has been featured in print work, industrial modeling, and commercials. The modeling has been a great way to make additional money and to provide exposure for his acting career. A few hours of work can prove quite profitable if a commercial airs regionally or nationwide.
The side work of modeling and acting coexist with his full-time job at Tomlinson Bomberger and with his own landscaping business. Directly following college, Doug sold insurance for three years. Then he was employed by Hamilton Bank, followed by The Credit Bureau of Lancaster. However, white-collar office jobs are not suitable for Doug’s active and creative nature. The business scene and suit and tie world proved too stagnant for the artist. He enjoys working outdoors, and landscaping turned out to be a lasting and enjoyable career. Also, the vigorous work helps keep him in shape for his career in front of the cameras.
Doug works with an agent in Philadelphia, as well as an acting coach in Lancaster. His acting coach, Angelette of Max Films in Ephrata (now TC Motion in Lancaster), helps Doug hone his skills and develop his style. She also helps him land auditions. His agent in Philadelphia helped him land a small part in Law Abiding Citizen. This psychological thriller is directed by F. Gary Gray and is set in Philadelphia. Doug plays the role of a secret service agent who is trying to protect a targeted district attorney, played by talented Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx.
The rising actor admits to the fun factor involved in the filming, and he loves observing the techniques and idiosyncrasies of great actors. For example, Jamie Foxx has an interesting habit of getting into character by crouching on the floor and screaming “Jonas, Jonas, Jonas,” before the cameras roll. Being on the set for a major production is thrilling and inspiring, regardless of the part. Doug has the opportunity to meet many interesting people and to build his contacts. When working on a set, he is actively following his passion.
Doug was cast as a background actor in a court hearing in the political thriller, State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald. This flick of betrayal stars Russell Crowe as an investigative journalist and Ben Affleck as an ambitious United States Congressman in a grave quandary; his aspirations are stifled when his mistress is discovered murdered. The movie premiered in June 2009.
Doug also acted as an extra in Duplicity, which is directed by Tony Gilroy. The clip was filmed at the Chase Building in New York City. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star in this romantic comedy/spy-thriller that involves romance and corporate spies.
Doug’s age is another beneficial factor in landing gigs. Although he can play a younger role, “Currently, the commercials are really looking for mid 40’s or early 50’s guys, so I am really fortunate to be in there now. It’s all about timing,” he asserts.
According to Doug, New York is the place to be, but Lancaster is also conveniently located near Philadelphia, another major market in the film industry. Doug could make acting a profession in those areas if things fall into place. Even the Baltimore film scene is really starting to pick-up.
Doug has a lot on his plate. In addition to acting, he plays many other important roles such as husband, father, and team member at Tomlinson Bomberger Lawn Care & Landscape Inc. He also focuses on his own business, D.R. Landscape Maintenance. When speaking about his kids, Doug concedes that raising two young children keeps him on his toes. He also declares that parenthood is a blast, and he would not change it for the world. In his sparse spare time, you might find him golfing, watching sports, or going nuts at a Seattle Seahawks’ game.
Doug somehow finds time to pursue his passion of acting by seeking auditions and landing jobs. He does admit that there is never a dull moment. Simply stated, “It’s all about how you go about it.” A good work ethic complemented by a positive attitude enables Doug to balance all of the passions in his life.
The future looks bright for easygoing, assiduous Doug Root. He is chasing and catching his dream of an acting career. He will continue to do so with the essential support of a caring wife who is also busy running her nail salon and caring for the family. Acting has become an important facet in Doug’s life. The odds of making it big in the film industry are slim, but that fails to matter. Doug nonchalantly says, “Who knows?”
Keep your eyes open for a charming, blue-eyed Lancastrian on the big screen.