ABOUT THE CAST
Luke Benward (Billy Forrester) Eleven year-old Luke Benward was cast in his first film at age 5, appearing alongside Mel Gibson and Madeleine Stowe in We Were Soldiers. In the two years following, he shot television pilots for “Life on the Water” and “Family Affair” starring Tim Curry and Gary Cole.
He was cast in the family film Because of Winn Dixie at age 8 after choosing to audition with a toothpick in his mouth. The choice set him apart from the hundreds of boys vying for the role of Stevie Dewberry, one of the two brothers tormenting Annasophia Robb’s character. Director Wayne Wang loved the idea and used it in the film.
Benward stars as Angel/Michael in Martina McBride’s award-winning music video for “Concrete Angel.” The clip was nominated for a Grammy, among other awards, and McBride took home the prize for Female Video of the Year at the 2003 CMT Flameworthy Awards.
His commercial credits include campaigns for McDonalds, Nintendo, American Express, and Hamburger Helper.
Part of an entertainment family, Benward also loves to sing and dance and got his acting start tagging along to auditions with his mother – actress, acting coach and former CMT veejay Kenda Benward. His father, Aaron Benward, is half of the country music duo Blue County. He has two younger sisters, Ella and Gracie.
Born and raised in Tennessee, he enjoys riding his bike and playing football and video games. Benward read the book How To Eat Fried Worms when he was in the 3rd grade, but never ate a worm until he began work on the film. He did, however, once eat a roly poly bug on a dare.
Hallie Kate Eisenberg (Erika Tansy) At thirteen, Hallie Kate Eisenberg is already a seasoned actress with numerous film, television, stage, and commercial credits on her resume.