If soccer never becomes an American pastime on the level of baseball, basketball, and football, it won’t be for lack of trying by the Shue family. Movie actress Elisabeth Shue and her brother, Melrose Place alumnus Andrew Shue, are making an autobiographical movie called Gracie aimed at inspiring girls to compete on the soccer field with boys. In keeping with the movie’s follow-your-soccer-dreams theme, they’re holding open auditions, seeking a teenage actress with soccer skills to play the lead.
The film is loosely inspired by Elisabeth’s own story; as a teen, the future Leaving Las Vegas Oscar nominee spent several years as the only girl on otherwise all-boy soccer teams. Also incorporated into the story is a family tragedy inspired by the accidental death of Elisabeth and Andrew’s brother William during a family vacation. ”The inspiration for the film came from what it means to lose somebody you love,” she tells the Associated Press. ”In our case, it was once enough time from the devastation of losing our brother had passed. There was a gift he gave us, which was to follow your dreams and not waste time.”
In keeping with the family nature of the project, all the Shue siblings are participating. Elisabeth will play a cameo either as Gracie’s mother or as the adult Gracie. Andrew, who played professional soccer before and during his Melrose years, will play Gracie’s coach. Working on the business side is brother John Shue, who was a soccer captain at Harvard and is now an entrepreneur whose businesses have included a soccer game-day program publishing venture that he and Andrew cofounded. Elisabeth’s husband, Deadwood producer-director Davis Guggenheim, will direct the movie.
Gracie will film in June in New Jersey, where the siblings grew up and where Andrew lives now. The Shues are encouraging would-be Gracies to submit audition tapes by April 22. Details are available at the project’s website, findinggracie.com.