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Local Reaction

Crestwood’s Ramey lands role in ‘The Ultimate Legacy’ movie

Oldham County residents make most
of their moment in spotlight

LA GRANGE, Ky. (January 2016) – Oldham County resident Sean Ramey’s acting career recently got a boost when he had the opportunity to participate in various ways in the filming of “The Ultimate Legacy.” The best part about it was that many scenes were shot in Oldham County, so Ramey didn’t have to leave home or travel very far to work.

Photo Laura J. Roppel

Crestwood, Ky.’s Sean Ramey is pictured at the Dec. 4 movie premier with his wife, Christy, and daughter, Kinsley.

He had the chance to fight with a leading character and portray a thug. Relying on his experience as owner and operator of Kentucky Tae Kwon Do and Fitness Academy Inc. in Crestwood, Ky., he was also the fight coordinator. 
“I like playing the bad guy,” Ramey said jokingly. But on a more serious note, he didn’t hesitate to answer when his agency, Heyman Talent, located in Louisville, Ky., called to have him audition for a role. They called back to tell him, “I got the part.”
Many may recognize Ramey from Season 4 of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.” After several years of receiving small bit roles in commercials and movies, Ramey was cast in Fox’s “Sexiest Bachelor in America.” He went on to appear in Cosmopolitan magazines, The “Most Eligible Bachelor in America.” In 2008, he appeared in “The Bachelorette.”
His most recent role has been in “Tiger,” a boxing movie staring Mickey Rourke. “I was a box referee for the final fight,” said Ramey. “It was based on a real story.”
Filming took place in Cincinnati, and Ramey was also a stand-in and body double for Rourke. The movie is about Pardeep Nagra, a Canadian boxer banned from the sport of boxing until he wouldn’t back down and stood up for his beliefs.
He said “The Ultimate Legacy” was originally slated to film in North Carolina. “But Kentucky was able to land it with the new tax incentive program.”
Ramey attended the premier with his wife, Christy, and daughter, Kinsley. “It was really nice. City officials went out of their way. It was a respectful event and particularly touching when veterans got a standing ovation when they came in.”
Ramey thought the film showcased the county well. “The scenery was great. I like how they hired a lot of local talent. It’s so nice to see local businesses showcased in the movie. And they left the business names the same.”
Chris and Lea Cockrell’s Main Street business, La Grange Coffee Roasters, was used for one of the scenes. “It was portrayed in the scene as a restaurant or deli,” said Lea Cockrell.
“You can see coffee bags and our espresso machine in the background.”
Furniture was moved around and artwork on the walls changed, but “they didn’t change our logo,” she said. Neither she nor her husband appears in the movie.
When crews came to town to scout out the area, “they liked the look of our window,” she said. The film crew was only there for one day, shooting outside and inside. They brought so much equipment with them that they “took up the entire inside space.”
Cockrell attended the premier and said, “They did a really great job, especially by honoring veterans with a special ceremony.” One part of the movie talks about veterans, she said.
The premier at CityPlace was a sold out event. Some of the actors and actresses that attended let the public, like Cockrell, “take selfies with them.”
Robin Lawson, a Certified Financial Planner with Financial Solutions in La Grange, attended the premier with his wife, Linda, and office staff as part of their annual Christmas party. He said, “Overall, it was a great evening. It was wonderful that they honored our servicemen.”
As to the actual movie, he said he really enjoyed it. “The first movie in the series is in my top three movies of all time. It was dynamite.” Lawson said the cinematography of the Anderson house, one of the main locations in Oldham County, was great. “It would make you want to move there.”
After seeing the film, “if I didn’t live here now, I’d want to move here.” Lawson believes that Oldham County can “hang their hat on this film for some time to come.”
CityPlace Administrator Karen Greenwell said she enjoyed the premier, calling it “a family oriented feel good movie that you would expect from Hallmark. I thought it was terrific.”
CityPlace served as a home base for the film crew, complete with a green room, wardrobe and makeup rooms, and a food truck parked outside for the crew. “The Rawlings Foundation footed the bill for them to come back to Oldham County to hold the world premier,” she said. “It showcased Oldham County to the world to be able to see what we see every day. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback as a community.”
Oldham County Judge-Executive David Voegele said the premier was “a wonderful event for La Grange and Oldham County. It was certainly exciting to have a movie premier at CityPlace that was filmed substantially in Oldham County.”
He continued, saying, that the “salute to veterans and current service members made it even more special. I’m proud of the community for their enthusiasm. It was a great evening.”
Voegele snagged a two-second bit part in the film. “I was an extra in a scene involving veterans attending a fundraising concert,” he said.
He showed up, was told where to sit and just happened to be “in the right place at the right time,” he said. The staging for the band concert scene was shot in a barn on the property of Ellie and Randy Troutman. “There were some beautiful scenes shot in L’ Esprit.”
Voegele was impressed with it all but not enough to catch the acting bug. “It was fun and interesting to see the behind-the-scenes action and see it all come together and learn that a lot of people associated with it were people from our area.”
He said he was also impressed with the film director. The “work came out great. There are some very talent people around here.”
“Judging from my own experience, I thought the premier was the most engaging evening at CityPlace since its opening, which was impossible to top,” said Voegele. “I appreciate what Mr. Rawlings has done for us.” He was referring to George Rawlings, owner and CEO of The Rawlings Group, whose foundation built the 38,00-square-foot CityPlace in the heart of La Grange. It opened in September 2014 and features two pavilions and a large open green space in between.
There has even been some follow-up activity from another movie company, he said, to use some public facilities around La Grange. “I know Kentucky has changed tax laws for movies being shot in Kentucky. More film companies are being attracted to Kentucky,” said Voegele.
Actor Jon Voight has recently been seen in Oldham County scouting out possible locations for his next movie, “JL Ranch.” Ramey has auditioned for a role as a Bureau Land Manager agent, who is bribed by a villain.
The movie revolves around a land dispute, making it reminiscent of a Hatfield and McCoy feud, Ramey said. He auditioned for the part in Louisville, and said the film crew will spend several weeks in Oldham County beginning Jan. 6 for this Hallmark Original Movie.
Voight stars in and executive produces “JL Ranch,” which follows John Landsburg (JL), an old-fashioned, conservative cowboy who owns a large ranch in a small Texas town. As the patriarch of a large family who all reside with him, JL struggles to maintain possession of his treasured ranch all while trying to keep his family together.
Shannon Gardner, the executive producer for the film from Los Angeles, attended the premier of “The Ultimate Legacy.” He said he was in town scouting for locations and looking for people to work on “JL Ranch.” Filming is expected to begin in January and February, according to a casting call for the movie posted on the Louisville Film Society’s Facebook page.

• Editor Don Ward contributed to this report.

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