A man with connections to Danville is busy making a name for himself in movies.
Christopher Hodshire, 42, is living in Malaysia, but plans to move to Singapore within a few months to be near the family of his wife, Lydia.
Among his movies are “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman; “Street Boss” with Nicholas Turturro; and “This Must Be the Place” with Sean Penn.
Relatives in Danville have been following his acting jobs.
“It’s very interesting,” his aunt, Ruth Hodshire of Danville. “We’re proud of him.”
She recalled that Hodshire lived in Ladoga, Ind., when he was little. Her nephew later moved to Michigan with his family, and graduated from high school there, as well as Southwestern Michigan College of Dowagiac, Western Michigan University of Kalamazoo and University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
“My family in Danville has always been supportive, upbeat about my side job in acting and entertainment,” Hodshire said in an e-mail interview. “At times they even encouraged me to take it on as a career.”
Ruth Hodshire’s husband, Robert, was a well-known preacher in the area. He preached at various local churches, including the Coal Branch Independent Church of Perrysville, Ind., and the Cheneyville Christian Church. He died in October 2006.
Other relatives here include his cousin, Phillip, and his wife, Rhonda, and their three children, Tyler, Caleb and Amanda. Caleb, a senior at Bismarck-Henning High School, is interested in acting and sometimes calls Christopher for advice.
Hodshire’s full-time career is as a professor in social work. He most recently taught at the University Science of Malaysia.
For the most part, his decisions revolve around family.
For example, the university wanted him to sign for two more years, but Hodshire decided it was more important for his wife to be near her aging mother, and so they’ll be moving to Singapore.
Also, he ended up in Malaysia in order to be near his wife’s family and for their two sons — Noah, 3, and Nathan, 8 — to get to know family members better. A former student at Western Michigan University, where he was an adjunct professor, had told him about the job opening in Malaysia, and the family moved there from Michigan in January 2012.
Making acting a full-time career isn’t practical, he said.
“I am not talented enough to do that and even if I were, I would not want to at my age,” he said. “It will practically pull me away from my family, which is important. In the entertainment business you sometimes film from sunup to sundown and if it is a night scene, filming it is the other way around.
“Although there are perks and I made a good source of income from doing it, I cannot see myself taking it on as a solo career.”
Lecturing at the university level and publishing work from time to time are his passions in life.
“Acting, though, has helped me to prove to myself of my abilities and potentials. What many people thought was not possible became a reality for me. Clearly I have been blessed by the grace of God in my life,” he said.
As for his movies, he filmed three while living in Michigan.
He had some notable parts in the first 20 minutes of “Real Steel.” He played a guitar and sang while next to Hugh Jackman, not long after his robot got beaten by a bull in a rodeo fight.
In “Street Boss,” Hodshire was in a scene at a restaurant, and he’s right next to one the starring actors. “They zoomed onto my face reaction,” he said. “Of course I had to perform other things in the film too.”
“Street Boss” is based on the true story of how the FBI brought down one of Detroit’s most notorious mobsters. It has some foul language, which Hodshire tries to stay away from in movies. But, he said, “I let my guard down since it is based on a true story. I feel teens who want to join gangs need to see the realities when making such a dangerous move.”
In “This Must Be the Place,” he was in a dance scene, with no up-close shots or talking lines like in the others. “However, I still enjoyed that one a lot on account of the music in the scene. I just fell in love with the song, as did others,” he said.
He also had major spots in a few radio and TV commercials, all in Michigan.
Hodshire usually did his filming when he was on vacation breaks as a professor.
“For me, I started to act to bring in extra income, but later it become more than that,” he said. “If you only knew all of the amazing actors that I have met over time. I even had one actor that played in ‘Seinfeld’ ask me to deliver something to his family in Michigan.”
Hodshire’s latest venture is a movie made in Singapore, “Foot Prints,” which will be released in March.
His son, Nathan, had a part in the same movie, too. “Both of our parts were noteworthy with perhaps mine bigger on account of I had a lot of talking lines and acting parts,” he said.
Nathan seems to be following his dad’s path. He appears in a TV commercial in Singapore, and he will appear in another TV commercial this month. He also has appeared in TV ads in the United States.
Hodshire also just finished work on a major educational film, where he was the main actor.
Outside of the entertainment world, Hodshire is active in the field of social work, having been featured in journals and involved in international projects.