By Sarah Lang
When “Oz The Great and Powerful” premiered in theaters nationwide on March 8, Jamestown resident Roanna Huckstep was one of the first in line at the Lebanon 7 theater. And she invited all of her family and friends.
Huckstep isn’t an Oz fanatic. But she did have a personal investment in the film — she was in it.
And it wasn’t just as an extra either. She played the gunslinging Annie Oakley.
Huckstep has been doing fancy gun handling professionally for 11 years. It’s something she learned from her family. She got into acting just a couple of years ago, thinking she could do gun-slinging in commercials. But her first commercial, a Macy’s commercial that went nationwide, had nothing to do with guns.
But this movie did. Huckstep has two gun-slinging videos posted on YouTube to advertise her skills. And someone from the film saw those videos.
“Hollywood came knocking on my door, and I was shocked,” she said. “They wanted to see how serious I was, so they asked, ‘Can you come tomorrow?’ And I said yes.”
It ended up being the following week that Huckstep went out to Pontiac, Mich., to film her spot, so she knew that question was a test. The director, Sam Raimi, had already fired one Annie Oakley, so Huckstep knew she had to make a great first impression. She was in full costume when meeting Raimi. She began to panic because the costume included a full skirt, and Huckstep needed a strap around her leg to hold the gun holster in place in order to perform flawless gun handling. So those around her cut a slit in her skirt, and when Raimi arrived, Huckstep made a great impression.
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