Christy Carlson Romano joins forces with Milford's LA Productions

Milford’s own Christy Carlson Romano, television and Broadway actress, is working on a new project, one that taps experience from years in the entertainment industry and helps boost the state’s reputation as a place to make movies.

Romano is co-producing and acting in a feature movie called Unknowing. Milford-based LA Production and Entertainment, started by resident and former Speaker of the House James Amann, will be assisting on the project.

“A team of fellows from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, Calif., have teamed up with Disney star Christy Carlson Romano,” according to an LA Productions press announcement.

Romano will work with Stratford’s Cal Robertson, director, to create Unknowing, which is being shot in various locations in Connecticut this summer.

The film stars actor Christian Madsen, the son of actor Michael Madsen and nephew of Oscar-nominated actress Virginia Madsen, who stars in the upcoming blockbuster Divergent alongside Oscar winner Kate Winslet.

Unknowing will feature local East Coast talent and was casting last week in New York City.

Romano made local headlines throughout her teen years with her fame in Disney Channel shows, including Even Stevens and as the voice of Kim Possible; plus acting in movies, and on Broadway as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Robertson was a local filmmaker and actor before gaining acceptance into the American Film Institute as a directing fellow.

Romano and Robertson met through Romano’s fiancé, screenwriter and fellow American Film Institute member Brendan Rooney. Rooney brought the project to Robertson and the two co-wrote the script. Jo Henriquez, also connected with the American Film Institute and having spent time working in New York, jumped on board, eager to be back producing on the East Coast.

Romano said the story mirrors her fiancé’s life to some extent. It is the story of a man, estranged from his father who disappeared when he was a teenager. The father and son meet up again, but the father has amnesia, and the plot revolves around the actors trying to find out why the father left, and what type of accident left him robbed of his memory.

“It’s a coming of age story,” Romano said, adding that father/son sagas are a “hot topic” in the media industry today. The movie, therefore, is very timely.

Romano plays an estranged sister in the movie.

“I play a vital role, but I’m not a star in it,” she said.

Romano is returning to her roots in more ways than one with the Connecticut-based project. First, she grew up here, and second, Amann tapped her several years ago to help on the state’s Hollywood East Committee, a state panel charged with promoting aspects of the movie industry in Connecticut.

Unknowing could have been shot in L.A., Romano said, but the principals involved were looking for authentic greenery, which they could find in Connecticut.

Shooting is planned at various places in the area, including New Haven, Bridgeport, Milford, Indian Wells State Park in Shelton, and Canaan “for the more rural look.”

Romano, who knows Milford well, said scenes are likely to be shot at the duck pond in Milford, a resident’s house, and a local restaurant.

Amann and his LA Productions’ job is to help facilitate some of those locations, and various logistical aspects of the movie project.

“The company has many resources and connections,” Romano said, adding that she believes Connecticut has a lot to offer the film industry.

The filmmakers have been pleased with not only the variety of locations, but also how the state has embraced their return from filmmaking in Los Angeles.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to make films during the day and be home for dinner with my family at night,” Romano said. “I have been wanting to film here all my life and have wanted to work with Cal Robertson.”