The one-time Arlingtonian says he moved there on something of a whim after graduating from the University of Texas, to avoid moving back in with his parents. Thompson was working for an investment firm, in fact, when he received a fateful phone call a while back, asking him to audition for a new movie about baseball. Fast forward to present day and Thompson now has a supporting role in a blockbuster movie — Moneyball, which opens in theaters today — playing the younger version of one of the biggest stars in the world, Brad Pitt.
The path from Arlington’s Country Club Hills neighborhood to the big screen might never have happened, Thompson says, if it wasn’t for one simple request from a friend that he almost turned down.
A photographer friend in L.A., who was building her photo portfolio, talked a reluctant, recently-graduated Thompson into doing a bit of modeling for her. Somehow, years later, one of those shots landed on the desk of a casting director at Sony Pictures, who called Reed and asked him to audition for a part in a movie starring Brad Pitt. After all, Reed — who moved to Arlington from Texas in middle school — is a dead ringer for a younger version of Brad Pitt, even though he insists he doesn’t personally see the resemblance.
Thompson, a former student athlete at Gonzaga College High School in D.C., eventually made it though all the script readings, screen tests and baseball tryouts, and was cast in the movie. With no formal acting training, Reed embarked on an effort to learn the craft as quickly as he could.
“Since then I’ve been in class every week,” he said in a phone interview from Los Angeles last night. “I told myself, if I’m going to do this I might as well do it 110 percent and give it my all. It’s not as easy as you think it is… the people that you watch on television and the movies, they make it look really easy because they’re good at what they do.”
Luckily, Thompson had some help on set — advice from the film’s director, tips from fellow supporting actors and, of course, being able to watch Brad Pitt up close.
“I was able to watch a lot of the scenes anytime I wanted to go to the set,” Thompson said. “I was able to watch him and kind of say, okay, maybe I can try to mimic some of the stuff that he does in his scenes, whether it’s a face or a movement or anything like that.”
It helped, too, that one of the most famous people on the planet happened to be friendly and approachable.
“Brad is the nicest guy, super down to earth,” Thompson said. “He’s like one of your good friends. He’s not pretentious… he’s not a diva.”
“It’s surreal,” Thompson continued. “Someone who’s like that that’s in every magazine… to have him know who you are and to be on a first name basis, that’s amazing.”
While this weekend’s IMF/World Bank meetings tie up traffic in the District, Arlington will be dealing with its own series of significant road closures on Saturday and Sunday.
5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.:
- Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd between Washington Blvd and N. Garfield Street
- N. Highland Street and N. Hartford Street at Wilson Blvd
- N. Herndon Street at Wilson Blvd
- N. Hudson Street at Wilson Blvd
- N. Highland Street at Washington Blvd
6:00 to 10:00 a.m.:
- Kent Street between N. 19th Street and Wilson Blvd
- Northbound Route 110 between Rosslyn and Route 1 in Crystal City
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.:
- Wilson Blvd from Arlington Ridge Road to N. Highland Street
On Sunday, the following streets will be closed for the Navy 5 Miler race.
6:00 to 10:00 a.m.:
- Northbound I-395 Exit 8B to Washington Blvd will be closed
- Washington Blvd between I-395 and the George Washington Parkway
- Southgate Road between Columbia Pike and S. Oak Street
- Columbia Pike east of S Joyce Street
- Access to Boundary Drive from I-395 (Exits 9 and 10A)
According to a tipster: “[Thursday] morning one lane of southbound Glebe Road, north of 34th Rd, was closed and full of about a dozen SUV’s and pickup trucks. There were a lot of people walking around wearing U.S. Marshals jackets and bulletproof vests.”
Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Carter confirmed that an operation did take place in the area, but declined to provide any other details, saying it was part of an “on-going investigation.”
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is among the local congressional sponsors of a new bipartisan bill that allow federal employees to donate unused sick days to “sick leave banks.” The banks would then serves as a way to help federal employees who are suffering prolonged illnesses.
Below is the press release from Rep. Moran’s office.
Today, Representative Jim Moran (VA-08) introduced the “Federal Employees Leave Transfer Act of 2011” to allow federal employees to voluntarily transfer unused sick leave to agency-wide leave banks. Joining Moran as original cosponsors are Representatives Frank Wolf (VA-10), Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), and John Sarbanes (MD-03).
The legislation builds upon current annual leave banks in most federal agencies and is expected to be nearly cost neutral. Once enacted, federal employees will be permitted to donate their excess sick leave to agency leave banks, augmenting currently established annual leave banks.
“This legislation provides an equitable way for federal workers to help out fellow employees in times of prolonged illness,” said Congressman Jim Moran. “The success of this policy in the Federal Aviation Administration and in the private sector should be replicated throughout all federal agencies.”
“This legislation increases the pool of available leave days for those federal employees who are, for example, welcoming home a newborn baby or caring for a sick family member. It carries virtually no cost, but will help the federal government remain competitive when attracting new employees,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
“This is a proven policy in the private sector, and I witnessed its success firsthand during my years with Fairfax County, which has a similar policy. If the Federal Government is going to continue recruiting and retaining highly-qualified employees, this must be part of the menu for a competitive benefits package,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly.
Currently, federal employees can apply accrued sick leave towards their retirement annuity calculation in full year or month blocks. Employees nearing retirement must then “use or lose” any remaining sick leave, a practice that once lead to an estimated $68 million in annual lost productivity.
The Federal Aviation Administration is the only federal agency that allows employees to donate both annual and sick leave. FAA employees donated over 22,000 hours of sick leave in FY 2010 alone.
(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) If you manage a 40-year-old office building in Rosslyn, what do you when your sole office tenant — the Department of Defense — packs up and moves most of its offices to Ft. Belvoir (and elsewhere)?
Renovate, renovate, renovate.
That’s the plan announced by real estate firm Penzance earlier this week for its 17-story office tower at 1500 Wilson Boulevard. Most of the building, minus ground-level retailers like Santa Fe Cafe and a couple of lower floors, will be vacated next year thanks to the Base Realignment and Closure Act, and Penzance is planning to spruce things up.
“Future improvements will include the renovation of the building’s main entrance, main lobby, elevator lobbies, restrooms, elevator cabs and mechanical systems, as well as HVAC improvements,” the company said in a press release.
“1500 Wilson is coming to the market at the right moment and with the added benefit of a multi-million dollar renovation,” said Penzance executive Matt Pacinelli. “We are offering one of the only large blocks of space available in Rosslyn, and at a significant discount to the market rents typically seen in the newer towers.”
Penzance is also trying to talk up the 200,000 square feet of office space by describing the benefits of a Rosslyn address.
“Prominently situated at the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, the 249,000 square-foot building serves as a gateway to the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor and features stunning panoramic views from its 17-story vantage point,” the company said.
The announcement that Amazon Kindle users will now be able to “borrow” eBooks for free from the Arlington Public Library web site caused an apparent spike in library card applications.
Spokesman Peter Golkin said that the library received 150 library card application following the Kindle announcement.
“Usually that number would be 20-30,” Golkin said.
Earlier this week, County Manager Barbara Donnellan admitted to the County Board that Arlington’s emergency radio station, 1700 AM, “occasionally went down during critical periods recently” and was difficult to pick up at other times.
Which “critical periods” was she referring to? One ARLnow.com commenter said that he was unable to hear the station during the weekend of Hurricane Irene. There was also the matter of recent earthquakes, flash floods and threats of terrorist attacks.
The Sun Gazette reports that Donnellan promised the Board “regular staff checks to ensure the station is on the air.” But is anybody else listening?
First Day of Fall, Flash Flood Watch — Today is officially the first day of fall, but it’s not going to feel like it. A storm system bringing tropical moisture to the area will provide warm temperatures and heavy rains that may produce flash flooding. [Capital Weather Gang]
Reminder: DUI Checkpoint Tonight — As part of a national DUI crackdown, Arlington County Police will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint somewhere in the county tonight.
What If Arlington Was Part of D.C.? — The Washington City Paper wonders aloud: What would the District look like had Arlington and Alexandria not been retroceded back to Virginia? The move, which would place part of North Arlington in Northwest D.C. and the rest in Southwest D.C., would add 252,000 registered voters, 56 public and charter schools, and 44 Starbucks locations to the District. [Washington City Paper]
Fisette to Be Honored for HIV Outreach — County Board member Jay Fisette will be honored by the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry as its 2011 Honoree at the organization’s Red Ribbon Gala next month. “NOVAM is proud to honor a well-known community leader who is a strong community advocate for HIV prevention and care for nearly 25 years,” the group said. [Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry]
ACFD Captain Retiring — Arlington County Fire Department Captain Ed Hannon is retiring after 28 years. As he was recounting his years of experience during a TV interview, Hannon’s colleagues decided to pull a prank: they sneaked up from behind and smeared his face with whipped cream as cameras rolled. [MyFoxDC]