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Dark horse: Albuquerque actor stays busy during the pandemic

Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.

A life in the film industry is chock-full of peaks and valleys.

Whichever one he’s experiencing, Clint Obenchain makes the most of each situation.

Despite the pandemic shutting down film productions for months, the Albuquerque native remained busy.

“I’ve had the good fortune of working on a few films,” he says. “One of them had started before the pandemic. It is a Blumhouse film. Pr

Tom Hanks, center left, and Helena Zengel appear in a scene from “News of the World.” Albuquerque-based actor Clint Obenchain is at far right. (Bruce W. Talamon/Universal Pictures)

oduction came back last fall. The carrot at the end of the stick was that I knew the project would finish.”

Since then, he’s worked on a Netflix film and is gearing up for a new TV series.

Over the course of his career, Obenchain has played a variety of roles.

“Usually, I’m cast as a wild-card character in a dark world,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to humanize these kinds of people. Whether they be an ex-con, criminal or junkie, it’s important for me to show the human side of it. I want to show that they are people. These are fun characters to bring to life. That’s what attracts me.”

In between projects, Obenchain also learned how to garden.

“We have a nice home with a front and a back garden,” he says. “When I started, it was bare dirt. I learned how to grow vegetables and flowers. I had to learn patience and figure out how to make it work. I was rewarded

Clint Obenchain, middle on horse, on the set of “The Kid” with director Vincent D’Ononfrio, right. (Courtesy of Lionsgate)

this past fall with a beautiful bounty.”

Earlier this year, Obenchain’s wait for the Tom Hanks-led “News of the World” ended when it was released in theaters and on demand.

“I was thrilled to be part of it,” he says. “It was a surprise, because I auditioned for a different role. Working on a film, even if the role is small, you are on set for many days. Just getting to meet Tom Hanks and be near his iconic voice. He’s down-to-Earth.”

Obenchain recalls that when he was delivering his lines to Hanks, his nerves took over and he stumbled.

“Tom talked to me about it and says it happens to him, too,” he says. “I took my time with it. What he said helped build my confidence, and I was rewarded with my scenes making the cut.”

It’s been nearly six years since Obenchain made

Clint Obenchain

the move to the film industry.

While it’s been difficult, it’s an industry that helps him thrive.

“I make a list of goals and projects that I would love to be a part of,” he says. “I decided I wanted to do more physical roles. Years ago, I was given encouragement by my teacher, Lora Cunningham. She believed I would do well and I’m still here reaching my goals.”

Here are five facts about Obenchain you may have not known:

1 “I stopped working for five years to be a stay-at-home dad when my daughter was born.”

2 “I was nomadic for many years, living and traveling between Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Orleans and New Mexico. My wife and I, along with our first baby, lived in a small RV as we traveled around the country for four months.”

3 “I was a poor student and did not attend college, instead doing unskilled manual labor. I am not qualified for any kind of work except acting.”

4 “I used to rockhound and, in North Carolina, I dug up a piece of tourmaline with three emeralds on it and gave it to my wife.”

5 “I am into Pilates right now.”

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