By Josette Keelor
Those planning to see the Hollywood film 'Lincoln,' which opened in theaters Thursday, probably know who the stars are, but few will know that Linden resident Richard Rutherford will appear on screen too.
Playing the role of a Confederate cavalry officer who handles delegations from Jefferson Davis, Rutherford spent three days filming near Charlottesville on a set with a recreated paddle boat, docks and the inside of the White House.
"We basically did field scenes," Rutherford said.
What was it like to work on a film with Daniel Day-Lewis?
"He was phenomenal to work around," Rutherford said. "The whole experience was just surreal."
He only hopes the scene wasn't cut during editing.
His favorite experiences, though, were working with the other extras, like fellow actor Stephen Dunn, who does Civil War reenactments.
"Any time you get around wranglers ... and stunt people, that's who you remember the most," Rutherford said.
Dunn, he said, "He looked the type."
Rutherford, who had done stunt work for films in the 1980s and '90s, worked with Liam Neeson on 1987's "Suspect," and he recently finished filming an episode of "House of Cards," with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, which is set to begin in 2013.
Though he's just now getting back into stunt work, Rutherford, who also has a farm in Front Royal, has been pursuing his barbecue sauce company, Rivers West Bar-B-Q.
Remembering when he gave up an opportunity to be in a Brad Pitt movie in the '90s, because his wife would have been kicked off of what turned out to be a closed set, Rutherford said he'll never make that mistake again.
"Life is full of missed opportunities," he said.
As he prepared for the movie's release, he thought of his father, who passed away in June.
A history buff, James Rutherford would have been proud of his son's role in "Lincoln."
"He had a pretty full life," Rutherford said, and from his father, who died at age 94, he "learned a great deal about life."
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org