The Portland Tribune (US), July 4, 2003

Beaverton lad lands role in indie flick

Chase Offerle, 12, will play a supporting part in ‘Thumbsucker’

by Michaela Bancud

Twelve-year-old Beaverton actor Chase Offerle has landed the part of the younger brother in the feature film "Thumbsucker." The independent production begins shooting in Beaverton on Wednesday.

Chase plays the title character's younger brother, Joel. The lead part will be played by Lou Taylor Pucci. The film's ensemble cast includes Keanu Reeves, Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio. All of the actors, except for Reeves, are currently in Beaverton.

"He's just kind of a laid-back kid, nothing ruffles his feathers," Chase says about his character. "The brother gets all the attention because he does all the bad things. So my character isn't noticed, he sort of flies under the radar."

Another point worth mentioning: "My character has two scenes with Keanu."

Chase and his mom, Marisa Menkins, read the script -- about a boy who kicks his thumb-sucking habit and replaces it with an array of substitutes -- and decided it was a good part.

"We've read the script and there's a lot of adult stuff," Menkins says. "I said I was OK with it if he wasn't in any of those scenes."

In the end, nearly 700 kids tried for the part of Joel in open and closed auditions.

Just two years into acting, Chase got his start at the Garden Home Recreation Center, where he met his now-agent Sandra Peabody. She helped Chase get roles in prior independent projects such as "The Dust Factory," "The Freak," and a TV documentary called "The Other Shores."

Chase attended Whitford Middle School last year. Next year he will attend the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton.

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