Cody Deal’s journey from growing up in small-town Kansas to Los Angeles has led to TV and film acting gigs for the 25-year-old.
Deal, who grew up in Sedan, will make his starring role debut this year in the made-for-cable TV movie “Almightly Thor” which premieres May 7 on the SyFy Channel. The movie will be released on DVD on May 10 and BluRay Disc shortly after, he said.
Deal plays the Norse God Almightly Thor in what is being described as a coming of age low-budget movie about the young protagonist transformation to a god.
“Almightly Thor” is a production of The Abyss, a film studio specializing in low-budget films which are timed to coincide with major studio productions, according to MTV.com. The SyFy premiere of “Almightly Thor” will come one day after “Thor” (starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman) is released in theaters.
Deal, who got his show business start through modeling work in Las Vegas, auditioned for “Thor” in March 2009, but was passed over. He auditioned for “Almighty Thor” in November 2010. Once learning he got the part, filming began on the movie, which took less than two weeks to complete.
“We did the filming in 12 days with shooting taking place from 6 (a.m.) to 6 p.m.,” Deal said in a phone interview with the Osage News. “There’s such a rush with shooting… we started at the crack of dawn to make sure we had enough light.”
"Almighty Thor” is undergoing post-production work on its many visual effects and Deal is making media appearances in the meantime to promote the film in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and even Kansas where he appeared on Wichita’s KCTU-TV in December and again earlier this month where he discussed the movie.
“We were shooting 12 hours a day, plus the script is continuously changing… and we got the final script on day three of shooting, so we had to learn new lines,” Deal told KCTU. The film scenes were also shot out of order with the movie’s final scene being shot on day four, he recalled. “It was probably the best experience I needed for my career to know what I needed to do… It was fun, challenging and rewarding at the same time.”
Deal has also scored a small roll in a new HBO/ Cinemax series and will head to Eastern Europe to film his scenes next month. Deal describes the upcoming series titled “The Girl’s Guide to Depravity” as a “storyline (which) follows the lives of four women and their code to getting men, which never seems to work” which mirrors several plots from HBO’s hit series “Sex in the City.”
Deal, who has never traveled east of Missouri, will head overseas to work April 2-11 on scenes, which will be in two episodes of the “Girl’s Guide…” series. “My possible recurring role could come back” depending on how successful the show is, he said.
Despite his growing Hollywood workload, Deal knows these opportunities come with long work hours and take effort to reach. He started taking acting classes in Las Vegas and continued with them after arriving in California.
Born Cody Austin Deal in Norman to Diane Boulanger, Deal grew up in Sedan, a town of about 1,155 people, which is about 36 miles north of Pawhuska. He grew up in a single-parent household with twin brother Kyle and older brother Lucas. As a teenager, Deal hauled bails of hay during summers and played sports, including football and basketball during school, according to his Web site www.codydeal.com.
Deal, who graduated in 2004 from Sedan High School and served as class valedictorian and Senior Class President, moved to Las Vegas in 2007 at age 21 to pursue a modeling career, which included posing as a Roman soldier at Caesar’s Palace where he toured the casino with “Caesar” and “Cleopatra.” His 6-foot 3-inch body, kept in shape since his high school sports days, has helped him in auditioning for film roles calling for characters with a tall and broad stature.
While in Las Vegas, Deal appeared in his Caesar’s Palace costume during a scene of the 2009 comedy film “The Hangover.” He also appeared in the background of 2010’s “Get Him to the Greek” during a scene also filmed in Vegas.
Thanks to background acting work, “it gave me an opportunity to see how acting worked,” Deal said.
This month, Deal returns to Las Vegas where he has been invited by his original acting coach Gerald Gordon to speak with intermediate-level acting students. “It is my way to give back as I remember being one of those hopefuls sitting in that studio two years ago,” Deal wrote in a Feb. 27 e-mail to friends and relatives about his latest professional moves.
“I knew my goals were a little bit bigger than Kansas – and nothing against Kansas – I loved where I grew up in a small-town community and I became who I became in that town. I haven’t changed,” Deal said in his KCTU interview. “I’m a very humble person, a very appreciative person, and although I’m making films in Hollywood now, it’s the Kansas roots I hold onto.”