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While Lords of Dogtown immortalizes on film the legends who revolutionized a sport, it also represents a thrilling moment in time for its young cast, all exciting up-and-comers out to make their mark in motion pictures.

"It wasn't just something like hula hoops or yo-yos. It was part of our lifestyle, and I knew at some point there would be a future in it, but my dad was always telling me there was no future in it.” – Tony Alva

One of the biggest challenges straight out of the gate was finding a Tony Alva, the group's fastest-rising star and a skater with magnetic presence, the guy Jay Adams once called "the first pool ruler and one of the most stylish skaters of all time.” Associate Producer Beanie Barnes suggested Victor Rasuk. Catherine Hardwicke knew him from the Sundance hit hit Raising Victor Vargas, and she believed he had the right aggressive charm to play Alva. His challenge as a New York-raised actor was to work on losing his East Coast vibe. Says Hardwicke, "I called Victor to tell him about the project, and I told him to get on a plane right now, because he had to convince the studio that he wasn't so New York. He zoomed out here right away and we found this little apartment in Venice right next to where I live. I took him around with a bunch of Venice guys to get him into the Venice ‘hood / California thing. We got rid of all of his clothes instantly and put him in Vans and beach clothes. We had him skating with Tony on day one. So immediately he just dove into this world, learning how to skate and surf. It was completely foreign to him, but he caught on fast.”

"When I first came out to California and met Tony Alva, I was definitely intimidated,” Rasuk recalls. "I mean, on the plane over I kept saying to myself, ‘Don't be intimidated because people sense that.' This guy was such a huge influence on the skating world, and still is, so how could you not be? But Tony made me feel really relaxed right off the bat. He knew I wasn't a skater and where he needed to start me off from, so he seemed relaxed and patient.”

"I had never stepped on a skateboard before,” Rasuk continues. "Tony and the production took me to Skate Lab in the Valley to teach me how to skate. It had flat surfaces, banks and a few ramps for me to get used to the speed of skating. We did a lot of street skating early in the morning and would carve around trees or just kind of cross streets and do the simple things that really mean a lot. And while he was teaching me how to skate, he was telling me all about his life. He told me anecdotes and stories and personal things that really helped me to develop my character.”

Alva liked what he saw. "Victor is a very intense person and a very intense actor,” says Alva. "That's the reason he was chosen for this part. But he exudes the attitude I had as a kid and that, coupled with his facial expressions and movements that are also like me, makes for a good me!”

"Comparing our style to the others was like comparing an automobile to a Conestoga wagon.” – Stacy Peralta, 1982

Initially it wasn't that easy finding the right kid to play the young Stacy Peralta, either. "We were having such a hard time casting Stacy because he's really strong in a quiet way; sort of like a pillar,” says Hardwicke. "A little bit sensible but still kind of sexy, fun and athletic. And that's difficult to find.”

But like Rasuk's casting, Beanie Barnes suggested a movie that cinched it for Catherine. "We saw John (Robinson)'s work in Elephant and I was just praying that he would come down and want to do this part,” she adds. "He's from Oregon, so the day he flew in for it, I was so excited to see him and he just blew us away. He was so much like the real Stacy.”

Peralta agreed. "You don't go through life thinking that someone's going to play your life,” says Peralta. "It

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