Case Law Professor Charlie Korsmo Returns to Silver Screen

Charlie Korsmo [ Dave DeOreo/ideastream ]
Charlie Korsmo [ Dave DeOreo/ideastream ]
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After taking a trip to Hollywood with his family in the 1980s, Charlie Korsmo told his parents he wanted to be an actor. 

The kid from Minneapolis got an agent and went on to work as a child actor on big budget films from the 1990s, like "Dick Tracy," "What About Bob?" and "Hook."

Charlie Korsmo and Warren Beatty in "Dick Tracy" (1990)

As a child actor Korsmo learned life lessons working with Hollywood legends like Warren Beatty, Steven Spielberg and the late Robin Williams.

Robin Williams and Charlie Korsmo in "Hook" (1991)

"These people that people put up on a pedestal they're just people like you and me.  If you treat them like that they'll actually respect you for it," he said.

Bill Murray and Charlie Korsmo in "What About Bob?" (1991)

But at age 13, he walked away from show business returning to life in suburban Minnesota.

"My family never moved to Los Angeles.  I had brothers and we all lived in Minneapolis, so I was commuting there when I'd work.  I was not in regular school for several years.  Even though I'd wanted to do movies in part to get out of school, by the time I was 13 life was starting to change a little bit. And I realized I didn't really have any friends my own age," he said.

After high school he went on to get degrees from both MIT and Yale Law School.  

Since 2011 he's lived in Cleveland Heights, starting a family and working as a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University.

Tonight, however, Charlie Korsmo appears at the Cleveland Cinematheque for the screening of a new independent film that puts him back in front of the camera in "Chained for Life."

"So the movie takes place on the set of an exploitation film being directed by a pretentious German director, and that's me Herr Director.  So I'm the German auteur making this really rather offensive exploitation film with a cast full of people with physical differences, physical disabilities," he said.

The film stars Jess Weixler of "The Good Wife" and British actor Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis.

"He's been cast as a freak in this movie and it centers around the relationship between these two and particularly how the physically disabled portion of the cast and crew is treated and seen by the rest of the crew," he said.

Korsmo enjoyed his time acting again but is quite satisfied with his life as a husband, father and law professor in Northeast Ohio.

"I had a back up plan and I took it," he said.

Charlie Korsmo and David C. Barnett

 

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