Cast Biographies

CHAD ALLEN, best known for his regular role in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, assumes the persona of Lucas Warner, a brooding and confused, but handsome young man. Lucas is a multifaceted individual who has dedicated his life to being all things to all people. He is a great athlete who also demonstrates a great sensitivity and an artistic streak. Chad plays Lucas as an earnest teen with a marked yet - quiet determination to find his truth and lasting love with his childhood sweetheart, while also realizing his dreams in the shadow of his disapproving father.

In WHAT MATTERS MOST, Allen swaps his vintage cowboy outfit for more modern cowboy and basketball gear for his portrayal of Lucas in WHAT MATTERS MOST. Allen is an accomplished actor with many talents. He excels as a guitarist, which proved useful for his portrayal of Lucas who, in the film, is adept at guitar and song. Allen's ability to be "at home" with any role made him the ideal choice for the character of Lucas. With nearly 20 feature films to his credit including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Do You Wanna Know a Secret, A Mothers Testimony and Terror Vision, Allen has established a presence on more than a dozen notable television appearances in such popular prime-time shows as: NYPD Blue, Total Recall, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Love Boat, In the Heat of the Night, and The Wonder Years.

Allen also has garnered critical acclaim on stage in such diverse productions as: Of Mice and Men, Oliver, Biloxi Blues, The Boys in the Band, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, to name but a few.

POLLY CUSUMANO steps into the life of Heather Stone, a beautiful, smart and headstrong teenager trapped by the pressures of a small community. She is madly in love with Lucas, the son of a wealthy Texas family who does not approve of the relationship, and is unexpectedly pregnant and with few options. Should she come forward against all odds? And if she does, what does she stand to lose? Cusumano completed her training in acting on an international stage that included the Oxford School of Drama in England, the Vassar College of Film & Theatre and the Larry Moss and the Brian Reise Studios in Los Angeles. She can be seen in such popular television series as ER, Gun, Reform School Girl and MTV Undressed.

Prior to that she has taken the stage in regional theater productions of Suddenly Last Summer, The Forty Seven Samurai, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Top Girls and Maggie Magalita, which she says gave her the skills to transition to the small screen. It was only natural that Cusumano would make the switch to feature films with her first dramatic role in WHAT MATTERS MOST. The film is executive produced by her father James Cusumano and is written and directed by her mother Jane Cusumano. The part of Heather was written with love by writer/director Jane Cusumano expressly for her talented daughter.

In addition to acting, Cusumano is also fluent in French, Spanish and Italian, and convincingly speaks in numerous dialects. In addition, she is adept on the drums and bass. She also demonstrates an amazing list of skills that include karate, snowboarding, surfing, basketball, swimming and skateboarding.


MARSHALL TEAGUE establishes a presence as Raymond Warner, the hard-bitten, wealthy Texas gentleman, determined to make a "man" of his son, even if it means the unintentional bullying of Lucas towards Raymond's own black-and-white view of the future, and away from Heather, the "white trash" object of his son's romantic desire.

Over the years, MARSHALL TEAGUE's career has presented him with impressive and diverse roles in more than three-dozen major motion pictures. He is best known for his performance in Roadhouse, as well as memorable character roles starring in Armageddon, The Rock, Starflight One, Wings of the Apache, and Second to Die. On television he has appeared as a series regular on more than 40 mini-series and movies-of-the-week, such as: Walker: Texas Ranger, The Sentinel, Pensacola, Sliders, Soldier of Fortune, Babylon 5, and Rough Riders. Teague has also made special guest appearances on a dozen prime-time shows: Silk Stockings, Pacific Blue, Star Trek: Voyager, and Tales from the Crypt. Teague's uncanny ability to assume so many different personas is rooted in his early training at the Lee Strasberg Actors Studio as well as The Michael and Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop and The Royal Shakespeare Company.

For GRETCHEN GERMAN, the role of the unexpectedly complex Bunny Warner fits her like a well-tailored dress. In German's capable hands Bunny is the spirited, slightly manic wife to Raymond. Bunny's ball of frenetic "stage mother" energy carries over to her son's impending wedding and her daughter's "Little Miss Texas" beauty pageant contests. Often dissatisfied, yet ultimately subservient to Raymond's will, Bunny still manages to bring an unspoken courage and deep roots to her fracturing home.

German lives and breathes acting and, with a tremendous dedication to perfection, she excels in every performance. Her feature film experience has included leading roles in the independent productions of The Desire, A Man Called Sarge, Things Left Unsaid, and James Dean: An Invented Life. She has guest starred on television in such high-rated series as Will & Grace, Beverly Hills 90210, Chicago Hope, Home Improvement, Coach, Murder, She Wrote, Wings, Seinfeld, Star Trek-Deep Space Nine and Pacific Blue. These are just a few of the popular US-television prime-time shows that German has appeared on that also air in major international territories. On stage, German has acted in Days of Wine and Roses, Pajama Tops, Chicago, Those the River Keeps and Waiting for the Parade. When she is not appearing in feature films, on television, in theater she enjoys singing, horseback riding and swimming,

TAMARA CLATTERBUCK steps into the well-worn shoes of Anita Stone, Heather's mother. Tamara plays Anita as a kind and hard working single mom, in spite of the community's perception of her as "damaged goods." Self conscious and uneducated, she maintains a warm relationship with her teenage daughter. Anita accepts the cards that life has dealt her, yet strives to support Heather's desire to escape a similar fate.

Clatterbuck is credited with a huge number of motion pictures, television and theater credits. Clatterbuck's recent feature film projects include City of Industry, Under the Influence, Sour Grapes, Blind Side, Set It Off, The Borrower, Our Lips are Sealed, Girls in Prison and many more. She is a regular on television appearing in such recurring prime-time series as General Hospital, NYPD Blue, Laughs and The Young and the Restless. To anyone who is a US-television soap or series aficionado then Clatterbuck is high on the fan-mail list. She has guest starred in numerous television shows including The X-Files, Profiler, Mike Hammer-Private Eye, Silk Stalkings, Beverly Hills 90210, Martial Law, Murder One and Team Knight Rider. Because of the enormous popularity of daytime television in the US, Clatterbuck's likeness can be found on' Soap-oriented web sites marketing memorabilia.

On stage, Clatterbuck has appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Born Yesterday, Pizzaman and How the Other Half Loves. Of Norwegian heritage, Clatterbuck was born in Seattle, Washington State. Before turning to acting, she majored in business administration and marketing and minored in classical ballet. Her hobbies include snow skiing, watching foreign films and ballet dancing.

JIM METZLER's entertainment career can only be described as nothing short of prolific. He has played a variety of great roles throughout his career, from the hotshot LA Detective in Carl Franklin's One False Move opposite Bill Paxton to standing in front of Kim Basinger in his hat and boxer shorts in Curtis Hanson's LA Confidential.

With more than 75 feature film and television appearances to his credit, Metzler has blazed an impressive trail. In feature films, he has also starred in Delusion, Bad City Blues, Hot to Trot, River's Edge, Phantom Town, The Brass Ring, Under the Influence, Cadillac Ranch, Children of the Corn III, Gypsy Eyes, and A Gun, A Car, A Blonde on which he was also producer. His most notable television appearances have included guest starring in Touched by an Angel, Sliders, JAG, Chicago Hope, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Murder, She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast and Perversions of Science, Metzler has also starred in a number of movies-of-the-week and mini-series for television appearing in Witness Protection, Hefner: Unauthorized, Wing and a Prayer, Apollo II, French Silk, Love Kills and Crash: the Mystery of Flight 1501, North and South, On Wings of Eagles, The Best Times and Cutter to Houston.



















RANSFORD DOHERTY makes his feature film debut as Maynard Hill, Heather's best friend at school who also works at the gas station attached to her mother's café. As the only African American in this small town, Maynard knows he is the object of derision in a town unaccustomed to open equality. Yet he is unfazed by it all. With his skills on the basketball court and his own wisdom about the world, Maynard proves himself to be a great support to Lucas in his time of need. His strong bond with Heather and his generous nature, meanwhile, shines in the face of adversity. There could never be a truer friend.

With his first co-starring role in WHAT MATTERS MOST, Doherty is making inroads as a successful working actor. Prior to landing this role, he cut his teeth in film projects have included acting roles in Harmony Run, On the Side and Open Locks Whoever Knocks. On television, he has guest starred in a number of hit series including JAG, The Huntress, Too Gangsta for TV, MTV Undressed and ER. During college he caught the acting bug after appearing in four college stage productions: Boys Next Door, Lizard, Gladiators and Taming of the Shrew. He went on to appear in the two out-of-college stage productions of A Bucket in a Closed Room and the NAACP award-winning 2Gs. '
An all-round sportsman, his special skills include soccer, volleyball, tennis, baseball, football, basketball and weightlifting. He also excels as a painter and landscape sketcher.

SHONDA FARR portrays Lydia Sharp, the pampered daughter of the town's bank president, who is pretty, popular and thrives in the spotlight. , She initially comes off as shallow and catty, but hides an awareness that her actions and motives may reveal a better understanding of people than most might suspect. WHAT MATTERS MOST is her latest feature film role. Her other feature credits include Jack Frost 2, Terror Tract and Treading Water. She is most recognized from her television work, which includes Beverly Hills 90210, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Pacific Blue, Idiot Savants, Opposite Sex, and Seventh Heaven. Farr has also appeared in legit theatre in Tap Dance Kids, Annie, Frankenstein and Fame where she made full use of her dancing experience.

In between acting stints, Farr is also a ballet, tap, modern and jazz dancer as well as a proficient water skier, snow skier, horseback rider and gymnast. She is a graduate of the Anthony Aberson and the Flo Greenberg -- Actors Workshop, New York and took speech training with Sam Chwat.

JASON RAY HANEY plays Jason Lee Smith an awkward, lanky farm boy, basketball player and classmate. In this circle of characters he is the simplest of all. An emotional, unassuming guy who will, quite likely, happily live out the rest of his days in his hometown. He admirably and loyally goes along for the ride on whatever paths his friends set before him.

With his debut, JASON RAY HANEY makes his debut acting appearance in WHAT MATTERS MOST. Originally trained in a variety of film and theater workshops, including the prestigious Phyllis Gonzalez and the Horace Griffin "scene," "film" and "theater" study groups, Haney first acted on stage in a number of off-Broadway style productions. He had lead roles in Tom Jones, All My Sons, The Odd Couple, You Can't Take It With You and Take Me I'm Yours. In addition, he also had supporting roles in Cheaper by the Dozen, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Watch on the Rhine and Barefoot in the Park. His special interests and hobbies include swimming, diving, snow and water skiing and dancing.

KAITLYN LEWIS, age 11, takes on the role of Jenetta Warner, the daughter of Raymond and Bunny Warner. She is a precocious child, whose appetite for "junk" food is constantly being monitored by her overbearing "stage mother." It is Bunny's wish that Jenetta, a talented child, win the "Littlest Miss Texas" title in hopes that stardom will bring more opportunities to her small town Texas life. Jenetta desperately wants to please her mother, but at the same time she wishes for a normal childhood. She is definitely a "daddy's girl" who also loves her big brother Lucas very much.

KAITLYN LEWIS makes her feature film debut in a principal role in WHAT MATTERS MOST. Acting for the past 8 years, Kaitlyn's professionalism is the result of many hours of private coaching, numerous workshops and classes. On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno she has appeared in a variety of skits. Other appearances include Walker, Texas Ranger and film work in Wakin' Up in Reno and Ultimate Alibi. Kaitlyn has starred in numerous national, regional and local commercials including Guess Jeans, Sea World, Kraft Cheese and Radio Shack. In her spare time, Kaitlyn loves to sing, dance, play volleyball and golf, and surf the Internet.

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