Oh deer! WNC Nature Center animals will be part of scene for 'Three Billboards' movie

Oh Deer: WNC Nature Center animals will be part of scene shot for 'Three Billboards' movie (Photo credit WLOS staff)

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. -- Three deer at the WNC Nature Center may end up in the movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

"A little Hollywood magic here," center director Chris Gentile said, referring to the blue screen set up Tuesday morning in the deer enclosure.

Considering their living space is like a gated green room, maybe they're natural performers.

"So one of those deer is gonna be a superstar next week," local mom Sandy Leder said.

You could say the opportunity came out of the blue a few months ago. Gentile already had talent in-house.

"They're used to people," Gentile said of the deer. "They came to us as injured or acclimated deer, so they are not deer that could live in the wild anymore."

Days before cameras roll, they need a little screen time on their own without the cameras and lights.

"They put this blue screen up today so we can get the deer acclimated," he explained. "Acclimated to kind of stand in front of it while they eat."

One-Tag, Rue and Becca are the three deer vying to be in "Three Billboards."

We're told an actor, possibly Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, could be called in to shoot a scene with the herd. Ursa the bear will be watching closely.

"When they are filming they can control the background," Leder explains to her son.

Becca's the youngest deer, and seems most camera ready.

"This is what you want right? Come here, c'mon!" Gentile said to Becca, with veggies in hand.

Becca responded almost right on cue.

"I dunno if Becca's gonna have to apply for a Screen Actor's Guild card?" he joked.

A lot goes in to make sure they don't respond to the spotlight like a deer in headlights.

"They're getting used to this novel thing added to their exhibit," Gentile said.

Because being on a Hollywood set, is a whole different animal.

"We work with animal all the time to do conditioning," Gentile told News 13. "Which means we try to get them to come from one place to another, to stand for a vet check for example."

The crew will film Friday evening at the Nature Center after hours.

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