Georgia actor starred in ‘Stranger Things,’ he started his career at 52. did in

Eddie Craddock sits on the work bench in his Winterville work shop, surrounded by old stereo equipment and speakers in various states of repair. On the table in front of him is the laptop he uses to send in his audition videos and keep tabs on local film and television productions that are interested in his “look.”

Craddock, 62, received the star treatment in April, when “Ragged Heart”, a feature-length drama in which she played the lead, screened to three sold-out audiences at Cine. Filmed in Athens and featuring mostly non-actors from the arts community (Paterson Hood from Drive-By Truckers and Sienna Chandler of Monsoon among many others), the film won Craddock the Best Actor award at the 2022 Brooklyn Film Festival. .

“I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Craddock told the Banner-Herald.

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At the time Craddock was interviewed, the commerce resident had cast his speaking role in the Season 4 finale of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” out of concern that his scene might not make the final cut. Once the episode aired over the July 4th weekend, her Facebook timeline was flooded with enthusiastic support from her surprised friends and family.

About 34 minutes into “Papa”, which takes place in Chapter 8 of “Stranger Things”, metalhead Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) and his friends break into a mobile home park, overheating an RV and only to be chased. drive it away. Clearly offended by the owners. Actors Cindy Hogan and Craddock are credited as “angry neighbors” 1 and 2, respectively.

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Craddock’s easygoing, camera-ready face and gift for complex storytelling would look right at home in a documentary about a character actor who has decades of experience in the motion picture business, but only made his debut 10 years ago. Was; Unless we’re counting on his ninth-grade debut in Clark Central High School’s production of “The Music Man.”

Eddie Craddock moved to Athens when he was a kid

Originally from Virginia, Craddock and his family moved to Athens when he was a child, where he attended Northern Athens Elementary and Clark Middle School. As a baritone saxophone player, he starred in the jazz band at Clark Central, but his love for films came as a result of his job as a projectionist at Classic Theater III, now the Georgia Theatre.

Despite playing sax in famous Athens bands such as Sea Level, Rack of Spam and the Randall Bramblet Band, Craddock saw no future for himself in the music business and applied for the US Navy’s nuclear power program in 1980. Craddock reminisced about his work. A nuclear machinist on a naval ship’s maintenance crew looked something like a movie.

“What happened is still classified,” Craddock said of his time serving during the Cold War. “We did everything except shoot, and there were no victories.”

After a life-threatening battle with alcoholism, Craddock returned to Athens in 1983, where he recovered and became a sponsor for 11 people and ended up working as the ultimate projectionist at the Athens Drive-In in 1985. Craddock operated Eddie’s garage. Spent 12 years on Broad Street and seven more as a football referee at Cedar Shoals High School and Clark Central.

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In 2012, Craddock answered a call for umpires for a baseball film being filmed in Athens and was cast in “Trouble with the Curve” directed by Clint Eastwood. A few days later, Craddock was recalled to play a biker in a bar scene shot at Conyers, where he spent the weekend starring alongside co-stars Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake.

Eddie Craddock’s skill set continues to grow during filming of ‘The Walking Dead’

Craddock’s skill set continued to grow during the filming of “The Walking Dead” Season 3, where he became so expert at playing a zombie that he was later hired by a zombie farm in Athens to teach the first crop of “horror actors” professionally. taken. Time. During that time, Craddock played everything from a grim robber to a priest, as long as the part required the wearing of a mask.

“The role of Eddie (in “Ragged Heart”) was originally written for a young actor,” said director Evan McEnery, who shot the film in Athens in 2018 and 2019. Character in a very compelling way. We were grateful that the universe gave us Eddie, and we just leaned into that.”

Craddock played “Stranger Things” around the same time and filmed his scene for two years before the episode aired on Netflix at the end. When it comes to details or stories from the set, Craddock greatly admired Hogan and his young co-stars and praised their intelligence as well as their talent.

McNairy told the Banner-Herald that sales agents for the “Ragged Heart” film are making several offers from distributors, and a deal is likely by the end of the summer of 2022.

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Whether for an award-winning independent film or a big hit television series, Craddock welcomes the opportunity and puts his all into it. When asked what he’s looking forward to, Craddock said, “I love underdog roles, the way ordinary people make a huge difference.”

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