After an eight-week shoot in southeast Arkansas, Jeff Nichols' film "Mud" wrapped over the weekend. Now that the shoot's over, Nichols and producers are ready to reveal details about the Arkansas actor cast as "Neckbone," one of the teen-aged leads in the coming-of-age drama. He's 15-year-old Jacob Lofland of Yell County, selected out of some 2,000 boys who auditioned for the role.
Lofland landed the role after his mother read a casting announcement from The Agency Inc. After reading about the character, he said, “Neckbone sounds like me.” Jacob auditioned in Little Rock with Arkansas Casting Directors Sarah Tackett and Yancey Prosser and had a final audition with director Nichols in Austin, Texas before getting the part. "We cast Jacob as Neckbone because he is Neckbone —he can run a boat, ride a dirt bike, and has the attitude of a typical 14 year-old," said Nichols. “He has immense natural instincts, and he's incredibly intelligent and quick to learn.”
“Jacob is easy to work with—and talented," said McConaughey. "He’s got a real identity and he’s got the confidence to be himself. He’s able to be natural in front of the camera.”
The Arkansas boy says of his role, “Working on this film has been incredible. The director wrote a great story, and it has been awesome being a part of bringing it to life. I think everyone who sees Mud will say it’s a great and exciting movie.”
“The Mud cast and crew come from all over the country, including Arkansas,” he continued. “It’s been like a big family, and I’ve made a lot of friends during the shoot. I really enjoyed spending time with Tye, both on and off screen.” Lofland will return home to Yell County to enjoy outdoor sports, racing, and Thanksgiving with his family and friends following the end of the shoot.