Grant Davis from Carson City to play Ben Bentley in “Something Like Summer” | NevadaAppeal.com

Grant Davis from Carson City to play Ben Bentley in “Something Like Summer”

Nevada Appeal staff report
Grant Davis, seen here in the Nevada Appeal file photo, won a film role to play Ben Bentley in “Something Like Summer”.
Jim Grant / jgrant@nevadaappeal.com | Nevada Appeal

Grant Davis, a Carson City product who took his talents to southern California for an entertainment career, won a film role to play Ben Bentley in “Something Like Summer”.

Davis, 18, now lives in San Diego and beat out some 600 competitors to win the role when it was recast after the first person chosen bowed out. The movie, with shooting anticipated to begin in a month or so, is based on the novelist Jay Bell’s work about a gay youth in Texas.

As the singer-actor chosen last week to reprise the role in the “Something Like Summer” film version, Davis reportedly has read Bell’s work and sees the main character as someone real who has flaws and wants to matter to someone else. Davis called it an honor to win the opportunity to live such a role over coming months.

Production personnel said Davis sought the role so intensely he wouldn’t take no for answer, but the young man originally from Nevada’s state capital was put through his paces before being selected. Carlos Pedraza, the film’s writer and a producer, said Davis wins admiration from others.

Director J.T. Tepnapa said Davis provided able and willing to tackle the role’s challenges, which include the fact the movie will ride on his performance. He said Davis has the talent, drive and energy to make that happen.

Producer Hunter Arnold, meanwhile, touted Davis’ for versatility, vocal command and he noted the Bentley character in the film requires a portrayal that embraces a range of ages.

Bell, author of the underlying story, was said to be pleased with the choice and said Davis’ voice can melt peoples’ hearts. Bell said he has no doubt readers of his work soon will picture Davis upon hearing the name Benjamin Bentley.

Davis’ credits as a younger teen while still tied to Carson City include winning a talent competition at age 15 on the Dr. Phil television show and signing a recording deal with Manhattan Records at 16.

He also came to national attention via NPR by singing “Just a Child,” which chronicles his own family’s emotional struggle with problems faced by his teenaged sister.

“Just a Child” was part of a music contest sponsored by The National Institute on Drug Abuse, MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation in an effort to raise teen awareness about substance abuse. Davis’ song placed third.