By Chelsea Bailey, Assistant Features Editor —

From studying in the UTC library to appearing on the silver screen for millions of viewers, 2016 UTC graduate, Tom Major can be spotted in the hit movie, “Love, Simon.”

Although his degree is in economics, Major filled his time outside the classroom pursuing acting through the Chattanooga Theatre Center, where he “began his acting career in earnest.”

Living in Atlanta where “Love, Simon” was filmed, Major saw and answered an ad on Facebook from the casting company for the film, but he chalks getting the role up to luck and good timing.

“One specific email blast required a role that I believed fit me to a T, based on physical requirements and previous experience,” Major said. “After being selected by the casting director, I was called in to meet the director and primary casting directors in person. Once they made sure I was someone they could work with, the deal was done.”

In the trailer for the film, Major can be seen portraying a gardener with a brief interaction with the main character, Simon, who awkwardly compliments Major’s boots as he blows leaves.

The film centers around a high school student navigating life as a gay teen and the struggles of coming out to his family, friends and society.

“Honestly I think this movie is revolutionary in the sense that it’s the first of its kind and it can help so many people going through similar struggles all over the world today,” Major said.

Though his role was small, Major notes that “it always helps to pad one’s resume with a role like this in a big film.” He gives much credit for his success to his theatre background, which, combined with this experience, he hopes will boost him into larger roles.

Since theatre is near and dear to his heart, Major urges all students to somehow get involved in the arts and broaden their horizons.

“It’s important to encourage students to develop a taste for the arts. It’s crucial to have that creative outlet,” said Major. “UTC does a wonderful job with their productions and entertaining the student body. I would encourage students to support the theatre department and those already involved in it.”

Moviegoers can catch Tom Major in his role in “Love, Simon” in theaters now.

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