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Florence grad lands role in David Spade comedy sequel

“I have a small supporting role in a scene with David [Spade] but it’s definitely funny and a favorite scene of everyone involved in the production,” said Florence High School graduate Erica Ibsen who first began acting with the Missoula Children's Theater program as a Gnome in Rumpelstiltskin at age nine.

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Florence High School graduate Erica Ibsen has just completed a film – “Joe Dirt 2” – starring David Spade.

“I have a small supporting role in a scene with David, but it’s definitely funny and a favorite scene of everyone involved in the production,” said Ibsen, who began acting with the Missoula Children’s Theater program as a gnome in “Rumpelstiltskin” at age 9.

The highly anticipated Happy Madison Production of the sequel to the 2001 cult-comedy, written by and starring legendary funny man David Spade, is wrapped.

“Wrapped means the film is all done with the production phase and now is in post production,” said Ibsen.

“This is my biggest feature film role so far. It is exciting and definitely worthy as a sequel to the big hit. I’m excited to see the fans’ reactions, and the cast and crew said it is going to go over even better. Fans from the first movie are going to be happy with this one. David and Wolf have written a few scripts together – it reflects their humor. I’m a huge fan and it was so fun to walk on and have them welcoming me.”

Ibsen said she was also a huge fan of Spade’s 1996 comedy “Black Sheep” (which also stars late comedian Chris Farley).

“Earning a chance to work alongside David Spade and writer/director Fred Wolf was an absolute dream come true,” said Ibsen. “I had no idea until I was auditioning, but Fred actually went to Montana State, so it was fun to do a little Brawl of the Wild trash-talking on set. I brought him some Montana huckleberry candy to ease the pain of this year’s Bobcat loss.”

On working with Spade, Ibsen said, “It was nearly impossible to keep a straight face while looking at David. I thought I was going to break character every time.”

This year Ibsen also is in two additional independent feature films in major supporting roles and is represented by Matt Prater at Dedicated Talent Management in Los Angeles.

Sony’s online network (Crackle) will play JOE DIRT 2 in 2015.

Though never a student at the University of Montana, Ibsen is a huge Grizzly fan.

“I didn’t go to the UM, I love Montana but I wanted to see the world, so I did do some college in Portland but then started my acting career. I was thinking of a marketing degree possibly but now I’m enjoying acting.”

Ibsen said she sees a solid future in the acting industry.

“What’s exciting about the entertainment industry is that there are so many platforms and scripts that I used to say I wanted to be set in film, it’s wonderful to be able to spend three to four months on one story, but there are so many television shows with quality scripts that I would love to be involved in as well. So, I’m building a long term career across many platforms and there are probably even platforms that don’t even exist yet. I love telling stories and reaching audiences.”

Ibsen was home in Florence for the holidays but will head back in early January for the “pilot season” in LA.

She has family in Ravalli County, Missoula County and all over the state and said her family has been around for a number of generations. She now lives in Los Angeles, California and misses the Treasure State.

“When I’m in Montana I feel like I’m a California girl and shiver in the cold, but when I’m in LA I’m definitely a Montana girl,” she said.

Reach reporter Michelle McConnaha at 363-3300 or michelle.mcconnaha@ravallirepublic.com.

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Staff Reporter

Reporter at The Ravalli Republic