New Hartford Teen With Down Syndrome in National Walmart Commercial
A New Hartford teen with down syndrome is in a national commercial that is running during Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Mark Radel appears in an ad for Walmart. "He was called for a Zoom audition with the casting director, had a call back audition with the ad director and got the job," said Mark's mom, Mary, who is also in the commercial.
The two travelled to Brooklyn for wardrobe fitting and COVID testing on a Saturday and filmed the following Tuesday at a home in New Jersey. "Everything was very COVID safe," Mary said. "Dressing rooms and makeup were outside."
Mark and Mary spent a little over 4 hours filming. They carved pumpkins together in the kitchen and went 'shopping' to promote Walmart's safe way to order online during the coronavirus pandemic. "It was a fun day," said Mary.
Mark is a 9th grader at Perry Junior High and Mary said she was a little worried about him missing school the day the commercial was shot. "He’s taking Regents Earth Science and it was a lab day. So, I was worried he’d have too much work to make up if he took the job. But, his teacher was great and helped him get back up to speed."
This isn't the first time Mark has been in front of the camera. Mark appeared in the movie Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a background actor in 2016. He can be seen near the end of the movie playing on a carousel. Mark's mom Mary Radel says her son had a blast and Gyllenhall was really great with all the kids. "They were joking around and they had a good time."
Mark also played a child in a doctor's office in the movie 'Manhattan Nights' starring Adrien Brody.
Mark is working with a talent agency and hopes to continue working in movies and commercials.