In a surprising turn of events, New Bedford Police Department Officer and Whaling City School Resource Officer, Shane Harris, finds himself gracing the silver screen alongside Hollywood star Zendaya in the newly released movie: Challengers.

What began as a simple bet with two mentees evolved into a life-changing opportunity for Harris, as he embarked on a journey into the world of acting.

"I actually made a bet with two students that I was mentoring about chasing your dreams and trying to meet your goals," Harris explains, "And I told them if they followed up on their dreams, that I would do anything that they wanted, as long as it didn't get me into trouble or get me fired."

Little did Harris know that this promise would lead him to audition for a role in a movie alongside none other than Zendaya and acclaimed director Luca Guadagnino.

According to IMDb, 'Challengers' follows the story of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), a retired tennis prodigy turned coach, and her husband Art (Mike Faist), a struggling tennis champion. Tashi's unconventional plan for Art's comeback takes an unexpected twist when he finds himself pitted against his former best friend, Patrick (Josh O'Connor), and Tashi's former flame. As tensions rise and old wounds resurface, the characters are forced to confront their pasts and make difficult choices in pursuit of victory on and off the court.

Recounting his audition experience, Harris describes a scene that defied his expectations.

"Usually a normal audition, you'll sit in front of a group of people in a room. So when I got there, that's what I was expecting," Harris recalls, "But as I walk out of the hotel room, they had rented the whole floor of this hotel in Boston. And as they're filming, they're like, 'All right, Harris, you're next.'"

Thrown into a makeshift audition set in a kitchen, Harris found himself tasked with demonstrating his security planning skills while reading lines. Drawing from his experience in law enforcement, Harris approached the audition with authenticity and professionalism. Despite his initial doubts, he ultimately impressed the director and secured the role as Art Donaldson's (Mike Faist) Security Guard.

Courtesy Shane Harris
Courtesy Shane Harris

Reflecting on his unexpected journey into the world of acting, Harris acknowledges the support and encouragement he received from his colleagues and superiors, particularly his Chief of Police.

"Lucky it happened to be filmed in the summertime, where I'm mostly likely off because there's no school," Harris explains, "I called Chief Olivera, and I told him what I was doing, and he gave me his blessings."

Harris's transition from police officer to actor was not without its challenges, including the adjustment to a new environment and the realization of the magnitude of his role. However, he found solace and guidance in his co-star Zendaya, whom he describes as "amazing" and "down to earth."

"Oh my God, she was amazing. Amazing. She's so normal. So polite, down to earth," Harris gushes. "I spent like two and a half months with her, and she made me feel so comfortable around her and the set."

As news of Harris's involvement in the movie spread, excitement rippled through his community, particularly among the two students who unwittingly set his journey in motion.

"Right when the trailer came out, one of my friends hit me up and they're like, 'Dude, you're in Zendaya's trailer,'" Harris recalls with a mix of disbelief and joy. "I'm like, 'Shut up!'"

With his unexpected venture into acting, Shane Harris serves as a testament to the power of chasing one's dreams and seizing opportunities, no matter how unexpected or unconventional they may seem. Challengers is now offered at Dartmouth's AMC Theaters and has been the number one movie for the past two weeks.

Let Harris's success story be a simple reminder that sometimes, the most extraordinary adventures begin with a simple bet and a leap of faith.

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