Archive for September, 2008

Meet the Middle School Principal Brad Cohen Had…. Mike Pniewski

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Meet Mike Pniewski, who plays my middle school principal Mr. Myer. Mike was a great guy to be around. I had heard good things about him and then when we met him in person he was a joy to be around. We had a chance to have dinner with him as well as travel back to Atlanta on the airplane with him too. Mike has appeared in many movies and TV Shows. One of my favorites was We Are Marshall where he played Coach Bobby Bowden. But Nancy liked the fact that he was also in Big Love.
The pictures above show Nancy, Mike and I and also a picture of the scene where Mr. Myer and me as a kid get up in front of the student body and educate them about Tourette Syndrome for the first time. This is my favorite scene and you will see why when you watch the movie! I will not share any spoilers in this BLOG! You’ll have to watch this scene very carefully!
Dominic does an amazing job, as always, in this scene. I guess you have to be on set to truly understand how hard acting and filming really is for everyone. This one scene started around 8am and was not completed until 5pm. The children who were the extras in the film sitting in the audience did a great job behaving and I’d like to give credit to the orchestra who played the same song over and over and over and over and over and over(I think you get the point).
I’m honored that Mike was selected for this role because he does a great job.

Meet Johnny, who is playing Brad Cohen’s brother Jeff as an adult!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Believe it or not, we still haven’t figured out Johnny’s real last name. Johnny was one of the last actors hired on the set. He is a nice guy and Jeff and Johnny had a chance to hang out as we ate lunch together on the set and we went out to dinner one night. Johnny has a silly personality as during one scene at Thanksgiving dinner, he showed his creativity changing his motions each time he passed through the hallway. Most people didn’t notice but Jeff certainly did as he kept his eye on what Johnny was doing the entire time. You’ll see Jeff and Johnny in the pictures and you’ll also notice the Cohen Brothers. As if 2 Cohen boys weren’t bad enough, now you have a total of 6!

Charles Wyson plays Brad Cohen’s brother Jeff?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

The young Jeff is being played by a boy named Charles Wyson. You might recognize him as the boy on Journeyman, which was on NBC. Charles was a very nice young man on the set. The scene that sticks out in my mind from the days we were on the set was when Dominic and Charles were fighting in the den area of our house and Dominic had to give Charles a wet willy. Of course this is what my brother and I did to each other often. But the funny thing about this is that they had to redo the scene so many times, Charles finally said, “Could Dominic please start giving me a wet willy in my other ear!” Of course he couldn’t because they had to stay consistent each time. You’ll see a picture here of Charles and Dominic practicing the fight scene.

My real brother, Jeff, and Charles enjoyed the time spent with each other.

Sarah Drew Plays the Wife of Brad Cohen, Nancy, in Front of the Class

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Yes, my wife did make it in the movie and she is being played by Sarah Drew.
Sarah is a really sweet, fun and outgoing girl. You might recognize her from either Everwood, playing Hannah Rogers, or from the movie Radio, where she played the daughter of the coach. We really enjoyed ourselves as we had a chance to get to know each other. Nancy and I went out to dinner with Sarah and a small group from the set.
The best scene we watched them shoot was when Nancy visits St. Louis with me for the first time. At Thanksgiving dinner I pull Nancy away and give her a great big kiss. Obviously, in the movie it is Jimmy and Sarah kissing, so on this day, we just watched them go at it and we remembered the good ole days.
I know we were both happy with Sarah’s performance both during the kiss and the rest of the time. We know you will enjoy her character also when the movie comes out.

Hallmark Hall of Fame Presents Brad Cohen’s Story

Friday, September 19th, 2008

 Take a look at the first promotional piece from the movie Front of the Class starring Patricia Heaton, Treat Williams and Jimmy Wolk on CBS.

Dominic Scott Kay plays the young Brad Cohen in Front of the Class

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

It is an honor to introduce to you Dominic Scott Kay. This 12 year old kid is amazing. It didn’t take long for the two of us to bond. He has an impressive resume playing Tom Cruise as a child in Minority Report, he was the voice of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web which also starred Dakota Fanning, he was recently in Snow Buddies and was also in the Kevin Bacon film Loverboy. Not only does he act, but he is a writer and director and plays in a band.
Dominic does an amazing job for playing me as a 12 year old boy during a difficult time in my life. He too has my tics down pat. He has worked hard at perfecting the tics to be just right. Dominic is a hit on the set as everyone enjoys being around him. I know it must be tough acting for several hours then having to go into a classroom and learn academics. But Dominic doesn’t have a hard time juggling.
I told Dominic if he truly wanted to know what it was like to be Brad Cohen, then he needed to eat at Moe’s! Moe’s Southwest Grill is one of my favorite restaurants (I only eat there 1 or 2 times a week usually getting the same Joey Bag of Donuts!) Dominic said he loved burritos and he wasn’t kidding. He got a huge burrito and scarfed it down in 4 minutes. I finished at least 10 minutes after him. When people walk into Moe’s the people working there scream out “Welcome to Moe’s!!!!!” I told Dominic we needed to just scream it out even though nobody was coming in. Once we screamed out “Welcome to Moe’s” all the people working there began screaming out “Welcome to Moe’s” also. He is now official!
I know you will all love watching him in this movie…….Dominic will be a hit! Nancy and I have enjoyed getting to know Dominic and his family. They are all great. Cheers

Patricia Heaton plays the mother of Brad Cohen in Front of the Class movie

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Patricia Heaton is playing the mother of Brad Cohen in Front of the Class. Even though I have Tourette Syndrome, this doesn’t stop my mom from helping me grow up to live a life as normal as everyone else. Patricia does a fabulous job in playing my mom. I can see why everyone loves her. She works hard and does quality work. She was very friendly with myself, my wife and of course my mother. They had a good amount of time to chat in between sets. It still amazes me how long it takes to do each scene in the movie. The actors must repeat the same lines and motions until it is perfect, then they have to start all over again from a different angle. Patience and talent put together make wonderful stars.
Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to Jimmy Wolk, playing me as a 22 year old and the day after that Dominic Scott Kay, who plays me as a 12 year old.

Meet the Cast of Front of the Class- Treat Williams

Monday, September 15th, 2008
Treat Williams will be playing the father of Brad Cohen (me). We had a chance to really get to know Treat as we went out to dinner together. He is down to earth and likes to have a good time. Don’t get me wrong, we had some serious conversations, but overall I enjoyed getting to know him. He was very nice to everyone in my family and I can tell he takes this role seriously.

My dad and Treat had a chance to “bond” during the trip. Treat wanted to get my dad’s perspective on things to help him play the role during the movie. I feel like the development of this character will be great. Keep checking back as I’ll be adding more actors in the movie every few days! Cheers

A Quick Look from Shreveport, LA

Friday, September 12th, 2008

AWESOME!!!!! That is all I have to say. I was hoping to give more updates but we have been so busy watching the film being shot and meeting everyone that I haven’t had as much time as I thought. I plan to give an update on Sunday or Monday night when I have a little more time.
One picture is Brad, Jeff, Nancy and the actors playing us. Jimmy Wolk, Dominic Kay, Sara Drew and Johnny (forgot his last name).
Another picture is Brad, Nancy and little Brad, little Jeff, Mom and Dad being played by Patricia Heaton and Treat Williams.
As a sneak peek, here is my life right now!

Front of the Class will now be a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movie on CBS December 7, 2008

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Keep checking up on my BLOG to learn the latest about the movie as they have begun shooting the film in Shreveport, LA. I will list the other actors over the next few days/weeks. See the link below to see the first article about the film featuring Patricia Heaton and Treat Williams! And of course playing Brad Cohen as an adult…..Jimmy Wolk. Learn more about the actors at

Here is the article from Hollywood Reporter!!!

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"Brad Cohen is a walking billboard for the idea of living positively. He is like a cold drink on a hot day--refreshing, energizing, and likely to put a smile on your face."
Tim Shriver - Chairman of Special Olympics

"I have observed the magic of Brad Cohen in the classroom. He has turned Tourette Syndrome into an asset, and his life into inspiration."
Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia

"Brad Cohen's story is a triumph of hope, determination, will and relentless good humor."
Peter J. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., Professor and
Associate Head of Biological Sciences,
Purdue University

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