FWHS senior joins cast of zombie killers

Lots of teenagers dream about becoming an actor in movies. Paul Cantu is one.

Cantu, 18, will graduate from Federal Way High School on June 9 at the Tacoma Dome. He plans to take the first quarter off from college to promote a movie he plays a main role in, “The Book of Zombie,” an independent horror film shot in Auburn.

The movie tells the story of small town in Utah where all the Mormons turn into flesh-eating ghouls. A group of non-Mormons in the film must survive and figure out how to kill the zombies. Cantu plays a grocery store employee with narcolepsy who helps fight the zombies. His character contributes humor to the film, he said.

“The Book of Zombie” will be featured at several area film festivals next fall. Cantu plans to participate in publicity events for the film, then begin theater and political science classes at Central Washington University next winter.

“School’s always going to be there, but I can’t always be acting,” he said.

During his fall off away from school, Cantu also plans to audition for more roles in upcoming films.

Cantu, who is also the Federal Way ASB president and an award-winning member of the speech and debate team, got his break in acting while playing a role in the play “This Must Be the Place” at the high school. A talent scout from Sterling Talent Incorporated approached Cantu after the play and later became his agent.

Cantu auditioned for the main role in the recently released movie “Speed Racer,” he said, but did not get the part. It was his first ever audition, and Cantu was proud to have made it through the first round of auditions and get called in for a second audition. His role in “The Book of Zombie” is his first film role.

Before getting involved with theater, Cantu said he wasn’t sure what kind of career he was interested in. He was a member of several clubs at Federal Way looking for where he fit, and found his passion with acting.

“You get to be a different person for that time while you are on camera or on stage,” he said. “It’s just fun to see the different perspectives from the different viewpoints of people.”

If things don’t work out for Cantu as an actor, he plans to become either a drama teacher or a speech and debate coach.

Contact Margo Hoffman: or (253) 925-5565.

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