U student acts in ice skating film

Molly Oberstar takes her skates out for the “Ice Castles” remake.

Oberstar with Michelle Kwan, who had a cameo in the remake of “Ice Castles.”

Oberstar with Michelle Kwan, who had a cameo in the remake of “Ice Castles.” PHOTO COURTESY MOLLY OBERSTAR

by Kara Nesvig

As Twitter trending topics and incessant âÄúTodayâÄù show coverage would suggest, Americans are fascinated by figure skating. Maybe itâÄôs the glittery costumes and romance of it, but it could be the sweeping tragedy and triumph of their life stories: Oksana BaiulâÄôs orphan childhood, the Kerrigan/Harding catfight controversy, the all-American positivity of Scott Hamilton. Studios rake in the millions releasing skate-centric movies like âÄúThe Cutting EdgeâÄù and âÄúIce Castles,âÄù stories that let audiences identify with the personal struggles of skaters while showing off their aesthetic grace. University sophomore Molly Oberstar has recently played a key role in one of these cinematic skater tales. The 20-year-old Duluth native has been skating her entire life, from competing in national championships to traveling to Croatia. Her doe eyes and lithe, elegant figure attracted the eye of the folks behind a remake of the 1978 massive skate hit, âÄúIce Castles,âÄù wherein a young skater tragically loses her sight but triumphs over the handicap to become a champion. âÄúSomeone saw me skating and suggested me,âÄù Oberstar said. âÄúThey had actresses who could act, but the girls didnâÄôt know how to skate at all. At the last minute they decided to find skaters that could act.âÄù Oberstar, who has recently decided to take a break from figure skating competitively, landed the part of Carrie Turner, the antagonist to lead character Alexis Winston. The remake, which went straight to DVD and is available at your local Redbox, is composed mostly of unknown names and professional skaters, with an appearance by Michelle Kwan. The storyline has been modernized a bit for a 2010 audience. Its soft-rock radio love theme, âÄúLooking Through the Eyes of Love,âÄù has been updated for today too, so you can bet itâÄôll get played at countless more piano recitals. âÄúThe skating is one thing that is way better in this movie,âÄù Oberstar said. âÄúThey actually had people doing legitimate programs that youâÄôd compete with.âÄù What was the filmmaking experience like? âÄúItâÄôs really fun, but itâÄôs not easy. Some days IâÄôd be [on the Nova Scotia] set from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m,âÄù Oberstar said. âÄúIt makes total sense, but IâÄôd never thought that scenes were filmed out of order.âÄù OberstarâÄôs supporting role took about a month to film during Easter of last year. âÄúI enjoyed it a lot; IâÄôm not sure if itâÄôs something that IâÄôm good at,âÄù she said of continuing her acting career. âÄúIf someone were to pursue me for another part, IâÄôd do it.âÄù While she sounds humble, her boyfriend, St. Olaf student Ben Leis, gives her a lot of credit. âÄúBeing a skater who has competed at the level she has requires an incredible work ethic,âÄù he pointed out. Currently, Oberstar has hung up her skates to take classes at the University. SheâÄôs a retail merchandising major with hopes of becoming a stylist. âÄúIt got to a point when I decided I wanted to move on and finish my school,âÄù she said. âÄúMost people want to be Olympic figure skaters but you realize at a certain point that itâÄôs not going to happen.âÄù This isnâÄôt OberstarâÄôs first brush with fame. Last spring, she was crowned Minneapolis-St. PaulâÄôs MagazineâÄôs Real Model and was featured in the magazine. âÄúIâÄôm trying to model in the Cities, but itâÄôs just not that great of a market,âÄù she explained. Oberstar is looking for internship work in New York for the summer and is confident sheâÄôll find something that suits her just as well as a sparkly costume did.