WATCH NOW: Oakwood siblings star in film projects streaming on Netflix and Amazon

Credit: Joey and Elise Luthman

Credit: Joey and Elise Luthman

While the rest of us struggled through middle school and high school with braces and a horde of other teenage-related issues, Former Dayton residents and siblings Joey and Elise Luthman were starring on major television shows and movies.

Joey, now 23, and Elise, now 21, have appeared in several prominent television shows and films. In fact, you might recognize Joey Luthman from his appearances on the television shows “Weeds” and “The Long Ride Home.” His sister, Elise, appeared in a recent episode of “The Politician” and in the feature-length film “Do Not Reply.”

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Before moving to Los Angeles to pursue their careers while preteens, the siblings and their parents lived in Oakwood and were involved in Dayton theater groups such as The Dayton Playhouse (where Rob Lowe also began), Muse Machine and the Milford Theatre Guilde. Growing up, the entire family, which included seven siblings, were encouraged to pursue creative endeavors — no matter how lofty their ambitions might be.

“Our parents were very supportive of us wanting to be actors,” said Joey Luthman. “Though we were young, we really liked the idea of acting. They took a really nice leap of faith, and I cannot thank them enough.”

Nearly a decade ago, when the family first moved to Los Angeles, they lived, ironically enough, in a complex called The Oakwood, which was essentially a gathering place for young child actors who are attempting to make it in the film industry. It was this connection that inevitably helped launch the siblings’ careers and maintain a sense of normalcy as they navigated what can be a tumultuous field for everyone, adults and children.

“When we first came out here, we were all kind of growing and getting bigger in the industry together,” Joey Luthman said. “It was very cool. We’ve met a lot of celebrities over the years. We would watch screenings of our stuff together. It became the norm. Though it definitely was not normal, it became our norm.”

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Though it eventually did become the norm for the pair, they weren’t always comfortable jumping into bigger roles.

“I mean, for me, it was scary because I was a shy kid,” said Elise Luthman. “But we were very fortunate, because we had a lot of people who guided us in the right direction. We made a lot of good friends who gave us advice, but it was definitely a daunting thing at first.”

Right now, viewers can catch a glimpse of the actors’ work on most major streaming platforms. In the past few years, the siblings have been incredibly busy with acting projects. Last year, Elise Luthman starred in an episode of Netflix’s “The Politician.” According to Elise, working on the set felt like an actor’s dream.

“I loved that set because I was around very talented, seasoned people — not just the actors, but the crew as well,” said Elise Luthman. “It was kind of like an acting masterclass, and I got to work with some of my favorite actors.”

Viewers can also catch Elise in the horror film “Do Not Reply” on Amazon now, and in the thriller “Linked” when it is eventually released to a streaming service.

Credit: Elise Luthman

Credit: Elise Luthman

Joey stars in “The Last Champion,” a movie about an ex-Olympian who returns to the small town that he left after causing a scandal years before. In the film, Joey plays the part of Ronnie Leadman, a member of the small town’s high school wrestling team that ex-Olympian John Wright (played by Cole Hauser) eventually coaches. To play the part, Joey had to learn a few wrestling moves.

“I got to learn some stuff since I had never wrestled before,” Luthman said. “I got a little bit of advice from my oldest brother, since he was a wrestler back in high school. We got to work with a professional wrestler for a little just before shooting, which was cool. We got to learn different stances and takedowns. It was really exciting.”

He also stars in “Into the Arms of Danger,” in which he plays the younger son of a disturbing family. The film is now streaming on Amazon and mylifetime.com.

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Credit: Joey Luthman

Credit: Joey Luthman

The COVID-19 pandemic stalled the projects that the siblings were working on prior to the global shutdown. And, just like many others who were suddenly presented with a plethora of free time during the shutdown, the siblings found interesting ways to keep themselves entertained. During quarantine, the sister and brother have kept themselves busy, with Elise painting elaborate designs on denim jackets and Joey stepping behind the camera to film music videos and a new feature-film project.

Though the Luthman family likely won’t be coming back to Ohio for a while, the siblings are quick to point out how important the people of Dayton are to them — especially after spending years away from their hometown. In fact, Joey has considered the possibility of future film ventures in the Dayton area.

“I would love to go back,” he said. “It’s a really nice environment with nice people, and I think that it would be a great place to film. Everyone has always been so nice and welcoming. We’ve lived in Los Angeles for a few years, but every time we go back, we’re just shocked at how everyone is nice. Dayton is such a great place.”

To keep up with the Luthmans’ latest projects, follow both Joey and Elise on Instagram.

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