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Tim Allen movie features Leitersburg girl

November 25, 1997

Tim Allen movie features Leitersburg girl

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

LEITERSBURG - Katie Moore likes dressing up in costumes and playing pretend.

She's been performing for audiences since age 3 1/2, when she was cast in a small role in a Washington County Playhouse production of "Carousel."

Since then, she's had parts in the plays "Oliver," "That Holiday Feeling" and "A Christmas Carol," a local television commercial and a pilot for a new children's show.

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But the Old Forge Elementary first-grader said she never expected to make the jump onto the big screen.

"I was hoping for that but I didn't think so," said Katie, 6, who has a featured role in a movie being released by Universal Studios next month.

Katie, daughter of Terry and Tracey Moore of Leitersburg, plays a little Amish girl, Anna Yoder, in the comedy "For Richer or Poorer," starring Kirstie Alley and Tim Allen.

Alley and Allen play New Yorkers who try to hide from the Internal Revenue Service by fleeing to Intercourse, Pa., and posing as an Amish couple, Tracey Moore said.

They're welcomed into the Yoder home, where little Anna Yoder soon becomes Alley's shadow, she said.

"That was in real life, too," said Katie, who said she really liked Alley. "She just was nice."

Katie said she also liked Allen.

"He was cool," she said. "But he only did grown-up jokes."

Rather than film in Lancaster County, Pa., and have to deal with a lot of tourists, producers chose to film the Amish country scenes in Westminster, Md., Tracey Moore said.

That was lucky for Katie because it prompted producers to hold auditions in Baltimore as well as in California and New York, she said.

Katie auditioned in March, her mother said.

Once Katie got the role, the studio flew her out to California to meet the other cast members.

"It was really weird to look out and see all these familiar faces," said Tracey Moore, who glimpsed but didn't meet other famous cast members, like Marla Maples and Wayne Knight, who plays Newman on "Seinfeld."

For the most part, it was mom who chauffeured and chaperoned Katie during the filming earlier this year.

It was hard work for both of them and tough on the family as a whole, said Moore, who said they left home some days before sunrise and got home after sunset.

Most of the time, she said, it was up to dad Terry Moore to take care of Katie's brother and sister, Matthew, 11, and Genni, 5, who also are professional actors.

Katie had to take time off from kindergarten during the nine weeks of filming, when she had to be on the set sometimes four or five days a week, Tracey Moore said.

That didn't hinder Katie academically because a tutor on the set worked with her at first-grade level, she said.

Still, Katie said, it made her reluctant to take a movie role so big it would force her to miss a lot of school.

"I don't want to miss almost every day like I did in kindergarten," she said.

Otherwise, Katie said she enjoyed everything about being in the movie.

Most of all, she enjoyed the chance to ride in an Amish buggy, she said.

She also liked wearing the Amish-style clothes and hairstyle, having someone to do her hair and makeup and eating on the set, she said.

"The actors are pretty pampered," said Tracey Moore, who said the lavish spreads included things like steak, shrimp and lobster.

If the actors didn't see something they liked, they could request something special, she said.

The actual acting was easier than doing a play, Katie said, because rather than having to memorize a whole play's worth of lines, she only had to know that day's scene.

Sometimes, they had to do a scene over and over and over, said Tracey Moore, who said some of the scenes were done 75 to 100 times.

But it never got boring, Katie said.

"They were very impressed with her. They felt she was a real professional," said her mother, who said her daughter never complained about the long days and hard work.

The experience hasn't gone to Katie's head, she said.

"It doesn't seem to faze her much," Tracey Moore said. "She's pretty much involved with her friends and the birthday parties and activities. She's a typical 6-year-old."

It did give her a kick to see herself in a clip of the movie on television Monday afternoon, Katie said.

"It was pretty cool to see myself. I never got to see myself on TV before," she said.

Katie said she's looking forward to seeing how the movie turned out, since she only got to see parts of it at the wrap party.

If the studio springs for the trip - the deal is being negotiated - she may see it next week at the premiere in Los Angeles, her mother said.

"For Richer or Poorer" is set for release on Dec. 12.

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