EXCLUSIVE: Terry Westlund, the imposter who’s been posing as a studio teacher for more than a year, was kicked off the set of another movie today after the mother of the film’s child star complained to the producers about him. “We let him go this morning,” said Cecile Cinco, producer of Asomatous, a horror film shooting in Palmdale.
Westlund’s fraud was exposed by Deadline on Monday after he recently was fired as the studio teacher on the short film Gold Star after the mother of a child actor complained about his behavior. A Deadline investigation revealed he is not a certified studio teacher, has not completed any of the requirements to be one, is not listed on the state’s database of certified studio teachers and is not legally allowed to teach child actors or to look after their safety and welfare.
Deadline’s story was retweeted by the Hollywood Mom Blog, and the mother of an 8-year-old actress on Asomatous saw it and brought it to the attention of the producers. “The mom complained about it, so we don’t want him here,” Cinco said. “I told him, ‘I cannot have you on the set.’ He said he is going to get an entertainment lawyer.” Westlund had been on the job one day, the producer said.
“This is crazy,” she said. “His résumé said he’s worked on all these pictures. I can’t believe anybody would do this.”
Westlund has posed as a certified studio teacher on at least seven low-budget films during the past year. In a brief phone interview with Deadline, he said, “I am not going to talk to you,” and hung up.
Westlund is only the latest imposter caught posing as a studio teacher. In September, Kent Linker and Fred Robbins were discovered running a similar scam. Their deceptions not only deprive child actors of their education but endanger their safety and welfare as well, because studio teachers are not just teachers, they’re also the primary protectors of child actors on the set.
California’s Department of Labor Standards Enforcement has a website that contains the names of all studio teachers who have been certified by the state.