Sedley teen to be on the small screen in first TV role

Published 7:39 am Saturday, February 28, 2009

SEDLEY—Shelby Cook’s beauty may have gotten the teen her first big break in show business.

But it’s her plucky spirit that’s going to keep her there, her mom, Carolyn Cook, said.

“She’s not scared of being in front of a camera,” Cook said. “She loves it. That’s going to be the thing that keeps her moving forward.”

Shelby, 17, will appear in the season premiere episode of “Wicked Attraction,” which airs on the Investigation Discovery Network.

The hour-long program “explores deadly duos and couples who kill in the vein of the Bonnie and Clyde phenomenon,” according to the Discovery Channel Web site.

In the episode titled “The Folsom Wolf,” Shelby plays Corrina Novis, a young woman who was murdered in 1986 by James Gregory Marlow and Cynthia Lynn Coffman.

The California couple robbed and killed at least four women and were both sentenced to death. Coffman was the first woman ever sent to California’s death row.

Shelby, who is represented as an actress/model by Hutson Talent Agency in Portsmouth, got the part because of her uncanny resemblance to the victim.

The petite brunette was up for the acting job against three other girls.

“They picked me because I look a lot like (Corrina),” she said. “I got a call within 30 minutes after I left the casting.”

But it was more than her look that impressed Hampton-based filmmakers at m2 Productions, said Sylvia Hutson, owner of Hutson Talent Agency.

“They were very impressed with her,” Hutson said. “The scenes are scripted, but there is a lot of improv, too, which is harder.”

The re-enactment scenes were filmed over a two-day period — first at a house in Chesapeake and then at a motel in Hampton.

Shelby had to feign being kidnapped by the couple.

“The first day, when I was at the house, I had to be hand-cuffed and duct taped,” she said.

Though the case is real and brutal, Shelby said she was able to get through her scenes because the production company tried to keep the atmosphere light on set.

“It was so unreal,” Shelby said. “We joked around a lot. It was hard to keep a straight face.”

Shelby and her mom later went online to look up information on the murder.

“You could actually see the documents in the court case,” Cook said. “I hate it that something like this actually happened to someone.”

In addition to acting, modeling and looking for full-time work, Shelby is currently studying for her associate’s degree in business management through online courses.

She lives with her mom and dad, Troy Cook, and has an older sister, Amanda Ritter of Franklin.

Wicked Attractions currently airs on the ID Network Thursdays at 9 p.m., which can be seen on Channel 285 on DirectTV. The premiere episode is slated to air sometime in the fall.