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Cecilia · A character in THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) and Petite Chardonnay (2012)

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Cecilia is a character portrayed by Toni Corbett with her picture in a fancy frame on the bookshelf as Sierra's great grandmother in the film THE GOLdEN TREE (2010), and portrayed by Lori Grbac as Chardonnay's Grandmother in Petite Chardonnay (2012). The character of Cecilia is not the same or referred to as being any relation to each other in each film.

Cecilia is the name of Gerald's grandmother on his mother's side, and he wanted to memorialize her since she was a guiding light in his life. This is the sixth family member that Gerald has used in his films. The first was Aria, his son, and the name of the film production company, Aria Pictures.

1 THE GOLdEN TREE (2010)

Toni Corbett's picture in a picture frame in THE GOLdEN TREE (2010).

Toni Corbett portrays Great Grandmother Cecilia in THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) with just a headshot in the film.

When Gerald was writing THE GOLdEN TREE (2010), he had the character Kyriè rummaging through history books on the shelf looking for the family name anywhere. Not finding any and giving up, Kyriè looks at a picture of her great grandmother and talks to her. Gerald wanted to use a name of a family member and decided to memorialize his grandmother on his mother's side who was a guiding light in his life. Cecilia is Kyriè Sierra Davenport and Aria Leven Davenport's great grandmother in real life, not Toni Corbett the actor.



Sierra stops exhausted and disheartened and goes to the picture of Cecilia Wimmer and picks it up. Behind it is an **OLD RUSTY ROUND TIN**.


Not really famous were we Great Grandma Cecilia? Just a normal, run-of-the-mill, obscure family. Probably different Wimmer's.

When Toni Corbet was cast for the role, it was a first for Gerald and Toni on the proposal and her involvement with the film.

THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) reference

An unusual first-time casting situation for Gerald occurred when Toni Corbett walked up to the table and handed Gerald her Bio with a great headshot. Looking up at her after thoroughly inspecting the front and back of the papers she gave him — Gerald always looks, reads, and examines anything anyone hands him out of respect, courtesy, and professionalism — he asks her, “What if you were in the film, but not in the film? ” Toni looked confused. “What I mean is, what if you being in the film was your headshot used as a photograph on a mantle in a scene where the lead character talks to your picture, and we see it full size on the screen? Would you be interested in that? Be the Grandmother? ” Toni paused for a moment or two and then smiled and agreed.

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2 Petite Chardonnay (2012)

When Gerald was rewriting Petite Chardonnay (2012), he was assisted by devine guidance from his grandmother Cecilia.

Petite Chardonnay (2012) reference

Gerald went back to the initial 10-page draft he wrote on September 11, 2009, and started again with a sincere purpose and devine guidance. “Once I started rewriting with a pure and honest determination, I could sense my grandmother, Cecilia Brakensiek, was guiding my hand and mind to write a realistic story. Pages were written I do not remember writing. The story flowed and came to life without hesitation or second thought.”

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Toni Corbett's picture in a picture frame in THE GOLdEN TREE (2010).

Lori Grbac portrays Cecilia, Michael's mother and Chardonnay's grandmother in Petite Chardonnay (2012) as a loving, motherly spirit in the vineyard.

Gerald wanted to give the Cecilia character more life and screen time than he was able to for the Cecilia in THE GOLdEN TREE (2010). And the only time that the audience would see her would be in flashbacks or as an angelic spirit in the vineyard, so he made sure he put plenty of screen and story time for Cecilia in Chardonnay, the original story. When trimming it and creating Petite Chardonnay (2012), he did not want to remove the character from the story, because most everyone loves their mother and grandmother — if not, you should.

Cecilia, other than the name, is not an interpretation or an exact copy of the real Cecilia. The only character traits that he brought from the real Cecilia are her tender love, caring attitude, and thought for everyone else.

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