As the first trailer began to play, he heard, “You don’t belong here!”
“It was my voice,” Hand said. “It was so surreal.”
The trailer, for the new film “42,” continued and moments later, Hand saw himself on the big screen.
“I wish I had words to describe what I felt at that moment,” Hand said. “It was a dream realized. It was years of hard work that had paid off. I just can’t put into words how that feels.”
“42” is a biographical film about the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player to break the race barrier in Major League Baseball. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey.
Hand, a Corner High School graduate, plays former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller.
“Ostermueller is a veteran who didn’t like change,” Hand said. “He’d probably be considered a bad guy in the film because he has such a rivalry with Jackie Robinson.”
Many scenes in “42” were filmed in spots in Birmingham, including downtown and historic Rickwood Field.
The film opens Friday across the country, but a special red carpet premiere is set for Birmingham tonight at the Summit 16 Theater.
After appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show Wednesday, Hand said he would catch an early morning flight to Birmingham today.
“It was amazing to be able to film in Birmingham,” he said. “This film is a great opportunity for me, and I’m thankful a good bit of it was shot in my home area. I wouldn’t miss the Birmingham premiere for anything in the world.”
Along with the red carpet event, Hand will also be signing baseball cards at Children’s Hospital Friday morning and will make an announcement concerning the first Linc Hand Scholarship, which will go to a student at Corner High School.
Hand started acting as a 5-year-old in Sunshine Puppy Food commercials. He has lived in Los Angeles for the last 10 years.
“I’ve always wanted to act,” he said. “‘42’ has been great for me. A lot of doors have opened since filming last year.”
Hand has already shot co-starring roles for the TNT drama “Southland” and the popular HBO vampire series “True Blood.”
“I can’t say much about the ‘True Blood’ role, but I can confirm that I’m a human and I’m searching for someone,” he said. “They don’t like for a lot of information to be out there. I’m hoping it can become a regular role.
Hand is also shooting a network pilot where he would be a series regular.
“A lot of things are happening right now,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of work over the years, and I’m starting to see what all that work was for.”
Acting is in Hand’s blood. His mother, Edie Hand, is a Walker County native who is an author, actress and motivational speaker.
Edie Hand is also the cousin of Elvis Presley.
“I’m so proud of Linc,” she said. “He is such a good young man. I’m his mother, and I’m suppossed to brag on him, but he really is a great person, and I think he has a bright future in Hollywood.”