Kurt Oberhaus isn’t a house hold name… yet. But give it time. Quad City native Kurt Oberhaus is out to make a name for himself and make the Quad Cities proud. Now living in the “City of Stars,” Oberhaus is an actor and model who is coming up through the ranks.

A film lover from birth, Oberhaus was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. As to what catpulted him into this direction, Oberhaus recalls, “Stars Wars was the inspiration for this career.” “When I was twelve, I started making action figure films and those progressed into live action films,” he said. While here in the Quad Cities, he began making short films in high school with colleague and filmmaker Joseph Boyle. Boyle and Oberhaus produced one feature film (Crimson Duel) before graduating high school which went on to win awards at prominent film festivals in Iowa.

The real turning point came in the early 2000’s when Oberhaus was introduced to Quad City film mainstay Justin Marxen. Oberhaus recalls this as true pivot in his career: “Meeting Justin really opened many gates including meeting Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (of Bluebox Films fame) and Ian Klink.” He added, “We’ve all collaborated on many films since and continue to do so when we happen to be in the same place at the same time.” One of those collaborations, The Investigation, was shot in the Quad Cities in 2015 and will be released after the film tours the festival circuit later this year. “We are all making it happen, one way or the other, no matter where we all live” Oberhaus said.

Oberhaus moved to La La Land in July of 2014 and is enjoying the vibe that defines Los Angeles. “There are so many productions that film every single day all year long; there is a little bit of everything happening all at once,” Oberhaus said. He added, “Anything from small, indie films to multi-million dollar blockbusters.” Despite the numerous films in production each day, the market is notoriously tough and difficult to break into. “Los Angeles is full of competition because of the dense population of actors and that makes it difficult to book roles,” he said. Oberhaus quickly turns that into a positive, though, and insists, “It makes you work even harder at your craft so you can book those big auditions.”

Oberhaus is not wasting any time sulking about being the “new kid town” and has already booked roles on several television shows and films. Whether it be prominent speaking roles to featured background work, Oberhaus is on fire and making his indelible mark on the Hollywood landscape. Since his arrival in 2014, Oberhaus has appeared on such television shows as New Girl, Training Day, Masters of Sex, This Is Us, Unusual Suspects, ad True Detective, among others. Among his impressive list of film credits are Miles, Ghost in the Shell, Mascots, and the up-coming Tom Hanks/Emma Watson film, The Circle. No matter the size of the production, Oberhaus is thrilled to have these experiences. He says, “I have been on set with Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Viola Davis, Collin Farrel, and those days are the fun because you get to see people of this caliber to their work.”

For Oberhaus, this journey is all about how you to choose to perceive it. “It’s not glamorous as the movies and media make it out to be and it’s very hard work,” Oberhaus says. He continues that thought by saying, “Once you get your foot in the door and make a small name for yourself, doors will start to open.” “So many people give up after a year or two as nothing ever happens over night here,” Oberhaus says. “If you think someone made it over night, think again as there is usually more to the story,” he said. Oberhaus, understanding the gritty nature of this business, says: “It’s not necessarily the most talented people that make it, it’s often the ones who stick it out the longest, and I will grind out here until the day I die.”


Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.