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House Thespian

Who knew that Linwood Duncan, the unassuming press secretary for Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.), has been dabbling in acting on the side and turns up with a bit part in the new movie “Eden’s Curve”?

Based on a true story, the flick features Duncan as the

dean of a small college in Virginia that has to deal with a controversy that develops around an 18-year-old student named Peter who gets involved in several intimate relationships.

“It’s been my golf,” Duncan told HOH about his acting, which has previously been relegated to appearances on stage. “This is the first film I’ve been in.”

Duncan has played everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Sir Thomas More in dozens of shows in the D.C. and Charlottesville, Va., areas. He was approached by a longtime friend, Jerry Meadors, screenwriter and producer for “Eden’s Curve.”

The new movie has been especially popular at gay and lesbian film festivals across the country because the lead character gets mixed up in relationships with his male roommate as well as the roommate’s girlfriend. Then another male student fights for the attention of Peter, which leads to some kind of violence, according to newfestival.org.

“Consequently, Peter finds himself drawn to a third man, his poetry teacher, Ian — an attraction with serious and devastating repercussions,” says the site.

It’s left to Duncan, as head of the school, to deal with the mess. “I think I did credibly well,” he said, adding that he has no plans to leave his day job. “I much prefer politics.”

Strange But True. The race for GOP party chairman in Virginia must be a bit strange for Sen. John Warner (R) to watch unfold.

The contest, which comes in the wake of an eavesdropping scandal that toppled party Chairman Gary Thomson, pits GOP Treasurer Richard Neel Jr. against Kate Obenshain Griffin.

Obenshain has the backing of much of Virginia’s Hill delegation and her former boss, Sen. George Allen (R), and insiders peg her as the clear frontrunner for the post. Republican officials say Warner is also backing Obenshain in the Sept. 6 race, though the Senator was out of the country last week and unavailable for comment to HOH.

Neel told HOH that he has spoken to Warner’s staff and “they have not led me to believe that he has made an endorsement.”

Warner has more than a passing interest in the battle because the fathers of both Neel and Griffin perished together in a plane crash 25 years ago that led to the Senator’s original election to the chamber.

Robert Obenshain, the GOP nominee for the Senate in 1978, died in a tragic plane crash after besting Warner at a state party convention. The pilot of the plane, Richard Neel Sr., was a party activist.

Warner, who had finished second to Obenshain for the nomination, was tapped to replace him in the race. He won the general election — and the rest is history.

“Kate Griffin and I share in a very personal way a very tragic situation,” said Neel. “It had a significant impact on both of our families. For that reason, I have always had a deep respect for Kate and her family.”

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