12 March 2012
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Go behind the scenes of MIRROR MIRROR starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) with everything you wanted to know about the production in the notes behind the Tarsehm Singh directed film.
In the movie's production notes, find out how the look of the film was determined and the thought process behind the elaborate costumes for the re-telling of the classic Snow White story.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
An innocent young royal, a wicked stepmother, a charming prince and seven little men living in the woods—the elements of Tarsem Singh’s latest epic may seem familiar, but audiences will be surprised and delighted by new twists the visionary director has brought to an age-old tale in MIRROR MIRROR.
According to producer Bernie Goldmann, who collaborated with producer Josh Pate and writer Melisa Wallack to develop the initial concept for MIRROR MIRROR, they were inspired by a photograph depicting a live model as the fairy-tale heroine. “What we set out to do was to make a live action version of the classic fairy tale, Snow White, that had the feel, the size and the scope of an animated movie. We realized that it’s a great story that had never been explored narratively in a live-action movie.”
In looking for a director to turn the concept into reality, Goldmann says Tarsem Singh was the obvious choice. “Tarsem was the perfect filmmaker to direct this film,” says Goldmann. “He knows how to enhance a story with color and light and is very comfortable with the kind of scope we wanted for this movie. There’s no one else like him.”
For Singh, who was finishing up work on the action epic Immortals for Relativity Media, this project was a chance to tackle something he had never done before: a family-friendly movie that combines action, comedy and intrigue with his signature visual splendor. “This was one of the few projects I was interested in doing,” says Singh. “It’s a totally different energy from my other films and I was deeply interested in updating a classic and eternal story.”
With Singh on board, the script began to take shape as a stunning big-screen spectacle leavened with humor and romance. Singh and Goldmann decided that the best way to start the search for a unique take on the classic tale was by returning to the original story. They discovered a wealth of options. “The story actually has existed for five or six hundred years throughout Europe, in many different countries and different versions,” says Goldmann. “We were able to incorporate what we learned from our research into the concept for our movie.”
Singh explains: “Going back and looking at the original story was a very important process. There are thousands of different variations that have developed since it was first written. These variations provided us with many inspired ideas that were later used in the film.”
For example, in some of the early versions, the dwarfs earn their living as highway robbers. In the words of one of the film’s characters, they “steal from the rich—and keep it.” “We thought that was an interesting thing to go back to,” says Goldmann. “It gives whole other side to their characters. They’ve been marginalized by society and this is their revenge.
“In some of the stories, we also discovered a beast of sorts that lived in the woods and we decided to bring that into our story,” Goldmann continues. “Then we also expanded the role of the King and added a mystery surrounding him.”
In addition to historical incarnations of the Snow White tale, Singh plumbed his own considerable imagination for inspiration. “I knew right away that the bulk of this narrative was going to center on the relationship between the Queen, Snow White and the Prince,” he says.
Goldmann is confident the film will resonate with audiences of all ages and would like to see it take its place beside other big screen adaptations of classic tales. “Hopefully, this is a movie that will play for years as a perennial family favorite and redefine the story of Snow White.”
FINDING THE FAIREST
As Singh and Goldmann refined the story of MIRROR MIRROR, a character that traditionally lurks in the background began to assert herself front and center as a villain with complex motivations. “In the time-honored version of the story, the Queen’s motivation is vanity,” says Singh. “In our film, it’s more about power. She wants to control the kingdom and her beauty is the means to that end.”
Crafty, vain and utterly amoral, the Queen could easily have become a stock villainess, but Singh had a more subtle idea, and made a casting choice that defied conventional wisdom. To play the epitome of evil, he wanted an actress who represents exactly the opposite to most moviegoers. “I saw the Queen as someone who is wicked, dark and malicious but also irresistibly charming,” says the director. “Julia Roberts is so intensely charismatic that she was able to do that fairly easily.”
Roberts puts her trademark magnetism to use as an unscrupulous enchantress with designs on a wealthy and handsome younger man and unbounded animosity toward her orphaned ward. “She was our first and only choice for this role,” says Goldmann. “Her laugh and smile have made her an icon. Here, those same attributes become an aspect of her evil side. It’s fun to see her image turned upside down.”
Playing against type, Roberts brings a new dimension to the role. “Who better to play the evil queen than America’s Sweetheart?” says producer Kevin Misher. “To ask someone with a larger-than-life persona like Julia Roberts to personify one of the classic villainesses in fairy-tale history was a great opportunity for something fresh and innovative.”
Already familiar with Singh’s work, Roberts was instantly intrigued. “His movies are so visual and original and interesting,” she says. “I always wondered, how does that work? His fearlessness brought an incredible sense of integrity to the film, which allowed all of the actors to fully realize these characters. The Grimm story is a few pages long and the Disney film, which has nothing to do with our movie, allows for only limited interpretations of the characters. Tarsem tells the story on a far larger level.”
Roberts says the multidimensional aspect of her character was another incentive to take on the role. “There’s a dual personality component that was really intriguing,” the Oscar-winning actress explains. We see the Queen as she appears in everyday life and then, of course, as the reflection of the Queen in the mirror. The Mirror Queen is calmer and more collected. She possesses the power and confidence that the Queen herself struggles to maintain.”
But at its heart, the film remains a coming-of-age story of a young woman who faces many challenges. As Roberts puts it, “The Queen is just the conflict. Lily Collins is impressive as Snow White. She looks exactly like you want Snow White to look. I was completely enchanted by her, because she’s a very young girl and already a pro. She was such a good sport because my character was so awful and vicious to her and she was always very sweet to me.”
Collins, who has already made an impression on film audiences with her work in The Blind Side and Abducted watched with awe as Roberts transformed herself. “Julia has that smile that everyone loves so much, but here she uses it in such a sinister, creepy way. Snow, being young and innocent, doesn’t realize the true evil nature of the Queen. At the beginning, she very much has the upper hand, but at the very end Snow uses her own words against her. It was very, very bizarre being mean to Julia Roberts.”
The filmmakers mounted a major casting search for an actress who would embody Snow White’s innocence and determination, spending a month auditioning roughly 300 young women before discovering Collins. “The second she came in everybody knew Lily was our Snow White,” says Misher. “She was cast on April 1 and when her agent called her 24 hours after she had read, she thought it was an April Fool’s joke. It’s so hard to find a contemporary actress who embodies the grace of Audrey Hepburn and the class of Elizabeth Taylor and seems untouched by contemporary vices. Lily seemed to embody the classic goodness that the character of needed.”
Goldmann concurs: “Snow White is loved by nature and loves nature. As outwardly beautiful as she is, she is driven inner beauty. Young girls today are so sophisticated that at 21 they seem like they’re 35. But Lily seems so young and innocent. She projects genuineness, not only on the screen, but in real life as well, and that’s really what we were looking for.”
This telling of the story updates the character, according to Collins. “And I love the idea that we’ve modernized Snow White. She starts out as the familiar fairy-tale princess that everyone grew up knowing, wide eyed and naïve. She’s been locked up in her tower, unaware of what’s going on outside, but she goes on to become a girl who fights for what she believes in. Once she embraces everything she is, Snow is able to open herself up to the world and grow into a young woman.”
Collins believes the character has universal appeal. “I think every young girl and adult woman has a little bit of Snow in her,” she says. “We tried to do that with humor. It’s a comedic adventure for the whole family.”
Snow White’s suitor, Prince Alcott, has also been taken out of the realm of stock fairy-tale character and transformed into a more contemporary hero. Played by Armie Hammer, the Prince is an essential figure in the conflict between Snow White, who asks him for help in regaining her throne, and her stepmother, who is plotting to marry the handsome young man by any means possible. “There are very few actors who can comport themselves with a sense of dignity and royalty, as well as provide the fun that the movie requires,” says Misher. “Armie walks that line between gravitas and a lack of self-consciousness in a completely refreshing way. He's somebody who I think men will embrace as a guy they can relate to and women will fall in love with. That really is the definition of a classic movie star.”
Hammer, who stands six-foot-five and is classically good-looking, was made for the role, says Goldmann. “If there was a Prince of America, it would be Armie. He’s a very handsome guy with a very stately quality, but in this movie we see a whole other side to him. He’s so accessible and charming and funny. Everybody on set felt like he was their best friend.”
Roberts agrees Hammer was perfectly cast. “First, he is just a lovely young man,” she says. “But we had a lot of very long scenes together and he was very prepared, and really funny in this part. He brings a great humor and earnestness to it. You just want to see more and more of him.”
The chance to work with Roberts was a huge attraction to the role for Hammer. “She brings all of Julia to it, which is fantastic. It was so impressive to watch her work, because she is so in control of her instrument. Every movement, every gesture, was so precise. Audiences will see some of Julia that hasn’t really been shown before.”
Initially, Hammer admits to some skepticism about playing “Prince Charming.” “It sounded so saccharine,” he says. “But I discussed my hesitations with Tarsem and he assured me that I would help create the character. He said he wanted to make a movie about finding courage, finding love, and finding your place in this world, infused with great humor and great acting. His enthusiasm for the project was infectious. He brings an unceasing effervescence to set, always putting a thousand percent into everything. You can’t help but be pumped up when you’re on set with him.”
Hammer found a character who is searching for purpose in much the same way Snow White is. “The Prince has all these tools,” he says. “Like any good prince, he’s been trained to fight and trained to dance. He knows his history, sciences and mathematics. He understands the world—but only on paper. He doesn’t know how it really works, so he sets out seeking adventure and finds a ton of it. He finds more than he can actually handle at first.”
Departing from the original tale, the filmmakers added a crucial character to the Queen’s court: Brighton, her faithful but bumbling servant. “Brighton fills the role of the huntsman from the old stories,” says Goldmann. “It’s a very complex part. He’s the person who decides whether Snow lives or dies, but he is also the Queen’s sidekick. As we looked at different actors against Julia, that started to really define what the movie would be.”
Tony® and Emmy® Award-winning actor Nathan Lane plays Brighton, turning the role into a comedic tour de force. “Nathan also helped influence so many of the other performances in the movie,” says Goldmann. “He’s a wonderfully skilled comic actor and so generous. He was really present for the characters he interacts with.”
As the Queen’s long-suffering and much-abused servant, Brighton tries his best to please her, says Lane. “But he’s a constant disappointment to her. It’s a bit like what I imagine being Faye Dunaway’s assistant is like. But fortunately, comedy ensues.”
Lane gives his reasons for accepting the role with characteristic brio. “I said yes to the part because of the outfit,” he says. “It was the opportunity to look like the late Shirley Booth that compelled me to play Brighton.”
Actually, he says, he jumped at the chance to work with Roberts. The pair met doing a benefit for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp several years earlier. “I just thought we would have fun together,” says Lane. “The character is kind of like the one she played in My Best Friend’s Wedding, only much meaner. She’s not a nice person, but villains are always the best parts. If you’re going to play the evil Queen, part of the fun is playing someone who doesn’t seem to have a conscience. And she looks fabulous in those stunning costumes.”
The relationship between Lane and Roberts became one of the comedic centerpieces of the movie. “Together they created a sense of playfulness within the evil they are plotting,” says Misher. “They are the villains for the adults, but also the comic foil for the kids. The part was originally conceived as a fairly small character, but with an actor of Nathan’s talents, it became a star turn.”
After being abandoned in the woods by Brighton, Snow White finds herself surrounded by a bickering band of outlaws, none of whom stands as high as her chin. Singh has reinvented the familiar roster of hi-ho-ing miners as a quarrelsome gang of bandits who have turned to crime after being forced to flee their comfortable lives in the village. “The Queen, who’s interested in outer beauty, has exiled them because they don’t fit her physical ideal,” says Goldmann. “That detail adds to the narrative by contributing emotional depth to the characters and making them relatable.”
For his reinterpretation of the iconic Dwarfs, Singh found seven extraordinary actors. “We were incredibly lucky in casting this film and these actors are no exception,” he notes. “The level of energy and creativity they’ve brought to this story has been phenomenal.”
Rather than rely on the familiar band of animated figures for inspiration, the filmmakers allowed each of the actors to define an original character. “We hired the actors first and then developed the characters around their personalities,” explains Goldmann. “The actors all participated in a workshop process that helped define the characters. Each of them needed to contribute something special in terms of helping Snow White to grow into the woman she must become.”
With that in mind, the characters of Butcher, Grimm, Half-Pint, Napoleon, Wolf, Chuckles, and Grub (Martin Klebba, Danny Woodburn, Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark and Joe Gnoffo respectively) began to take shape. As Klebba explains, “I’m called Butcher because I was the main butcher in town. Half-Pint owned the local pub. Grimm was a teacher. Each of them comes from a different part of their former society. Their only connection is that they’ve all been cast out because of their height.”
Clark adds, “After being banished from the Kingdom, the seven of us become a family. We quarrel all the time but we’re able to keep things together because we know how much we need each other.”
Alone in the world, Snow White has to depend on the seven men to teach her how to make her way. As she gets acquainted with her unlikely mentors, the audience learns about their unique attributes. “We each train her to do something different—how to fight with a sword, how to wrestle, how to fight dirty and how to think on her feet. Most importantly, we teach her to believe in herself,” says Woodburn.
Collins worked closely with them all, developing a camaraderie not unlike the onscreen one between Snow and the Dwarfs. She says, “Martin, Danny, Mark, Sebastian, Jordan, Ronald and Joe are phenomenal. They’ve created these memorable characters that fit so perfectly into a group despite being so different from one another.”
Rounding out a distinguished cast are Oscar-nominee Mare Winningham as Baker Margaret, Snow’s confidante at the palace, Oscar-nominee Michael Lerner as the Baron, whose clumsy romantic overtures send the Queen into paroxysms of rage, SAG Award-winner Sean Bean as the King, Snow’s benevolent but ill-fated father, and up-and-coming young British actor Robert Emms as Charles Renbock, the Prince’s faithful valet and reluctant traveling companion.
Singh was overjoyed with the efforts of the supporting actors that help populate the fantasy world he created, explaining, “You always want great actors in your film. The hope is to make a movie that stands the test of time and a fabulous supporting cast is what makes that possible.”
The quality of the cast is a testament to Singh’s talent and imagination, according to Roberts. “Everyone contributed an incredible interpretation of their characters,” she says. “I think it’s because all of us were eager to be here for Tarsem and be part of the magical place he invented.”
BUILDING A MAGICAL REALM
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen director Tarsem Singh’s earlier work that MIRROR MIRROR is an extraordinary visual feast. Built on massive sound stages in Montreal, the settings include a haunting snowbound forest, a rustic and richly detailed cabin inside a hollow tree, a gloriously over-the top Great Hall for the Queen’s elaborate and expensive fetes and a seemingly infinite palace bedroom in which to hatch her nefarious schemes. Complementing the fantastical locations are the film’s sumptuous costumes, hair and makeup, which leapfrog from century to century, incorporating both authentic historical detail and complete fantasy.
As executive producer Kevin Misher says, “Tarsem brings a blend of poetry, magic and visual flare to every film he works on. He incorporates a vast spectrum of influences from Eastern architecture to Western culture and everything in between.”
Production design was at the core of the film from the very beginning of the creative process, according to Singh. “When conceptualizing MIRROR MIRROR, I remembered a Russian film I’d seen called Ivan’s Childhood. There’s a romantic scene in that movie that takes place in a silver birch forest. I immediately thought that if I could have a similar set designed it could define the tone of this film.”
Singh explains his passion for visual detail this way, “Physically constructing an alternate reality is a beautiful experience. I want to create the world that the characters live in, so that the actors have a better understanding of how they should be portrayed. It was a real joy creating the world that these characters live in.”
Production designer Tom Foden, cinematographer Brendan Galvin and costume designer Eiko Ishioka have all collaborated with Singh on three earlier films. This longstanding artistic partnership was a keystone in the success of the production design, says Goldmann. “Tom and Tarsem have developed a way of working together to really define the look of the movie. Tom provided us with a great foundation for both the magic and the emotion we envisioned. He’s an incredible designer who helped us build characters with his work.
“Watching the sets take shape over time blew me away,” he continues. “I was always aware that I might never see a set like that again. It was really old fashioned moviemaking and it felt like we were making a Warner Bros.’ movie from the ’30s or ’40s. The level of detail and craftsmanship was unbelievable. It’s over-the-top opulent.”
Rather than depend on special effects to create the vast universe of MIRROR MIRROR, the filmmakers opted for practical sets whenever possible. “We certainly use green screen and wonderful visual effects in the film,” says Singh. “However, I also wanted to make the actors’ surroundings as visceral and real as possible. That’s why the sets had to be oversized.”
The production design was unlike any Roberts had seen before. “The sets are sensational,” she marvels. “The Magical Cottage, where the Queen meets with her alter ego, is beautiful and the Great Hall, where we did a lot of the party scenes, is mind-blowing. When you see the space filled up with all these people dressed in wild outfits, it’s really something. They don’t make many movies like this anymore.”
Hammer, too, says the sets were bigger and bolder than he could ever have imagined. “The Queen’s bedroom was bigger than most amphitheaters,” he says. “The whole atmosphere is so grand that you are able to suspend your disbelief. The scale is so enormous that it’s almost difficult to comprehend. People are going to walk into this film and see something truly unique.”
The equally sublime costumes, ranging from the Queen’s outrageous golden and blood red gowns to Snow White’s pastel court gowns and her spare and sculptural battle gear, were created by the late Eiko Ishioka in what was to be her last film. The Oscar-winning costume designer worked with Singh on four films before her death in January of 2012. “She was born outside the box,” says Singh of Ishioka. “Every director is always trying to get people to think differently. You never had to tell her that. Everything about her was unconventional, even her research and how she did it—and how much of it she did. She had two speeds: full speed and stop. When you have a person like that, you just never let them go. “
Ishioka, who earned an Oscar for the spectacular costumes in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, was also a respected visual artist whose work is the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. “She was an incredible artist,” says Singh. “She didn’t just design pieces of clothing, she created works of art.”
Her elaborate and imaginative designs combine pageantry and personality, drawing on influences from the 16th to 19th centuries to create something entirely new. “Eiko was all about spectacle,” says Goldmann. “But, like Tom Foden and Brendan Galvin, everything she did was also about building character. She was a genius at the visual, but she was also an amazing help in building Snow White’s and the Prince’s characters. The actors had an arc not only emotionally, but also physically.”
Impressively, her sensational designs were not limited to the gowns and suits worn by the film’s stars. Ishioka also designed the over 300 costumes that are worn by the film’s extras. Almost all were handmade. Hammer says that all that effort is part of what makes the film so special. “The costumes really set the tone for the entire movie. Eiko did a wonderful job creating something that seems so operatic and over the top, yet at the same time completely believable.”
Executive producer Kevin Misher says the collaboration between Singh and Ishioka went beyond the aesthetic to the spiritual. “The work they did together speaks to that connection,” he says. “I think her work on this film is a testament to her artistry in general and to their relationship in particular. It is a lovely gift she leaves for us to remember how special she was.”
Makeup and hairstyles designed for the film by hair and make-up artist Felicity Bowring add to the hyperbolic opulence of the costumes. “Everything stems from Eiko’s designs,” says Bowring. “It was delicious to work with her vibrant colors. Imagine people wearing vivid red, yellow, orange, green, hot pink and silver all in the same scene. For a costume ball, we created about ten face-painted animal masks for the guests instead of having the usual masks that go onto people’s faces. And the hair had to go with the proportions of the costumes. When a dress has a bustle that sits three feet out from the body, a wig has to offset that and be tall enough so that it too looks extraordinary.”
A BATTLE ROYAL
Against the backdrop of this meticulously imagined world, a gleefully physical adventure unfolds as a sheltered princess learns to adapt to life outside the palace walls. From her woodland hosts, Snow White begins to learn to stand up for herself in stirring action sequences. As always, Singh was concerned with authenticity. “I wanted actual physical fighting with real weapons and real aggression,” says Singh. “But more than anything, I wanted the actors to actually take part in the adventurous parts of this film.”
The film’s stars underwent months of intensive training for grueling action scenes involving swordplay, acrobatics, high-speed horseback riding and more. “It was five days a week, almost six hours a day of sword fighting,” says Hammer. “And I had the blisters and the calluses to prove it. I learned how to do a back flip with a sword in my hand, and a front flip with a sword in my hand, and a side flip and a vortex flip—all things that I never knew how to do before. I was always excited to see what we were going to be doing next. My favorite thing was riding the horses right on the soundstage at a full gallop.”
Collins adds, “There was a lot of fight training in this film. We did sword fighting and fencing and wrestling and acrobatics and then physical training. We worked out in the gym, we ran, we lifted weights. It was really intense.”
Fight coordinator Jean Frenette taught the actors the basics of combat, step by arduous step. “There’s a progression to it,” he says. “It’s like boot camp in the beginning. The process of repetition helps the actors build up their confidence and skill level over time. We want them to treat it seriously but we don’t want them to over-train and burn out. It’s a lot like preparing an athlete for a competition.”
Stunt coordinator Marc Desourdy adds, “Lily and Armie were fantastic. They’re so coordinated and so talented. They learn very quickly. Lily was very keen on doing all of her own stunts. We put her to work doing flips and acrobatics. And we did the same with Armie. When you see them close-up, sword fighting, it’s all them.”
In the end, the work paid off in action sequences that appear effortless, says Goldmann. “Watching them on film, it’s easy to forget all the work that went into it. Lily and Armie rehearsed and trained, and rehearsed and trained. They put in the time so that when we shot these sequences, they came out perfectly.”
One of Singh’s cunning innovations resulted in a series of action scenes that require complex preparation and physical daring. Since the Dwarfs had been thrown out of the village because of their size, he thought, they might likely become fixated on their height. Trying to compensate for their stature, MIRROR MIRROR’s little men commit their robberies on stilts. Desourdy tracked down a group of daredevil stilt walkers in Toulouse, France, to train the actors to fight on stilts.
“They were amazing,” he says. “They taught our guys to walk, run and jump with stilts. The stunts that are performed on the stilts are absolutely sensational and unlike anything you’ve seen before. The audience is in for a treat.”
The film’s spectacular climax is a royal ball to celebrate the marriage of Snow White and her Prince. Singh wanted to heighten the festive atmosphere with a dazzling musical number done in classic Bollywood style. He selected Nina Hart’s late ’60s pop song “Love.” “I had the song in mind from the beginning, but they kept telling me I wouldn’t be able to get the rights,” says the director. “Finally, right before we started shooting, it worked out. When I heard that Lily could sing, I had her record a version of the song for us. She was fantastic. We knew we had to incorporate her vocals into a big dance sequence.”
Choreographer Paul Becker came in during preproduction to design the number, which involves the entire cast as well as over 200 extras. “It starts almost without warning,” he says. “Lily suddenly breaks into song and dance and everyone else seems to be wondering what she is up to. But then slowly the Dwarfs join in and then everyone starts to dance. It’s just a big party.”
Becker designed the dance to resemble one of Hollywood’s unforgettable Busby Berkeley production numbers, with overhead shots capturing the swirling patterns of dancers below. According to Collins, “It was a great time. It felt like a huge music video with hundreds of people dancing around me. We really let loose. I never in a million years thought I would be able to do a number like that. It was just amazing.”
The net effect of Singh’s brilliant leaps of imagination is to transport both the film’s stars and the audience into a sparkling world of fantasy. As Collins says, “Everyone loves a good fairy tale. They create a space where you can laugh, where you can be scared, and where you can simply be amazed. Ours is a multi-generational story and that’s what a fairy tale is supposed to be, something that everyone can enjoy.”
Roberts agrees, adding, “I think the audience is going to get lost in this film. I would love for them to just sit back and be transported somewhere else for two hours.”
Singh’s greatest hope is that the audience will be the ones to reap the rewards of the cast and crew’s meticulous efforts. “My primary goal with this film is to create a family movie that people will have a lot of fun seeing,” he says. “It’s been a great honor getting to creatively reinterpret this classic story, which has meant so much to so many generations. I really hope the audience enjoys what we’ve created.”
ABOUT THE CAST
JULIA ROBERTS (The Queen) has worked with the industry’s most esteemed directors and starred in films grossing more than $2.5 billion worldwide. An Academy Award® winner for Erin Brockovich (Best Actress), Roberts first came to the attention of audiences with her critically acclaimed role in Mystic Pizza. She received her first Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Steel Magnolias. Her next film, Pretty Woman, was the top-grossing film of 1990 and brought Roberts her second Academy Award nomination. Memorable performances followed in such films as Flatliners, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dying Young, The Pelican Brief, Something to Talk About, Michael Collins, Stepmom, Mona Lisa Smile, America’s Sweethearts and Everyone Says I Love You.
Most recently, Roberts starred in Larry Crowne opposite Tom Hanks, who wrote, directed, and produced the film. She also starred in Eat Pray Love, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir and directed by Ryan Murphy. Additionally, Roberts starred opposite Clive Owen in Duplicity, directed by Tony Gilroy, and appeared in the ensemble comedy Valentine’s Day, directed by Garry Marshall.
In 1997, she starred in the box-office smash My Best Friend’s Wedding, directed by P.J. Hogan, and the Richard Donner-directed thriller Conspiracy Theory, co-starring Mel Gibson. In 1999, she starred in two box-office hits: Notting Hill, co-starring Hugh Grant and directed by Roger Michell, and Runaway Bride, in which Roberts reteamed with her Pretty Woman co-star and director, Richard Gere and Garry Marshall.
Roberts provided the voice of Charlotte in the animated film Charlotte’s Web and made her Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg’s “Three Days of Rain.”
LILY COLLINS (Snow White) has already become one of the most sought-after young actresses in the business. Since making her film debut in the 2010 Oscar winner The Blind Side, alongside Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock, Collins has been seen on the big screen in Priest, directed by Scott Stewart and starring Paul Bettany. Most recently, Collins starred opposite Taylor Lautner, Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina in the thriller Abduction. She has begun production on Mortal Instruments, the first in a possible franchise series of films based on the popular book series of the same name.
On the small screen, she was a guest star for the final two episodes of the first season of CW’s new “90210.”
No stranger to the camera, Collins has considered the entertainment industry a big part of her life from the time she was born in West Sussex, England. She started acting when she was an infant, with a role on the British version of the television series “Growing Pains.” After moving to the States at age six, she took her love of acting and singing to the stage. She performed musical theater and drama at the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts.
Collins’ passion for journalism was discovered at age 15, when she began working for the popular fashion magazine ElleGirl U.K., where she designed a page informing readers on current Hollywood trends and Los Angeles hot spots. Later, she covered both the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions for Seventeen Magazine and the presidential inauguration for Nickelodeon. She was a contributing writer for CosmoGIRL! Magazine and a host for Nickelodeon’s “Hollywood Hang” and “Countdown to Kids’ Choice!” as well as “Live from the Red Carpet at the Oscars” for the E! Network.
Collins attended the 2008 Spanish Glamour Awards in Madrid, where she received the “Best International Model” Award. She was also presented with the “One to Watch” award at the 2008 Young Hollywood Awards. Collins was also the host of Hollywood Life Magazine’s 5th Annual Hollywood Style Awards in Los Angeles.
When she is not working, Collins attends USC’s Annenberg School for Communications. As the first college representative to sit on the board of The Maple Counseling Center, Collins is an advocate for “teens helping teens” programs through peer-support groups.
ARMIE HAMMER (Prince Alcott) received critical praise for his portrayal of both Winklevoss twins in David Fincher’s award-winning drama The Social Network. Hammer’s performance garnered him critical praise and positioned him as one of Hollywood’s breakout young actors. He was nominated for Most Promising Performer by the Chicago Film Critics Circle and awarded Best Supporting Actor by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The film also received a SAG Award nomination for “Best Ensemble” and a Golden Globe Award® for Best Picture, Drama, among several other awards.
Hammer was recently seen starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood’s biopic, J. Edgar. In the film written by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Hammer plays a lawyer-turned-FBI-official and Hoover’s lover, Clyde Tolson.
NATHAN LANE (Brighton) recently starred in Broadway’s smash hit musical “The Addams Family.” His wildly acclaimed portrayal of Max Bialystock in “The Producers” on Broadway won Lane the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony awards for “Best Actor in a Musical.” In addition, Lane won the Olivier Award for his performance in “The Producers” in London.
The actor earned a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Mike Nichols’ The Birdcage. Lane also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the film adaptation of The Producers. Additionally, he received great acclaim as the voice of Timon the meerkat in the smash-hit family film The Lion King. Lane has also starred in successes such as Stuart Little and Mousehunt.
Additional film credits include Isn’t She Great?, Trixie, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Addams Family Values, Life with Mikey, Frankie & Johnny, He Said, She Said, Ironweed, The Lemon Sisters, Jeffrey, Nicholas Nickelby and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.
An accomplished stage actor, Lane won Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for his performance in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He has appeared on Broadway in “Butley,” “Waiting for Godot” and David Mamet’s hit comedy “November.” He also starred in the blockbuster Broadway production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” Lane wrote the book for and starred in Stephen Sondheim’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ “The Frogs.”
Other Broadway credits include Terrence McNally’s “Love! Valor! Compassion!” (for which Lane won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie awards), Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “Guys and Dolls” (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards, a Tony nomination), “Present Laughter” (Drama Desk nomination), “On Borrowed Time,” “Merlin,” “The Wind in the Willows,” “Some Americans Abroad,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and the national tour of Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound.”
Off Broadway credits include Terrence McNally’s “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” “The Lisbon Traviata” (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), “Bad Habits at the Film Society,” “In a Pig’s Valise,” “The Common Pursuit,” “She Stoops to Conquer,” “Measure for Measure,” “Mizlansky/Zilinsky” and “Trumbo.”
Lane has also been recognized with two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for his work in “The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa” and “Teacher’s Pet.” Other television credits include Terrence McNally’s “The Last Mile,” “The Boys Next Door” and “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.”
MARE WINNINGHAM (Baker Margaret) has appeared in more than 50 made-for-television films and miniseries. She most recently portrayed Ida in HBO’s miniseries “Mildred Pierce,” opposite Kate Winslet. She received an Emmy Award as well as Golden Globe and SAG award nominations for her work in TNT’s “George Wallace.” Winningham also received an Emmy Award for “Amber Waves” and Emmy nominations for Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations “Love is Never Silent” and “The Boys Next Door.” Additionally, she starred in such telefilms and miniseries as “Off the Minnesota Strip,” “Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues,” “Everything that Rises,” “Eye on the Sparrow” and “The Thornbirds.”
Winningham made her series debut on David E. Kelley’s drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire,” and has since played recurring roles on shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “24.” She received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performance in Showtime’s “Maldonado Miracle” and starred in “The Magic of Ordinary Days” for the Hallmark Channel.
For her performance in the feature film Georgia, Winningham garnered Academy Award and SAG Award nominations and won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other feature credits include Brothers, Swing Vote, Wyatt Earp, St. Elmo’s Fire, Turner and Hooch, Made in Heaven, One Trick Pony, The War, Miracle Mile and Shy People.
Winningham’s stage work has included the Atlantic Theater Co. musical “10 Million Miles,” for which she received a Drama Desk nomination and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as the recent Off Broadway hit “After the Revolution.” Other stage credits include “The Glass Menagerie,” “Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical” and the West Coast premiere of “Sideman.”
An accomplished singer-songwriter, Winningham performs nationally and has released several CDs.
MICHAEL LERNER (The Baron) is best known for his memorable supporting turns in such films as Barton Fink (for which he received an Oscar nomination) Eight Men Out and Elf. He’s been seen on the small screen in episodes of hit series including “The Good Wife,” “Entourage” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Entourage.” Most recently, Lerner guest starred on “Suburgatory” and played Wesley Mouch in the feature Atlas Shrugged: Part I.
Lerner graduated from Brooklyn College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He began his acting career in the late 1960s at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. At the age of 24, Lerner gave a bravura performance as Hieronymous the Miser in a KPFA radio production of Michel de Ghelderode’s burlesque play “Red Magic.”
Lerner appeared as Pierre Salinger, press secretary to John F. Kennedy, in the classic teleplay “The Missiles of October.” His early guest appearances on television include “The Brady Bunch,” “The Odd Couple” and “M*A*S*H.”
The actor made his film debut in the Donald Sutherland picture Alex in Wonderland. He then went on to appear in supporting roles in various Hollywood movies such as Robert Redford’s The Candidate, Charles Bronson’s St. Ives and Jack Nicholson’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. Lerner co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy Harlem Nights. For his role as film producer Jack Lipnick in the Coen brothers’ Barton Fink, Lerner received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
On stage, Lerner appeared in the West End production of “Up for Grabs” with Madonna. He also appeared on Radio Four in David Quantick’s series, “One.”
ROBERT EMMS (Charles Renbock) was recently seen in Roland Emmerich’s feature Anonymous. After seeing Emms’ performance in the West End production of “War Horse,” Steven Spielberg offered the actor the role of David Lyon in his feature-film adaptation.
Emms trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He won the Evening News Best Newcomer Award for his first professional role, in “The Glee Club.” In 2009, Emms co-starred in Series 3 of Jimmy McGovern’s multi-award-winning drama “The Street.”
SEAN BEAN (The King) has made a name for himself both on British television and in American films. He was recently seen starring in the highly successful HBO series “Game of Thrones” as well as the features Black Death and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Bean has just completed filming Cleanskin. Bean will reprise his role as Christopher Da Silva in the upcoming Silent Hill film sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. He was also cast in the forthcoming ABC drama “Missing.”
It was Bean’s supporting role as Boromir in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring that turned him into a widely recognized figure. Since then, he has starred in the acclaimed Red Riding trilogy, Silent Hill, Flightplan and National Treasure. Other film credits include GoldenEye, Ronin, Equilibrium, Don’t Say a Word, Essex Boys, Troy, The Island, North Country and The Hitcher.
Bean discovered his love of acting at Rotterham College of Arts and Technology, where he performed in “Cabaret” and “The Owl and the Pussycat.” He later enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Bean made his professional stage debut as Tybalt in a production of “Romeo and Juliet” at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.
Following his British television debut in “Winter Flight,” Bean spent a season on stage with the Young Writers Festival. He then joined the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, where he acted in repertory, playing Romeo to Niamh Cusack’s Juliet.
Bean made his feature debut in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. He reunited with the director on War Requiem but his first notable film role came in Stormy Monday, directed by Mike Figgis. Next, Bean shone as Oscar nominee Richard Harris’ repressed son in Jim Sheridan’s The Field.
The actor’s British television credits include “Lady Chatterley,” “Lorna Doone,” “Clarissa,” “Extremely Dangerous” and “Bravo Two Zero.”
JORDAN PRENTICE (Napoleon) turned in a memorable supporting performance opposite Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the comedic thriller In Bruges. A very versatile actor, Prentice has played every kind of character from a clueless small town sheriff tracking down Jason Mewes in telefilm “Silent but Deadly” to a surprisingly capable street person opposite Christopher Walken in The Power of Few.
Born in London, Ontario, in 1973, the Canadian actor moved to Toronto more than a decade ago. In between guest-starring roles on a variety of TV shows, Prentice has played a disgruntled roadie in The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, a hot-headed fraternity leader and quarterback in two American Pie spinoffs and a security guard and medieval enthusiast in Allen Moyle’s Weirdsville.
MARK POVINELLI (Half-Pint) has, over a 17-year acting career, appeared in more than 40 films and television shows, 25 theater productions and dozens of national commercials. Through this impressive body of work, he has proven capable of spanning the entire range of mediums, styles and genres. He is currently a series regular on NBC’s newest comedy, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” starring Chelsea Handler.
Povinelli was most recently seen starring opposite Robert Pattinson and Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz in Water For Elephants, playing the iconic role of Kinko. Other film credits include Epic Movie, Polar Express, Van Helsing and Beer For My Horses. Television appearances include “Modern Family,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Cold Case,” “‘Til Death,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Charmed,” “Frasier,” “Dharma & Greg” and “The Parkers.”
For the past five years, Povinelli has been touring the world as Torvald Helmer in the OBIE award-winning production of Mabou Mines’ “A Doll’s House,” an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic. Other theater credits include the lead role of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in the premiere of “Belle Epoque” at Lincoln Center. Povinelli has also worked regionally at the Shakespeare Theater, Children’s Theater Company, Radio City Music Hall, Oklahoma Lyric Theater, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum and UCLA Live.
When Povinelli is not working, he dedicates his time to Little People of America, an organization that promotes awareness, advocacy and medical assistance for individuals with forms of dwarfism.
Povinelli resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
JOE GNOFFO (Grub) has appeared on stage playing the role of Krogstad in “A Doll’s House.” He was cast by Adam Sandler in the comedy The Benchwarmers and on the small screen, Gnoffo guest-starred during the seventh season of “Desperate Housewives.”
Gnoffo’s loves are acting and music. He is the drummer in a professional rock band called Post Trauma. Gnoffo’s father Vincent, mother Patricia and siblings Vincent and Gina are the greatest and hardest working people that he knows, and the reason for any success Gnoffo has enjoyed.
DANNY WOODBURN (Grimm) is a versatile performer equally comfortable working on stage, in film, television or the comedy club circuit. Most notably, Woodburn is known for playing Mickey Abbott, Kramer’s volatile but lovable friend on the comedy classic “Seinfeld.” A fixture of American television, he is a veteran of more than 120 television series with regular and recurring roles on “Tracy Takes On…,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Becker,” “Charmed,” “Baywatch,” “Conan,” “Special Unit 2” and “Passions.”
Guest appearances include “Party Down,” “Monk,” “Bones,” “Men in Trees,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “One Tree Hill,” “8 Simple Rules,” “Hope and Faith,” “The New Adventures of Lois and Clark” and “Veronica’s Closet.” Recently, Woodburn completed his 20th film, Bad Ass, with Danny Trejo.
Woodburn is thankful for the opportunities he’s had to speak on disability issues and raise awareness of the continued derogatory and dehumanizing treatment of little people in society and the media. He pursues this mission as a comedian on the club circuit, interview subject (“CBS Sunday Morning,” MSNBC, A&E’s “Biography,” “Access Hollywood”) and orator at awareness events. He has devoted his time and energy to fundraisers such as the Inclusion Network of Cincinnati, California RespectAbility Coalition and the Disability Rights Legal Center.
While serving on the Screen Actors Guild Performers with Disabilities committee, Woodburn helped negotiate to better terms for disabled actors in the most recent contract talks. In 2009, he received Congressional recognition through the DRLC Dream Award. In 2010, he received the Screen Actors Guild Harold Russell Award and in 2001 he received Temple University’s “Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.” A longtime supporter of Little People’s Research Fund, he forever thanks the late Dr. Steven Kopits for the surgical expertise and research that has allowed Woodburn to pursue his dream.
Woodburn has two very big brothers and his mom handles all his press in his hometown.
SEBASTIAN SARACENO (Wolf) is best known for multiple appearances on the hit shows “Pit Boss” and “Last Comic Standing” as well as the feature-film Bedtime Stories, with Adam Sandler. His commercial appearances include spots for Verizon Wireless, Del Taco and Dr. Pepper.
Saraceno is of Sicilian decent and proud to be a second-generation Italian American. He grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and moved down to Clearwater, Florida, to pursue his acting career. He began by doing live performances with various radio stations around Florida including WXTB 98 Rock, WTKS Real Radio 104.1 and WSUN 97X. He gained stage experience with Tampa Bay’s Salerno Theatre company, where he starred in such Broadway classics as “Damn Yankees,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Jekyll and Hyde.” From there, Saraceno went on to star in productions such as “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and “Barney and Friends.”
Saraceno’s interests outside acting include history, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, biking and fishing. He hopes to one day pursue his dream of flying, a dream he has had on many nights.
MARTIN KLEBBA (Butcher) has reprised his role as Jack Sparrow’s pirate crewman Marty in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. On television, Klebba is perhaps best known for his role as Randall Winston in multiple episodes of “Scrubs.” Recent film projects include the films Feast 2 and 3 and All’s Faire in Love, with Bloodshot and Apollo Thorne forthcoming.
Klebba has compiled numerous credits in feature films and television as both actor and stunt player. His motion picture credits as an actor include Men in Black II, Cradle 2 the Grave, Death to Smoochy and Corky Romano. He was a stunt man in the films Epic Movie, Evan Almighty, Planet of the Apes, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, Van Helsing, Yours, Mine and Ours, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 and Zombieland.
On the small screen, Klebba was recently seen on NBC’s “The Cape” and DisneyXD’s “Pair of Kings.” Other credits include telefilms “Snow White” and “The Santa Trap” as well as the series “Little People, Big World,” “Mad TV,” “Drake and Josh,” “ER,” “Charmed,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Just Shoot Me!” Klebba starred in the title role as tough detective Hank Dingo in Comedy Central’s “Knee High P.I.” He’s also a frequent guest on Howard Stern’s hugely popular satellite radio program.
Klebba also holds the title of “The Fastest Little Person in the World” and competes against other little people from around the world. He is a member of the L.A. Breakers, the three-time world games Gold medalists.
Klebba recently founded a charity called CoDA (Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy) with his friend Matt Roloff, raising money to facilitate the adoption of dwarf children.
Klebba is a native of Troy, Michigan. His favorite roles of all are being a father to his son Alec and a husband to his new wife, Michelle.
RONALD LEE CLARK (Chuckles) has been seen on television in the hit series “Pit Boss,” “Weeds” and “90210” as well as the features Hercules Saves Christmas and Epic Movie.
Clark grew up in Choctaw, Oklahoma. He managed his high school baseball team and in his junior year became the team mascot. After high school, Clark was a cheerleader at Trinity Valley Community College and won a national championship with the squad.
Once he moved to Los Angeles, Clark began performing with Shortywood Productions. He is currently a booking agent with the company.
Clark is involved in pit bull rescue and attends dog rescue and awareness events. He also trains dogs in preparation for adoption. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and working out.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
TARSEM SINGH (Director) is known for his attention to detail, stunning art direction and highly developed visual storytelling abilities. He is one of the most highly acclaimed and sought-after directors within the worldwide advertising community. Singh’s epic action film Immortals, starring Mickey Rourke, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Stephen Dorff, grossed more than $215 million worldwide.
Singh was educated at a Himalayan boarding school in Shimla, India. He came to the United States when he was 24 years old and graduated from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design.
The director’s major breakthrough was in REM’s music video “Losing My Religion,” which won a Grammy Award® and eight MTV awards including Best Music Video. Over the years, Singh has garnered numerous other awards including two Press Grand Prix awards in Cannes as well as D&AD, DGA and BAFTA Britannia awards.
Singh’s first feature film was The Cell, a beautiful, shocking and hallucinatory psychological thriller that starred Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. In his second feature film, The Fall, Singh expanded his directorial role into that of producer and co-writer. Part heroic journey, part pure celebration of storytelling, The Fall shot in exotic locations spanning 25 countries and was hailed as one of the most original releases of 2006.
Currently, Singh splits his time between Los Angeles and London.
MARC KLEIN (Screenplay) made his first impression on audiences worldwide with the acclaimed Miramax release Serendipity. Directed by Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance), the film stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in an enchanting tale of a long-distance love that stands the test of time and happenstance. Serendipity garnered positive notices for Klein’s richly drawn romantic characterizations and a narrative economy which branded the film’s time-lapsing effect.
Klein also adapted Peter Mayle’s revered novel, A Good Year, for Fox 2000 and director Ridley Scott, which tells the story of an Englishman (played by Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe) who inherits a vineyard in Provence, only to arrive at his property to find an American woman (Abbie Cornish) who claims the land is hers.
Klein made his directorial debut with Suburban Girl (aka The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing), which he also adapted for the screen. Melissa Banks’ international bestseller is the endearing tale of a Manhattan book editor (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who changes her take on the game of romance after she lures the attention of an influential older man (Alec Baldwin).
Klein is currently writing an original romantic comedy, Unreasonable Doubt, for Universal Studios and director Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure). He is also rewriting his original screenplay TMI, which he sold to Universal with co-writer Kirsten Smith.
Klein resides in Los Angeles.
JASON KELLER (Screenwriter) is an up-and-comer whose feature work has attracted Hollywood’s most desired talent and established him as a go-to screenwriter of muscular, character-driven projects. His first produced feature was Marc Forster’s emotional action-thriller Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen). The film tells the true story of a former drug-dealing gang member who single-handedly rescued hundreds of destitute children conscripted by warlords in Sudan’s vicious civil war.
Keller’s next project is a page-one rewrite for Summit Entertainment, the action-filled The Tomb. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone will star for Danish director Mikael Håfström (1408), with Mark Canton and Robbie Brenner producing.
Keller’s screen adaptation of the A.J. Baime book Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, tentatively titled Go Like Hell, is in development at Fox for director Michael Mann. The story focuses on the exciting rivalry Ford instigated with Ferrari in 1966 to establish itself as the dominant player on the international race circuit.
Keller recently completed his adaptation of Justin Cronin’s epic 2009 novel The Passage for Fox. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) has been developing the project and chose Keller as his collaborator. The Passage is the first installment of Cronin’s planned trilogy set in the future, after a government experiment to lengthen human lifespans ends up turning people into vampires.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Keller was attending Ball State University when a professor recommended him for a yearlong theater and film studies program at Regents College in London. There, he wrote and directed his own plays. In 1998, he received a New Harmony Writing Fellowship for his play “Paris Moon.”
After the program, Keller dropped out of college and moved to L.A. to pursue a writing career. To pay rent on his austere Koreatown apartment and buy gas for his 12-year old beater of a car, he signed on for any production job he could find. While working as grip, gaffer, assistant and countless other jobs, Keller continued to teach himself the craft of screenwriting. He partnered with a friend to co-write a spec script that somehow found its way to Mel Gibson, without representation involved. After the writers completed an unpaid rewrite to address his notes, Gibson bought the script.
Keller got an agent and his first solo spec, Sugar’s Sweet Science of Bruising, sparked a bidding war between some of Hollywood’s top talent. In the end, it sold to New Line for $1.4 million. While the project was never made, it marked the end of Keller’s hand-to mouth existence.
Today, Keller lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.
MELISA WALLACK (Screen Story) was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Screenwriters to Watch” in 2005. Since then, she has written both features and television. Currently, she is writing Emily the Strange for Universal with Chloe Grace Moretz attached to star. She is also co-producing Dallas Buyers Club, which she co-wrote with Craig Borten. The film is scheduled to shoot this spring with Mathew McConaughey attached to star and Jean-Mark Vallee directing.
Wallack lives with her husband, producer Bernie Goldmann, and their three children.
BERNIE GOLDMANN (Producer) has been responsible for more than $2 billion at the box office, working in the film industry as both an executive and producer. As an executive at both Disney and Village Roadshow Pictures, Goldmann oversaw a string of hits such as Training Day, Ocean’s Eleven, Three Kings, The Matrix, Space Cowboys, Practical Magic, Analyze This, Miss Congeniality, Deep Blue Sea and Cats and Dogs.
Goldmann produced 300, Zack Snyder’s ferocious retelling of the ancient battle of Thermopylae and based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel. Embraced by audiences and critics worldwide, the film broke box-office records. Among his many other producing credits are Land of the Dead and Looney Tunes Back in Action.
Goldmann is currently in pre-production on the much-anticipated sequel 300: Battle of Artemesia.