THANDIE NEWTON (Rosemary) is a BAFTA Award winner who is not only one of the world’s great beauties, but an actress of uncommon talent and range. Newton’s big break came when she received rave reviews for her astonishingly original and bold performance as the title character in Jonathan Demme’s Beloved, an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel that co-starred Oprah Winfrey. She was recently seen in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.” She stars opposite Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Janet Jackson and Kimberly Elise. The film was released in
November of this year.
Newton was also recently seen in Roland Emmerich’s 2012, starring opposite John Cusack, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Peet and Danny Glover. The film grossed more than $750 million worldwide.
Newton was praised for her work in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture of 2006, Crash, the story of a multiracial group of characters whose lives interconnect following a car accident in Los Angeles. For her performance, Newton won the BAFTA for Outstanding Supporting Actress and shared in a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble.
Newton also starred in RocknRolla, written and directed by Guy Ritchie, opposite Gerard Butler and Tom Wilkinson, and Oliver Stone’s W., playing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opposite Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks and Ellen Burstyn.
Other film credits include David Schwimmer’s comedy Run, Fatboy, Run, opposite Hank Azaria and Simon Pegg; Gabriele Puccino’s critically acclaimed box-office hit The Pursuit of Happyness, opposite Will Smith; Jonathan Demme’s contemporary romantic thriller The Truth About Charlie, inspired by Stanley Donen’s 1963 film Charade; and the John Woo-helmed action hit Mission: Impossible 2.
JOHN LEGUIZAMO (Paul) is a multi-faceted performer and Emmy Award winner who has established a career that defies categorization. Powered by his boundless energy and creativity, his work in film, theater, television and literature covers a variety of genres and continually threatens to create a few of its own.
Last year, Leguizamo reprised his voice-over role as Sid in Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Leguizamo has consistently added depth and character to the Ice Age franchise and worked with voice talents such as Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah.
In the live action world, Leguizamo recently starred in Nothing Like the Holidays, opposite Debra Messing and Alfred Molina. The film is a heartwarming family dramedy about three siblings who return to their parents’ home in Chicago’s Humboldt Park for the holiday season. Leguizamo also starred in the indie Where God Left His Shoes, playing a struggling boxer desperate to find a home for his family during the holidays.
Leguizamo’s other recent film credits include Love in the Time of Cholera, opposite Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt; The Happening, opposite Mark Wahlberg; Righteous Kill, opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino; The Babysitters, opposite Cynthia Nixon; and The Take, opposite Rosie Perez.
Raised in New York City, Leguizamo studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Wynn Handman at New York University. Over the years, Leguizamo has lent his talents to a slew of major motion pictures including Gamer, Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, The Groomsmen, Lies & Alibis, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueno, Spin, Moulin Rouge,
Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Dr. Doolittle, Carlito’s Way and Casualties of War.
For his performance as a sensitive drag queen in To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Leguizamo garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also won the ALMA Award for Best Lead Actor in Nothing Like the Holidays. Leguizamo previously received ALMA Award nominations for his roles in Moulin Rouge (Best Supporting Actor) and King of the Jungle (Best Lead Actor). He was also the recipient of the 2002 ALMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
On the small screen, Leguizamo starred on Spike TV’s limited series “The Kill Point” as the leader of a gang of bank robbers who had recently returned from serving in Iraq. The ever-versatile Leguizamo appeared as a guest star in 12 episodes of NBC’s cornerstone drama “ER” during the 2005-2006 season and in 2006 did a guest-star arc on “My Name is Earl.” Leguizamo was seen on Broadway in a revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo,” starring alongside Haley Joel Osment and Cedric the Entertainer. In 1991, he created an Off Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his one-man show “Mambo Mouth.” The play’s HBO special led to his first television comedy special, Comedy Central’s “The Talent Pool,” for which he received a CableACE Award.
Leguizamo’s second one-man show, “Spic-O-Rama,” had an extended sold-out run in Chicago at the Goodman and Briar Street theaters before opening in New York. The play received numerous accolades including the Dramatists’ Guild Hull-Warriner Award for Best American Play and the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement Award
for Best Broadway Performance. “Spic-O-Rama” also aired on HBO, receiving four CableACE Awards.
“Freak,” Leguizamo’s third one-man show, ended a successful run on Broadway in 1998. Along with Tony Award® nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, the play netted Leguizamo Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. A special presentation of “Freak,” directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO and earned Leguizamo an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
In 2001, Leguizamo returned to Broadway with “Sexaholix...a Love Story.” Leguizamo was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the show received a Tony nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance.
To add to his list of attributes, Leguizamo is also an accomplished author. Harper Collins published his autobiography, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends, in October 2006.
Leguizamo currently resides in New York with his wife and two children.
JACOB LATIMORE (James) is proving at just 13-and-a-half years old that he will succeed at whatever he sets his mind to. The singer, actor and natural-born performer grew up around music, as his father and uncles comprised the inspirational quartet The Latimore Brothers.
By 2005, at nine years old, Latimore had made up his mind to pursue a career in music. With the support of his parents, he teamed up with local Milwaukee producers to record his first song, “Best Friend.” Several local radio stations caught wind of the song and his career really took flight when Radio Disney picked up the song. Latimore was then featured on the station’s “Incubator” program, which profiles promising young artists around the country, and booked shows with other Radio Disney favorites such as B5. He booked his first-ever national television performance on the “Maury Povich Show” when producers watched videos on his MySpace page. Latimore continued to make noise as his new single, “Superstar,” produced by the Corna Boys (Omarion, Marques Houston) and Rico Love (Beyoncé, Ciara, Pleasure P, Mario) charted on the Billboard R&B and hip hop sales charts with little to no promotion.
After being courted by numerous record label executives, Latimore signed with Jive Records in March 2010. His natural talent as an actor gives Latimore another mountain to climb. After being discovered by talent agent Joy Pervis (Dakota Fanning, Lucas Till) in 2008, he booked several commercials, voice-overs and small roles on series such as “One Tree Hill.”
Latimore is attached to star in an upcoming feature film about the beloved Brazilian soccer star Pele.
TAYLOR GROOTHUIS (Briana) was destined for stardom at the ripe old age of three. Starring as the “junior partner” with her mom in a singing show, Groothuis was quickly discovered by a talent recruiter in Detroit. From there, the doors flew open and she was cast in five movies from July to November in 2009.
This budding actress stars in Dallas Jenkins’ What If, starring Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, John Ratzenberger and Debby Ryan; Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner; Highland Park, starring Danny Glover and Billy Burke; and A Year in Mooring, starring Josh Lucas and James Cromwell.
In addition to her busy film career, Groothuis was recently a guest star on the CBS show “Medium” and a featured model for the prestigious Japanese children’s apparel line Familiar.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
BRAD ANDERSON (Director) was honored by Variety in ’97 as one of the “Ten Leading New Independent Directors to Watch,” thanks to his first film, The Darien Gap, which screened in competition at the ’96 Sundance Film Festival.
In 1998 Next Stop Wonderland, featuring Hope Davis and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, was picked up at Sundance by Miramax. It won the Grand Prix and Audience awards at the Deauville Film Festival, as well as the Excellence in Filmmaking Award by the National Board of Review.
In 2001 he had the unusual experience of having two of his films simultaneously hit theaters, both to overwhelming critical praise: the romantic comedy Happy Accidents (IFC Films), which stars Marisa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio; and the psychological thriller Session 9 (USA Films), which stars David Caruso, Josh Lucas and
In 2005 The Machinist (Paramount), starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh, premiered at Sundance and Berlin. It won the 2006 Silver Melies as part of the European Fantastic Film Festival. His Hitchcockian thriller Transsiberian, which he co-wrote, premiered in 2008 at Sundance. It was shot in Lithuania, Spain and China and stars Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer and Ben Kingsley.
Projects in development include: a Brazilian musical called Non Stop to Brazil; an adaptation with Scott Kosar of JG Ballard's novel Concrete Island; and an adaptation of the historical novel The Mapmaker's Wife.
His television credits include episodes of: “The Wire,” “The Shield,” “Fringe,” “Treme,” “Rubicon” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
NORTON HERRICK (Producer) is chairman and CEO of The Herrick Company, Inc., one of the nation’s most successful real estate investment firms with income property transactions totaling over $4 billion. Over 45 years in business, the company today is considered a foremost authority on net lease real estate transacting and financing, including the ownership, structuring and financing of sale-leaseback transactions, including the recently announced $190 million Clarian Saxony Medical Center Campus in Fishers, Indiana. The company is also involved in “green” transactions, including energy-producing power plants, which utilize biomass (turkey litter and wood chips) to generate electricity. As a real estate investment firm, The Herrick Company has earned a reputation as one of the fastest builders, acquisition decision-makers and closers in the country.
Mr. Herrick is also chairman and CEO of Herrick Entertainment, LLC, a motion picture and theatrical production and financing company committed to providing audiences with high quality films and Broadway shows. The company's current line-up of entertainment includes the 2009 winner of the Women Film Critics Circle award for best film, My One and Only, a witty, coming-of-age dramatic comedy starring Renee Zellweger and Kevin Bacon. Herrick Entertainment is also involved with several award-winning Broadway shows, including as a producer of “Hair” (Winner 2009 Tony Award—Best Musical Revival), “Exit the King” (Winner 2009 Tony Award—Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play—Geoffrey Rush), “Promises, Promises” (Winner 2010 Tony Award—
Featured Actress in a Musical—Katie Finneran) and as an investor in “West Side Story” (Winner 2009 Tony Award— Best Featured Actress in a Musical—Karen Olivo). Mr. Herrick was also producer of the Las Vegas show, “Hairspray,” performed at the Luxor Hotel in 2006; the theater adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy performed in Toronto and London (2007-2008); and the Broadway revival of “American Buffalo” (2008). Mr. Herrick was also a producer of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5: The Musical” and Eugene O’Neill’s “Desire Under the Elms,” starring Brian Dennehy and Carla Gugino, both performed on Broadway in 2009 and as a producer and financier of “Spiderman Turn Off The Dark: The Musical,” opening November 2010.
Mr. Herrick is a longtime supporter of progressive and humanitarian causes. He has served on the national board of directors for People for the American Way, the advisory board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the advisory committee of the National Multi-Housing Council. Mr. Herrick is also the recipient, along with President
Ronald Reagan and Isaac Stern, of the Jerusalem 3000 Award, presented by Prime Minister Shimon Peres and most recently the recipient of the President’s Medal from the University of Miami presented by its president, Donna Shalala.
CELINE RATTRAY (Producer) is the president of Mandalay Vision, the newly launched independent development, production and financing company. The company is committed to providing a supportive environment for filmmakers dedicated to making self-distinguished independent films that appeal to multiple demographics in the
global marketplace and which stand out through defining the ever-changing landscape of independent cinema. Mandalay Entertainment Group is a strategic investor in Mandalay Vision.
Focusing primarily on innovative storytelling with premier talent, Mandalay Vision’s first release is The Kids Are All Right, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival darling directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, which was purchased by Focus Features following a two-day bidding war that
resulted in the biggest sale of the festival. The film was also recently honored with the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival and is the highest-grossing independent film this year.
Other upcoming releases for Mandalay Vision include The Whistleblower, a drama directed by Larysa Kondracki starring Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave and David Strathairn. The company is currently in postproduction on Soul Surfer, based on the autobiography of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, which stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Anna Sophia Robb. Mandalay Vision recently wrapped production on Salvation Boulevard, a comedic thriller based on the book by acclaimed author Larry Beinhart starring Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei.
Upcoming productions include Here Come the Hellmans, a dysfunctional family comedy directed by Sam Levinson and starring Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Thomas Hayden Church, Ellen Barkin and Ellen Burstyn, as well as the dark comedy Bernie, directed by Richard Linklater and stars Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine.
Prior to joining Mandalay, Rattray was a founding principal in Plum Pictures, which she ran with her partners Galt Niederhoffer and Daniela Taplin. In just six years, the prolific company produced 20 independent films including 10 Sundance Film Festival selections, one Toronto Film Festival selection and one Berlin International Film Festival selection.
Plum’s festival wins include Sundance’s prestigious Audience Award and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Other nods for the company’s films include a Gotham Independent Film Award, two Golden Globe nominations and two Independent Spirit Award nominations. In addition to its impressive slate of independently financed titles, the company also developed multiple projects for major studios including Fox, Paramount, Universal, Sony and New Line.
In 2008, Rattray was selected by Crain’s New York for its prestigious “40 under 40” list, which features an impressive and diverse group of executives who have excelled in their fields. Plum Pictures has been profiled in Forbes, The New York Times and Fast Company, and was included on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Indie Power List.”
While with Plum, Rattray served as executive producer on the 2009 Toronto Film Festival entry New York, I Love You, a compilation of films by a roster of directors including Mira Nair, Josh Marston, the Hughes brothers, Brett Ratner, Yvan Attal and Shekhar Kapur. The cast featured an impressive lineup of notable actors such as Natalie
Portman, Chris Cooper, Robin Wright, Ethan Hawke, Orlando Bloom, Blake Lively, Bradley Cooper, Shia LaBeouf and Rachel Bilson.
Also in 2009, Rattray produced both the Tribeca Film Festival selection Trucker, starring Michelle Monaghan, and After.Life, with Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci and Justin Long. After.Life was the closing night film of the 2009 AFI Film Festival and sold to Overture Films. Additionally, Rattray produced 2009 Sundance entry The Winning Season, which starred Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts. It was one of the biggest sales of the festival, selling to Lionsgate.
With Rattray serving as producer, Plum’s films in 2008 included Sundance entries Diminished Capacity, starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and Virginia Madsen, and Birds of America, starring Matthew Perry, Ben
Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin and Hilary Swank. Diminished Capacity sold to IFC and Paramount and Birds of America sold to First Look.
In 2007, Rattray had three films at Sundance: Grace is Gone, directed by James C. Strouse and starring John Cusack; Dedication, directed by Justin Theroux and starring Billy Crudup and Mandy Moore; and Great World of Sound, directed by Craig Zobel. The Weinstein Company bought Grace is Gone and Dedication following heated bidding wars, and Grace is Gone went on to win the coveted Sundance Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, as well as the International Critics’ Prize at the Deauville Film Festival. It also received two Golden Globe nominations, one for Best Score and another for Best Song (by Clint Eastwood). Great World of Sound, which sold to Magnolia, won a Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Director and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.
Plum’s other credits include The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends (2006) and Lonesome Jim (2005), directed by Steve Buscemi and starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler.
Prior to founding Plum Pictures, Rattray was hired by HBO as director of marketing and business development. During her three years at HBO, her main responsibilities included the development and launch of HBO on Demand, a service that allows consumers to access the best HBO programming at the time of their choice. Rattray also oversaw product development, marketing, operations and programming and also produced a monthly show exclusively for HBO on Demand with the participation of actors from “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “Six Feet Under.” Under Rattray’s supervision, HBO on Demand grew into a major revenue stream for the network and is currently available nationwide.
Rattray graduated with a first-class degree in mathematics and philosophy from Oxford University. She trained as an associate in McKinsey’s Media and Entertainment practice from 1998 to 2000, with clients including the BBC, Channel 4, the British Film Institute and Time Warner.
TOVE CHRISTENSEN (Producer) is president and chief operating officer of Forest Park Pictures, which he owns with his brother, actor Hayden Christensen. As a producer, Christensen shared in an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Picture for the critically acclaimed drama Shattered Glass, which Forest Park Pictures produced with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. He also produced Fred Durst’s The Education of Charlie Banks, starring Jason Ritter and Jesse Eisenberg, and is scheduled to produce Poker Night, starring his brother Hayden.
While under Christensen’s guidance, Forest Park Pictures fulfilled the terms of a first-look deal with New Line Studios and an overall development deal with Bauer Martinez Studios. The company now has a multi-picture deal with Screen Gems.
Christensen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
LAWRENCE MATTIS (Executive Producer) gave up his career as an attorney to become the founder of Circle of Confusion, a New York-based management company representing writers and directors in the film industry.
Despite starting with no clients and no prior experience in the entertainment industry, Mattis discovered that he actually knew a good script when he read one and has been very successful at launching new talent ever since.
Among Circle’s clients are the Wachowski brothers (creators of The Matrix trilogy), Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, X-Men 3), Jaume Collet-Sera (Orphan), Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) and emerging young filmmakers such as J.T. Petty (The Burrowers) and Hue Rhodes (St. John of Las Vegas). The company also represents video-game creators and comic-book authors, most notably the Eisner Award winners Brian Michael Bendis (“Powers”), Ed Brubaker (“Criminal”) and Robert Kirkman (“Walking Dead”).
From its humble beginnings on the East Coast, Circle of Confusion has grown to include a Los Angeles office and a more active production agenda. Circle has set up two dozen feature-film projects at studios, including most recently Fire at Universal with Zac Efron attached to star. In television, Circle has produced several pilots and is producing the new six-episode series “The Walking Dead,” which will premiere on AMC this fall.
Circle also has a strategic partnership with its client Foundation 9, the largest independent video-game developer in the world, to create original IP franchises across multiple media platforms. Mattis received his J.D. from Columbia University. Despite the fact that he has been repeatedly told that the film business is based in Los Angeles, he continues to live and work in New York City.
MICHAEL HERRICK (Executive Producer) is president of The Herrick Company, Inc., an investment company that, through itself and affiliated companies, analyzes investments in numerous industries including real estate, project finance and entertainment. Most recently, the company formed Herrick Entertainment with the goal of financing and producing several feature films over the coming years.
From 1993 to 2002, Herrick served as chief executive officer of MediaBay, Inc., a national NASDAQ-listed company specializing in the marketing and publishing of spoken audio content including audiobooks and classic radio shows. He developed the world’s first audiobook membership club and oversaw the P&L and operations of four subsidiaries. Herrick also established and maintained strategic relationships and marketing agreements with various companies, including Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, Real Networks, Bertelsmann AG, BBC, CBS and NBC.
During his tenure, Herrick was instrumental in the completion of $65 million in acquisitions of spoken audiorelated companies, including The Columbia House Audiobook Club and Bertelsmann’s Audiobooks Direct. He was also a key player in securing more than $55 million in financing from such investors as the Harvard University Endowment Fund and a private fund managed by George Soros, including a $32 million secondary public offering.
Herrick holds an M.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.