KEEP YOUR HEAD/BENAROYA PICTURES
A MICHAEL ALMEREYDA
ETHAN HAWKE ED HARRIS
MILLA JOVOVICH JOHN LEGUIZAMO
PENN BADGLEY DAKOTA JOHNSON
Rene Ridinger Shelby Kimlick Liza Nedelman
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(323) 933-3399 x4271 (323) 933-3399 x4248 (323) 933-3399 x4275
Academy Award® nominees Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Boyhood, 2014) and Ed Harris (Best Actor, Pollock, 2000) lead a powerhouse cast including Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin, with Bill Pullman and Delroy Lindo in a gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. When extortion, betrayal, and fiery passions threaten his criminal empire, a drug kingpin (Harris) is driven to desperate measures in this explosive, modern retelling of Shakespeare’s timeless play.
Adapted from Hannah C. Wojciehowski's Introduction to her forthcoming
Kittredge Shakespeare Edition of Cymbeline (Copyright © 2015),
by permission of Hackett Publishing Company, inc. All rights reserved."
Bad Cops & Biker Gangs: Almereyda’s 2014 Cymbeline
In his recent film adaptation of Cymbeline, director Michael Almereyda offers an action-packed interpretation of Shakespeare’s play set in a decaying backwater town in contemporary America. Cymbeline, played by Ed Harris, is a drug kingpin who rules his biker gang, the Britons, with an iron fist and a large arsenal. He dotes on his kittenish Queen (Milla Jovovich), who encourages him to defy the demand for tribute from corrupt cops—the Romans. Thus a deadly turf war is set into motion.
Dakota Johnson performs the role of Imogen, a sweet and fragile young woman dominated by her father. She has fallen in love with the darkly handsome skateboarder and gang member Posthumus (Penn Badgley), whom the disapproving Cymbeline soon casts out in order to clear the way for the Queen's son-- Anton Yelchin’s jittery, leather-clad Cloten.
Ethan Hawke as Iachimo preys on Posthumus, effortlessly manipulating the younger man into making a rash wager. Following a failed seduction attempt, Iachimo sneaks out of an oversized instrument case delivered to Imogen’s bedroom and takes a selfie next to her sleeping body, also uncovering the “mole cinque-spotted” under her loose-fitting, sleeveless tee. Presenting this damning evidence and Imogen’s bracelet to Posthumus, Iachimo incites his rival to murderous rage. Pisanio, a biker thug with a heart of gold played by John Leguizamo, helps Imogen go underground rather than kill her, as Posthumus has demanded. For his role in her disappearance, Pisanio is caged and tortured by Cymbeline.
A creepy Halloween/Day of the Dead visual motif, introduced in the early scenes of the film, provides a compelling backdrop for the unfolding violence, and helps scaffold the numerous scenes of disguise and misrecognition in Shakespeare’s play. The motif also prepares the audience for the uncanny appearance of the ghost of Sicilius Leonatus, Posthumus’s father (Bill Pullman), towards the end of the film.
A handmade woodblock print created by Posthumus for Imogen after his expulsion from the gang becomes a unifying visual element in Almereyda’s film. This print featuring a woman, a skeleton and a ghost, and bearing the legend “Fear no more” anticipates the play’s famous song in Act 4, Scene 1, together with the virtual death and transformation of Imogen. This printed image reappears multiple times during the action, creating visual and thematic continuity, and re-
enforcing what is perhaps the central message of the film.
Shakespeare’s Cymbeline is remarkably rich, dynamic and alive, crammed with compelling characters and intensely dramatic scenes. I was particularly drawn to if for Shakespeare’s portrayal of imbalanced relationships between men and women – relationships that seem both contemporary and timeless.
Nearly all the men in the story make miserable decisions about the women in their lives, then unravel in fits of insecurity, jealousy and rage. In the center of this misguided male energy is Imogen, King Cymbeline’s virtuous and willful daughter, one of Shakespeare’s most dazzling heroines.
Shakespeare set the action in a jumble of places and time frames, blending pre-Christian Britain and Wales, Ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy. I held onto the primary sense of a primitive, pagan, tribal culture, figuring that a biker gang could serve as a fair approximation of that world. And it felt right to play out the story in a ragged, semi-ruined American city, a place like Scranton, PA, smoldering in the shadow of post-industrial glory. (Shooting in New York, we found locations matching that description, serving up a look of a fatigued empire.)
The adaptation involved a great deal of cutting and whittling. The aim has been to deliver a distilled version of Cymbeline. Orson Welles provided a model, describing his low-budget 1948 MACBETH as “a violently sketched charcoal drawing of a great play.” This adaptation, shot in HD video in 20 days, is more like a loosely brushed watercolor.
It’s remarkable that Cymbeline had never been made into a movie (apart from a tame made-for-television BBC production from 1982, with Helen Mirren, and a 1913 silent version). Ethan Hawke and I considered this exciting, an invitation to start from scratch and introduce the play to a new audience. Ethan was the first actor recruited to join the cast. We’d had some luck with HAMLET (set in corporate Manhattan, released in 2000). As in that collaboration, our aim has been to collide current reality with Shakespeare’s text, to find parallels for Shakespeare’s poetry, to draw connections between a mythic past and the world we’re living in now.
Jan Kott’s 1964 book, Shakespeare Our Contemporary, has been a vital reference, driving home the point that Shakespeare is eternally relevant; the plays are like mirrors reflecting the values and obsessions of every generation that looks into them.
Pasolini also exerted a direct influence. In retelling ancient tales, Pasolini had a knack for mixing classic and modern. I steered cinematographer Tim Orr to take in Pasolini’s head-on, frontal compositions, and I savored how these images reminded me of Rockwell Kent’s stark, iconic illustrations for The Riverside Shakespeare -- an anvil-sized volume that occupied a shelf in the house where I grew up.
Lastly, W.H. Auden’s comments about Cymbeline provided another bracing point of view: “Like a fairy tale story, this is the world as you want it to be, and nothing makes one more inclined to cry.”
CASTING THE FILM
Having portrayed Hamlet, the hero in Shakespeare’s most famous and popular play, Ethan Hawke liked the idea of being the villain in this far less familiar story. Iachimo embodies what a notable critic called “motiveless malignity.” He’s supplied with extremely vivid language, including lines that display considerable self-awareness and self-disgust. I was continually impressed by how Ethan found ways to allow us to see into this character’s black heart. Other actors, new to CYMBELINE, brought a shared sense of discovery.
Ed Harris and I had worked together as advisors for the Sundance Directing Lab in Utah, and he came aboard the project soon after Ethan – a natural choice for the King, though in all the stage productions I’d seen, Cymbeline is typically played as a blustery, ineffectual figure. Ed’s Cymbeline is, by contrast, truly regal, fearsome, and commanding. He’s also brutal and blinkered, misjudging the people closest to him, willfully plowing into one disaster after another. But in Shakespeare’s text, as in Ed’s performance, you see the pathos of a man who can admit his worst mistakes.
Milla Jovovich was also a natural fit for the Queen. The part calls for a conspicuous beauty, but also a woman with a beguiling ability to mask her true feelings, her underlying malice. Milla embraced this conception, working around the character’s obvious villainy. She’s a performer, self-consciously playing a role. She's also a loving mother looking out for her only son. And in her singing of Dylan’s DARK EYES, Milla grants us extra insight into how the Queen feels about her life.
Posthumus and Cloten can be considered psychic twins, as both young men assume a claim on Imogen, whether the claim is tender or toxic. And both men are subject to fits of jealousy that tilt into derangement. They mirror each other physically as well. (Imogen, after all, under dire circumstances, mistakes one for the other.) Given the choice between the two roles, Anton Yelchin chose to play the villain, Cloten, making the most of the character’s wounded narcissism. Penn Badgley brought charm, sensitivity and nobility to Posthumus. And it helped that he travels by skateboard in daily life.
Delroy Lindo brought his stature, gravity and rich, sculptural voice to the banished Belarius, a former warrior living off the grid with the King’s kidnapped sons. Delroy was, perhaps, not the most obvious choice to play a man claiming paternity for two blue-eyed blond boys, but the incongruity felt aligned with the preposterousness of this part of Shakespeare’s tall tale.
I’d made a short film with Vondie Curtis-Hall in 2013, and I’d been bowled over, years earlier, by his work in Baz Luhrmann’s ROMEO + JULIET, in which he played the imperious Captain Prince. It was an easy leap to cast him as Caius Lucius, Cymbeline’s formidable Roman adversary.
I also admired the terrific energy John Leguizamo brought to Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann’s film. John’s a dazzling actor who can do just about anything. Pisanio, the go-between with divided loyalties, is routinely played as a weak, fretful sidekick. I counted on John to give him a sense of strength, cunning and valor.
But Shakespeare brings the full weight of this story crashing down on Imogen. Subjected to terrible treachery, Imogen undergoes the most extreme changes, the most anguished reactions, the wildest emotional reversals. When I first talked to Dakota Johnson, in a meeting set up by her agent, I felt I needed to tell her, politely but bluntly, that I couldn’t cast her in the part; she wasn’t famous enough. After that we relaxed and had an actual conversation. Then I told the producers that Dakota was the actress I’d trust to play Imogen if we didn’t have to worry about box-office ranking. In time, Milla came aboard and Dakota was deemed acceptable. (A week before we commenced shooting, she was cast in FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.)
ETHAN HAWKE - IACHIMO
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," is a phrase a young Ethan Hawke took to heart while filming "Dead Poets Society," the Academy Award winning drama which launched his career. Twenty five years, and several Tony® and Oscar® nominations later, he has emerged a multifaceted artist, challenging himself as a novelist, screenwriter and director, while earning world acclaim for his brave and nuanced roles
Hawke has collaborated with filmmaker Richard Linklater on multiple occasions, including "Fast Food Nation;" "Waking Life;" "The Newton Boys" and "Tape." Their most recent collaboration, "Boyhood," premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was released by IFC on July 11, 2014. Hawke stars alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the critically acclaimed film that was shot intermittently over 12 years chronicling the life of a child from age 6-18. For his performance, Ethan was nominated for the Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, the Film Independent Spirit Award, the Critics’ Choice Film Award, and the Gotham Independent Spirit Award for "Best Supporting Actor."
Marking another one of their celebrated projects, Hawke starred opposite Julie Delpy in the critically acclaimed film "Before Sunrise" and its two sequels "Before Sunset" and "Before Midnight." The trio co-wrote the screenplays for "Before Sunset" and “Before Midnight” and received Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations for both scripts. Hawke, Linklater and Delpy were honored with the Louie Treize Genius Award for achievement in cinematic works for the "Before" films at the BFCA Critics Choice Awards.
Hawke's documentary directorial debut “Seymour: An Introduction” premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and also played at the New York Film Festival. The project follows the life of the legendary pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. IFC will release the film on March 13, 2015.
In addition to CYMBELINE, Hawke will next be seen in Andrew Niccol's "Good Kill" as a drone pilot opposite January Jones, which IFC will release in 2015. Both “Good Kill” and “Cymbeline” premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival. Later this year, Hawke will star in Alejandro Amenábar's “Regression” alongside Emma Watson, which The Weinstein Company will release on August 28, 2015. Hawke will also star in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s “Ten Thousand Saints” which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Hawke recently completed production on Blumhouse and Ti West's "In a Valley of Violence," Noah Buschel's "Phenom" and Robert Budreau's "Born to be Blue," where Hawke plays the legendary jazz trumpeter, Chet Baker. It was recently announced Hawke will star in Rebecca Miller's "Maggie's Plan" alongside Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig and Bill Hader. Production will begin in February 2015. Hawke was most recently seen in "Predestination" for Sony. The film premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival and was released on January 9, 2015.
Hawke recently starred in James DeMonaco's “The Purge” alongside Lena Headley. Made on a budget of only $3 million dollars, “The Purge” became Ethan's largest box office opening weekend ever grossing over $34.5 million dollars.
Tapping into the pop culture zeitgeist with Ben Stiller's 1994 comedy "Reality Bites," Hawke has starred in over forty films, including; "Explorers;" "Dad;" "White Fang;" "Waterland;" "Alive;" "Rich In Love"; "Gattaca;" "Great Expectations;" "Hamlet;" "Assault on Precinct 13;" "Taking Lives;" "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead," "What Doesn't Kill You," "Brooklyn's Finest," "Woman in the Fifth," and "Sinister." In 2002, Hawke received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Supporting Actor nominations for his work in Antoine Fuqua's "Training Day" opposite Denzel Washington.
Behind the lens, in 2001, Hawke made his directorial debut with his drama "Chelsea Walls." The film tells five stories set in a single day at the "Chelsea Hotel" and stars Uma Thurman, Kris Kristofferson, Rosario Dawson, Natasha Richardson, and Steve Zahn. Additionally, he directed Josh Hamilton in the short film "Straight to One," a story of a couple, young and in love, living in the Chelsea Hotel. Hawke also recently directed a documentary about famed piano composer Seymour Bernstein that will be released in 2014.
In 1996, Hawke wrote his first novel, The Hottest State, published by Little Brown and now in its nineteenth printing. In his sophomore directorial endeavor, Hawke adapted for the screen and directed the on-screen version of "The Hottest State" and also directed a music video for the film. In 2002, his second novel, Ash Wednesday, was published by Knopf and was chosen for Bloomsbury's contemporary classics series. In addition to his work as a novelist, Hawke wrote an in-depth and celebrated profile of icon Kris Kristofferson for Rolling Stone in April 2009.
At the age of twenty one, Hawke founded Malaparte Theater Co., which remained open for more than five years giving young artists a home to develop their craft. The next year in 1992, Hawke made his Broadway debut in The Seagull. Additionally, he has appeared in Henry IV alongside Richard Easton; Buried Child (Steppenwolf); Hurlyburly for which he earned a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor and Drama League Award Nomination for Distinguished Performance (The New Group); Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia for which he was honored with a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance (Lincoln Center); the inaugural season of The Bridge Project's double billings of The Cherry Orchard and A Winter's Tale; for which garnered Hawke a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Old Vic); and Scott Elliott's Blood From A Stone (The New Group) which garnered him a 2011 Obie Award. Also for theatre, in 2007, Hawke made his Off-Broadway directing debut with the world premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman's dark comedy, Things We Want. In 2010, Hawke directed Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play; as well as recognition in the New York Times and The New Yorker top ten lists of the leading theatre productions in 2010. In 2012, he starred in Chekov's Ivanov for the Classic Stage Company. In 2013, he directed and starred in Clive, the stage adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Baal, by Marc Sherman for The New Group. Hawke completed a successful run in the Lincoln Center Theatre's production of “Macbeth” in the title role in late 2013.
For television, Hawke most recently appeared in the television adaption of "Moby Dick" that aired on Encore. He starred alongside William Hurt as the stalwart and experienced first officer Starbuck, the only member of the crew who dares to oppose Captain Ahab (William Hurt).
Hawke resides in New York and is married with four children.
ED HARRIS - CYMBELINE
Ed Harris stars opposite Liam Neeson this spring in Run All Night for director Jaume Collet and Warner Bros., and in Michael Almereyda’s modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, with Ethan Hawke and Milla Jovovich. He recently completed filming on Dean Devlin’s Geostorm.
Harris made his feature film directing debut on Pollock, receiving an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his performance in the title role. His co-star, Marcia Gay Harden, won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar under his direction. Harris’ film credits include Appaloosa (director, co-screenwriter and star), A History of Violence (Natl. Society of Film Critics Award), The Hours (Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations), last year’s Frontera with Michael Pena and The Face of Love with Annette Bening, Pain and Gain, Gone Baby Gone, The Truman Show (Oscar nomination, Golden Globe Award), Apollo 13 (Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award), The Way Back, Copying Beethoven, The Right Stuff, The Abyss, The Rock, The Human Stain, A Beautiful Mind, Stepmom, The Firm, A Flash of Green, Places in the Heart, Alamo Bay, Sweet Dreams, Jacknife, State of Grace, The Third Miracle and Touching Home.
On television, Harris will star in JJ. Abrams’ and Jonathan Nolan’s Westworld for HBO. When last on HBO, Harris won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, along with Emmy and SAG nominations, for his portrayal of John McCain in the Jay Roach-directed Game Change. He starred with Paul Newman in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls, for which performance he received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Best Actor nominations. His other television credits include The Last Innocent Man, Running Mates, Paris Trout and Riders of the Purple Sage, for which he and his wife Amy Madigan, as co-producers and co-stars, were presented with the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for “Outstanding Television Feature Film.”
In 2012, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, Harris starred with Amy Madigan, Bill Pullman and Glenne Headley in the world premiere of playwright Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian, directed by Robert Falls. He reprised that role this past fall to critical acclaim in the play’s New York Premiere at Off-Broadway’s Acorn Theater. Harris received both an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination (“Outstanding Solo Performance”) and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination (“Outstanding Solo Show”) for the Off-Broadway production of Wrecks at New York City’s Public Theatre. He originated the role, with writer/director Neil LaBute, for the play’s world premiere at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork, Ireland and won the 2010 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for “Best Solo Performance” for the production of Wrecks at the Geffen Playhouse. His theatre credits include: Ronald Harwood’s Taking Sides, Sam Shephard’s plays Fool for Love (Obie), and Simpatico (Lucille Lortel Award for “Best Actor”), George Furth’s Precious Sons (Drama Desk Award), Prairie Avenue, Scar, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath, and Sweet Bird of Youth.
MILLA JOVOVICH - THE QUEEN
Milla Jovovich has successfully established herself as a highly regarded, international actress, model and spokesperson. Jovovich, (pronounced “mee-luh” “yo-vo-vitch”) has starred in over two dozen films.
Star of the Resident Evil franchise, Jovovich has reprised her role as Alice in the fifth installment of the film for Sony Screen Gems. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Resident Evil: Retribution was released in September 2012. Female action stars are rare, but with the release of Resident Evil: Retribution, Milla became the only woman ever to have starred in a five movie franchise. The franchise has grossed over $915 million at box office to date.
Milla recently wrapped production on Survivor, directed by James McTeigue. Jovovich stars alongside Pierce Brosnan and Dylan McDermott as a State Department officer on the run after she is framed for crimes she didn’t commit.
Milla will next be seen in Cymbeline, directed by Michael Almereyda, a modern take on William Shakespeare’s classic play. Jovovich stars alongside Ethan Hawke, Anton Yelchin, Ed Harris and Dakota Johnson.
In October 2010, Jovovich starred alongside Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro and Academy Award nominee Edward Norton in the psychological thriller Stone. The Overture film was directed by John Curran and Jovovich's performance in particular was heralded as a "stand out" in the film and was rewarded with A Hollywood Film Festival’s Spotlight Award as a result.
In February 2011, Jovovich starred in the Russian-language romantic comedy Vykrutasy, which opened in Russia at Number 1. The film was directed by Levan Gabriadze, produced by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov and also starred Russian superstars Konstantin Khabensky and Ivan Urgant.
That same year, Jovovich filmed Dirty Girl, where she again won rave reviews for her comedic performance alongside William H. Macy, Juno Temple and Mary Steenburgen. The film was written and directed by Abe Sylvia and was released in August, 2011 by the Weinstein Company.
She then went on to film the fantastical, action packed adaptation of The Three Musketeers where she played writer Alexandre Dumas' classic role of the deviant double agent, Milady D'Winter, alongside Christophe Waltz and Orlando Bloom. The Paul W.S. Anderson helmed movie went on to gross over $150M worldwide.
Milla's 2012 began with hosting duties at the Academy Scientific And Technical Awards and presenting at the Academy Awards.
It was Milla’s early focus on acting that led her to be scouted as a model at the tender age of eleven and that opportunity shot her into the public eye almost immediately. It was iconic photographers Herb Ritts and Richard Avedon who recognized young Milla's "star quality" and launched her career by shooting her for multiple magazine covers and high end fashion campaigns. Milla went on to be a muse for internationally acclaimed photographers like Peter Lindberg -who published their 20 year collaborative work together as the focus in many of his books- and Mario Sorrenti, who most recently shot her for the exclusive Pirelli Calendar.
Since her career began, Milla has appeared in hundreds of magazines and on dozens of covers. She has been featured in ad campaigns for countless brands, including L’Oreal, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Versace, Armani, Tiffany, Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, and most recently for Italian label "Marella", shot by fashion luminaries Inez and Vinoodh.
In 1988 she appeared in her first film role directed by Zalman King, in his thriller Two Moon Junction. Her first leading role was in Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1991, for which she was nominated for the “Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture” in the 1991 Young Artist Awards. She then wowed audiences at 13 years old as the feisty French exchange student on the hit show "Married with Children". She also starred in the films Kuffs starring Christian Slater (1992), Sir Richard Attenborough's Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr. (1992) and Richard Linklater’s cult classic Dazed and Confused (1993).
Milla’s breakout role was as Leeloo, the perfect being in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997). Her work is versatile, including coveted roles in Spike Lee's He Got Game (1998), Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim (2000), Wim Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotel (2000), Ben Stiller's Zoolander (2001) and an indie comedy with Adrien Brody, Illiana Douglas and Vera Farmiga called Dummy (2003). She later starred in several other action movies besides the Resident Evil franchise such as Ultraviolet (2006), A Perfect Getaway (2009), and The Fourth Kind (2009).
In 1994, Milla released her critically acclaimed folk album, The Divine Comedy. Inspired by a love of “Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins,” Milla wrote the lyrics at 15 and recorded the album when she was just 16. Acoustic, folky, and hard to categorize at the time, the eleven songs on The Divine Comedy are laced with Slavic sadness and existential self-doubt. “In a Glade” is a beautiful traditional Ukrainian folk song that Milla sings in her native tongue.
Milla performed one of her own compositions -“Left and Right”- for "The Prince Albert Trust" Fashion Rocks in London, England at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2003 (MP3). She has had songs on several soundtrack albums including a version of Lou Reed's “Satellite of Love” on The Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack (2000), lending her vocal talents on the tracks “Rocket Collecting” and “Rev 22:20” for the Underworld soundtrack (2003), and again on the Renholder remix of The Cure's “Underneath The Stars” for the Underworld: Rise of the Lycans soundtrack (2009) where Milla was honored to sing with the band's writer and lead singer Robert Smith.
Milla has also collaborated with Maynard James Keenan (of Tool and A Perfect Circle) several times and most recently they wrote a song called "The Mission" for his new "Puscifer" EP. She performed live with Puscifer at The Pearl in Las Vegas on February 13, 2009 and again at The Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on April 5th 2009. Milla sang on “We Are Family” (2001) (American Red Cross benefit CD), “Former Lover” from Deepak Chopra's album, A Gift of Love II: Oceans of Ecstasy (2002), and “I Know It's You” by The Crystal Method (2004). Milla continues to write songs. These demos are available to her fans on her MillaJ.com website where they are encouraged to enjoy them and remix them, but may not sell them.
Jovovich-Hawk was a fashion line founded by Milla and Carmen Hawk in 2003. The success of the line earned Jovovich-Hawk a finalist position in the "Best New Designer" category for the 2006 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative. The Jovovich-Hawk brand could be purchased in over 150 boutiques worldwide, which led to them being approached to design a collection for "Target's Go International" project. The collection sold out in 48 hours. Jovovich-Hawk also designed capsule collections two seasons in a row for the popular fashion chain "Mango"; released as "Jovovich-Hawk for MNG" in 2007 and 2008. Milla and Carmen still collaborate, designing the costumes for Milla's character "Alice" in three Resident Evil films: Extinction (2008), Afterlife (2010) and Retribution(2012).
Milla is an ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and also supports several other charities, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Models Alliance and AWF.
When Milla is not in production, she resides in Los Angeles with her husband Paul W.S. Anderson and their daughter, Ever.
JOHN LEGUIZAMO - PISANIO
A multi-faceted performer and Emmy Award winner, John Leguizamo has established a career that defies categorization. With boundless and visceral creativity, his work in film, theatre, television and literature covers a variety of genres, continually threatening to create a few of its own.
In 2014, Leguizamo completed production on Universal Pictures’ Sisters, opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the Lionsgate action comedy, American Ultra, with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, Atlas Independent’s The Man on Carrion Road, opposite Patrick Wilson and Jim Belushi, and in Meadowland alongside Olivia Wilde.
Leguizamo most recently starred in Fugly, opposite Rosie Perez and Rhada Mitchell, which he also wrote and produced. The film follows Leguizamo’s character, a New York comedian, whose near death experience forces him to make difficult life choices. This year, Leguizamo also appeared alongside writer/director Jon Favreau in the Open Road feature, Chef, in Universal Pictures’ breakout comedy hit Ride Along, opposite Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, and in the Lionsgate feature, John Wick, with Keanu Reeves.
In March, Leguizamo debuted his 5th HBO solo special, Ghetto Klown, an adaptation of his Drama Desk Award-winning one-man stage show of the same name. Leguizamo performed Ghetto Klown for New York’s Central Park’s Summerstage 2014 in July. Tales from a Ghetto Klown, which featured a behind-the-scenes look at the production, also aired on PBS as a part of its Summer Arts Festival.
In 2013, Leguizamo completed production on Stealing Cars, starring William H. Macy and starred in Cymbeline, a modern-day take on William Shakespeare’s play. The film premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
In 2011, Leguizamo returned to Broadway with his new solo play, Ghetto Klown, the next chapter in his hugely popular personal and professional story. Directed by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens, Ghetto Klown follows in the unabashed, uncensored, and uninhibited tradition of Leguizamo’s Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, Freak and Sexaholix… a Love Story.
Other film credits include Walking with Dinosaurs, The Counselor, Kick Ass 2, Love in the Vanishing on 7th Street, The Lincoln Lawyer, the Ice Age franchise, Love in Time of Cholera, The Happening, Righteous Kill, The Babysitters, The Take and Where God Left His Shoes. In addition, Leguizamo has led his talents to a slew of other films including Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueno, Spun, Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Dr. Dolittle, Carlito's Way and Casualties of War.
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. Leguizamo also picked up ALMA Award nominations for his roles in Moulin Rouge (Best Supporting Actor) and King of the Jungle (Best Lead Actor). He was the recipient of the 2002 ALMA Award for Entertainer of the Year.
In the summer of 2007, Leguizamo returned to television in Spike TV's limited series The Kill Point, in which he played the leader of a gang of bank robbers who had recently returned from serving in Iraq.
Additionally, Leguizamo appeared as a guest star in twelve episodes of NBC's cornerstone drama ER during the 2005/2006 season, and in 2006 did a guest star arc on the NBC hit My Name is Earl.
In 1991, Leguizamo created an off-Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his one-man show Mambo Mouth, in which he portrayed seven different characters. He received Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Vanguardia awards for his performance.
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. Leguizamo received the Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent, as well as a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance. Spic-O-Rama aired on HBO, receiving four CableACE Awards.
Freak, Leguizamo's third one-man show, ended a successful run on Broadway in 1998. Billed as a “Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography," Freak was described as “scathingly funny" (New York Times). Along with the Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Leguizamo won the Drama Desk and the Outer Critic's Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. A special presentation of Freak, directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO and earned Leguizamo the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program as well as a nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
In fall of 2001, Leguizamo returned to Broadway with Sexaholix...a Love Story. Directed by Peter Askin, the play is based on the sold-out national tour, John Leguizamo Live! 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. Sexaholix aired as an HBO Special in Spring 2002 and also toured the country. Additional stage credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and La Puta Vida at the New York Shakespeare Festival and Parting Gestures at INTAR.
To add to his list of attributes, Leguizamo is also an accomplished author. He recently penned his autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends, which was released by Harper Collins in October 2006. The New York Times called the book "brutally funny," while USA Today coined Leguizamo as "one of the most exciting talents to come along in some time."
Leguizamo currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.
PENN BADGLEY - POSTHUMUS
Penn Badgley was last seen on the big screen in Greetings from Tim Buckley, for which he won the highly sought-after role to star as musician Jeff Buckley. In 2011, he appeared in the critically acclaimed Margin Call, a thriller based on the events surrounding the country’s financial collapse, also starring Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto and Simon Baker. For their work in the film, Badgley and his cast mates received the Robert Altman “Ensemble Cast Award” at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Badgley’s other film credits include Sony’s hit comedy Easy A, the dramatic thriller The Stepfather, Forever Strong, Parts Per Billion, and John Tucker Must Die.
Badgley starred as Dan Humphrey in The CW’s hit drama series, Gossip Girl, from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, based on the tremendously popular book series about privileged teenagers who attend an elite private school in New York City. Badgley’s other television credits include the short-lived, Do Over, which was his first starring role at the age of 15.
Badgley currently resides in New York.
DAKOTA JOHNSON - IMOGEN
Dakota Johnson has become one of Hollywood's rising stars, most recently starring in the coveted lead role of "Anastasia Steele" in the feature adaptation of E.L. James novel 50 SHADES OF GREY.
She also played one of the leads in A BIGGER SPLASH, Luca Guadagnino's remake of LA PISCINE, alongside Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts. In addition she completed filming opposite Johnny Depp for his Whitey Bulger Biopic BLACK MASS, which was directed by Scott Cooper.
After bursting on the scene with her performance in David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's critically acclaimed film THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Dakota went on to play roles in the feature comedies THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT, and 21 JUMP STREET with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
On the television side, Johnson starred in the lead role of FOX’s primetime single-camera ensemble comedy television series Ben and Kate.
Johnson made her acting debut in Columbia Pictures’ CRAZY IN ALABAMA, where she starred alongside Melanie Griffith. The film was directed by Antonio Banderas and written by Mark Childress. Johnson also had the honor of being crowned Miss Golden Globe at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards.
ANTON YELCHIN - CLOTEN
Anton Yelchin is one of the Hollywood’s most sought after young actors. With highly acclaimed performances in Like Crazy, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, The Beaver and Charlie Bartlett, Anton has quickly become a household name.
2015 will be a busy year for Anton. In addition to Cymbeline, Yelchin can be seen in Broken Horses with Vincent D’Onofrio and Chris Marquette and in the romantic comedy 5 to 7 with Glenn Close and Frank Langella which premiered to rave reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2014, he co-starred in Burying the Ex for director Joe Dante which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will release this Summer 2015, The Dying of the Light for director Paul Schrader and The Driftless Area for Zachary Sluser; Rudderless for director William H. Macy alongside Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup and Felicity Huffman for which he won the Chicago International Film Festival Award for Best Actor; The Experimenter alongside Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard and Only Lovers Left Alive alongside Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska. He also garnered critical acclaim for his starring role in Stephen Sommer’s Odd Thomas.
In 2013, Anton reprised his role as ‘Pavel Chekov’ in Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness and his role as ‘Clumsy Smurf’ in Sony’s Smurfs 2. Anton also voiced the lead character in the English version of the film From Up On Poppy Hill.
Most recently, Anton has completed filming the independent thriller Green Room, in which Anton stars as the head of a punk band who witnesses a murder at one of their shows; Rise alongside Sarah Dumont & Guy Wilson for director David Karlak; The Greens are Gone in which he plays Catherine Keener’s son who suddenly goes missing and the narrative drama Port Mon Amour for director Gabe Klinger and producer Jim Jarmusch.
Anton received critical acclaim for his starring role in Drake Doremus’ film Like Crazy for which he was honored with the “Artist to Watch” Award at 2011 Aspen Film Festival and the “Hollywood Spotlight Award” at the 2011 Hollywood Film Festival.
Anton also garnered praise from critics for his performance as ‘Porter Black’ in The Beaver co-starring with Mel Gibson and director Jodie Foster.
Anton’s film credits include a starring role opposite Colin Farrell and Tony Collete in Disney/Dreamworks thriller Fright Night; he voiced the character of ‘Albino Pirate’ in the animated feature, The Pirates Band of Misfits, starring Hugh Grant and Salma Hayek; he starred as ‘Kyle Reese’ in “Terminator Salvation” opposite Christian Bale and Sam Worthington and he starred in “Charlie Bartlett” as the title character opposite Robert Downey Jr.
Additional films include Alpha Dog opposite Bruce Willis; Hearts in Atlantis opposite Anthony Hopkins; Fierce People opposite Diane Lane; Middle of Nowhere opposite Susan Sarandon; House of D opposite Robin Williams and New York, I Love You with an all-star cast.
Anton has also appeared on some of television’s most critically acclaimed dramas including the Showtime series “Huff” for two seasons and guest starring roles on “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
MICHAEL ALMEREYDA (Director/Writer/Producer)
Michael Almereyda started as a Hollywood screenwriter, working on drafts of TOTAL RECALL and Wim Wenders’ UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD. His first film as writer/director was a self-‐financed, black-‐and-‐white 35mm short featuring Dennis Hopper, A HERO OF OUR TIME, which screened at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival.
Almereyda’s work includes features, documentaries and experimental shorts. His most well-‐known movie is his 2000 adaptation of HAMLET, with Ethan Hawke in the title role. Almereyda’s writing has appeared in Film Comment, Artforum, the New York Times, and booklets for the Criterion Collection.
DIRECTOR'S COMPLETE FILMOGRAPHY:
A Hero of Our Time (1987)
Another Girl Another Planet (1992)
At Sundance (1995)
The Rocking Horse Winner (1997)
The Eternal, a/k/a Trance (1998) Hamlet (2000)
Happy Here and Now (2002)
This So-Called Disaster (2003)
William Eggleston in the Real World (2005)
New Orleans, Mon Amour (2008)
The Great Gatsby in Five Minutes (2011) The Ogre’s Feathers (2012) Skinningrove (2013)
The Man Who Came Out Only At Night (2013)
What is Cinema? (2013)
MICHAEL BENAROYA (Producer)
Michael Benaroya is the CEO of Benaroya Pictures, which he founded in 2006. The company has developed, financed and produced several major motion pictures across a variety of genres and budget sizes.
Benaroya’s production credits include the recently completed QUEEN OF THE DESERT starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damien Lewis, and directed by Werner Herzog. Benaroya’s beat-‐poet biopic KILL YOUR DARLINGS starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Elizabeth Olsen, Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, Kyra Sedgwick and Jennifer Jason Leigh had its world premiere at Sundance, and recently screened at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics released the film this past October. The true story revolves around friendship and murder that led to the birth of the Beat Generation at Columbia University in 1944.
In spring of 2013, Benaroya launched his international sales company, International Film Trust (IFT), co-‐founded with Miscellaneous Entertainment principals D. Todd Shepherd and George Waud. The company will represent theatrical feature film productions from their own banners on a non-‐exclusive basis as well as titles from other producers and third party productions.
IFT launched their slate at the 2013 Cannes Film Market with a couple high-‐ profile productions from Benaroya Pictures including the comedy KING OF THE KASTLE, starring Asa Butterfield, Clive Owen and Jacki Weaver and to be produced by Benaroya and Jonathan Gordon; and CELL, a Stephen King adaptation starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson and financed and produced by Benaroya Pictures and to be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams.
Other titles on the IFT sales slate include the horror thriller EXISTS directed by THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT’s Eduardo Sanchez and written by Jaime Nash, and MAX ROSE starring Jerry Lewis and written/directed by Daniel Noah, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Benaroya’s other past credits include John Hillcoat’s LAWLESS, based on the book The Wettest County in the World, starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. It was released by The Weinstein Company on August 29th, 2012 on over 2,000 screens. The film, which premiered to a 10 minute standing ovation at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, is set during the prohibition era and tells a mythic tale of three brothers, who, despite extensive efforts to prevent them, run a lucrative bootlegging operation.
Another Benaroya Pictures project, THE WORDS, premiered at Sundance 2012 and was released by CBS Films on September 7th, 2012. The film features an all-‐star cast including Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, and Olivia Wilde. THE WORDS follows a writer who, at the peak of his literary success, discovers the price he must pay for stealing another man’s work.
Benaroya also financed and produced THE RAMBLER, a Calvin Reeder film starring Dermot Mulroney and Lindsay Pulsipher, which was a Park City at Midnight selection at Sundance 2013, as well as PARTS PER BILLION, an ensemble film from writer/director Brian Horiuchi starring Rosario Dawson, Teresa Palmer, Josh Harnett and Frank Langella.
MARGIN CALL, another Benaroya production which premiered at Sundance 2011, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature Film. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, this Wall Street thriller takes place over a frantic 24 hours before the crash of the 2008 stock market. The film was released by Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions and stars Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons and Stanley Tucci.
With numerous projects in development, and others already prepping, Benaroya Pictures intends to produce and finance at least 4 major motion pictures per annum.
ANTHONY KATAGAS (Producer)
Anthony Katagas is one of the most prolific producers working in American independent film. Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Picture for his role in producing 12 YEARS A SLAVE, he has produced over 35 films in the last twelve years and worked with a variety of innovative and award-‐winning filmmakers, including John Hillcoat, Steve McQueen, Andrew Dominik, Paul Haggis, Brad Pitt, John Singleton, Wes Craven, James Gray, John Ridley, Marc Lawrence, Vadim Perelman, Lasse Hallstrom, Ben Younger, Nanette Burstein, Deny Arcand, Michael Almereyda, and Sofia Coppola.
Katagas has been working with Michael Almereyda since HAMLET (2000). He produced Almereyda's feature film HAPPY HERE AND NOW (2002) as well as his documentaries THIS SO-‐CALLED DISASTER: SAM SHEPARD DIRECTS THE LATE HENRY MOSS (2003) and William Eggleston in the REAL WORLD (2005). CYMBELINE will be their fifth collaboration.
Most recently, Katagas has produced James Gray's TWO LOVERS starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow; Andrew Dominik's KILLING THEM SOFTLY starring Brad Pitt; James Gray's THE IMMIGRANT starring Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner; Steve McQueen's 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Chiwetel Ejiofor; and Rupert Goold's TRUE STORY starring Jonah Hill and James Franco.