Amy’s Casting Couch for January 9, 2003

Casting calls and news items in the film and TV community come in each day here to FJ. Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve.

What can you learn from the casting couch? Plenty. After a holiday break, filmmakers and television people are back in action.

On the silver screen…

  • The new Mad Max film, “Fury Road,” begins shooting June 1. Director George Miller appears to be sticking with the storyline he created with “Beyond Thunderdome,” as the production is looking for a number of teenagers. The girls will be beautiful, splendid, capable, humorous and refined. The boys, young warriors and street punks, will be athletic, lean, tough, strong and physical. All are humorous and full of life.
  • Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari team together on the upcoming Robert Zemeckis film “The Polar Express.” Cult favorite Eddie Deezen also joins the cast, which begins a twelve week shoot in Los Angeles on February 3rd. Robert Zemeckis & William Broyles, Jr. share screenwriting duties, and Zemeckis produces with longtime partner Steve Starkey and Gary Goetzman. No word yet is Zemeckis will also be handling craft services.
  • A mysterious love triangle has led to a tragic shooting. Months later, eight members of a roleplaying chatroom are being systematically murdered in the privacy of their own homes. What is the connection? The chilling truth is that any one of the chatroom denizens may hold the answer as to who is responsible for the grisly murders taking place in this claustrophobic cyberworld, in writer/director Robbie Bryan’s “Chatroom.”
  • Tim Cox makes his feature debut with “Creature.” Scientist Dr. Allen Woodman creates the ultimate monster, The Ripper, the biggest, scariest, slimiest, ugliest insect you can imagine, the most advanced life form known to man. The ripper breaks free and goes on a wild hunger killing spree, killing and eating all that move or are in his way. Under the leadership of Colonel Anslow, commander Rita Talon and her team of Marines attempt to destroy the monster with the aid of one of Dr. Woodman’s techno wizards. Shooting begins in Bulgaria in March.
  • Former “ER” castmate Erik Palladino toplines “Dead And Breakfast,” as one of six friends on a road trip who stop for the night at a bed and breakfast in the sleepy town of Lovelock. After a night that leaves both the inn’s owner and chef dead, the gang finds themselves under suspicion by the local sheriff, while nearly all of the town’s quirky residents become possessed by an evil spirit and pin down the friends inside the bed and breakfast. Writer/Director Matthew Leutwyler’s films shoots in Pleasanton in February.
  • The Rock’s upcoming feature “Helldorado” wants you! That is, if you’re one of those Barbie Girls. One set of Hero Go-Go Girls need to be high-energy gyrating hip-hop women, with ultra bodies oozing sex appeal. Think thigh high boots, skimpy shorts, tops and lots of skin. The other set of Hero Girls will be sitting at the table of the winning Superbowl team with a group of men flashing huge wads of cash. Don’t bother calling if you aren’t one of those very sexy, tall and appealing super hot women.
  • Our old friend Michael Davis, who helped foist Kerri Russell on the world in his film “Eight Days A Week,” returns with the tongue in cheek road movie “Monster Man.” On their way to a wedding, best friends Adam and Harley find themselves on a road trip from hell, pursued by a monster truck driven by the homicidal, unkillable Fuck Face. Yes, Fuck Face. Big and intimidating, with milky white pupils and a quilt of skin patches stitched together over his face, with scars criss-crossing all over, he looks like his jaw was ripped completely off, then wired back on again. Barely able to speak through an electronic voicebox, he is a local demon, who was horribly mutilated in a truck accident, and is now kept alive by Satanic ritual. Look for the production around the Los Angeles area shortly after Valentine’s Day.
  • Rebecca Miller follows her Sundance award winner “Personal Velocity” with “Rose and the Snake.” A wild child, the sixteen year old Rose has no inhibitions. An untamed free spirit, Rose is beautiful, strong-willed, immodest, innocent, wild, vulnerable and always curious. Having been raised on an abandoned commune by her father Jack, she is an angelic beauty with a child-like aura who is slowly experiencing the confusion and frustration of her sexuality. Rose feels things deeply and has trouble communicating with others. Home schooled, Rose has had little to no contact with the outside world. She loves nature and all living things. Untouched and pure she has been sheltered. Shooting begins in July.
  • Despite the fact that the biggest film about basketball in the past decade was the pint sized “Like Mike,” Jennifer Harper is going to take her shot, pun somewhat intended, with her upcoming untitled feature, formerly known as “Playa’s Ball.” Our hero, Cedric Tinsley, is a 25-year-old professional basketball player on the verge of greatness. Brought up from the streets, he’s cocky, handsome, talented and rich. A hometown guy who’s trying to do the right thing. The kind of life and career Reebok commercials are made of. On the eve of proposing to his live-in girlfriend and signing the contract that will set him up for life, Cedric is sued for paternity by a woman who claims he is the father of her infant daughter. Although he’s been fidelity challenged in the past, he swears he’s never met or seen this woman before. Now with everything to lose, Cedric must fight to save all he’s worked for, restore his name and find out how and why his life has been twisted upside down. Despite a budget smaller than the monthly Gatorade bill for the Indiana Pacers, Harper hopes to land some real NBA players for cameos for her film, which rolls in Los Angeles within two weeks.
  • A group of mismatched friends on their way to West Hollywood’s annual Halloween Parade are waylaid due to their costumes, the D.E.A, the Armenian Mafia, a stalker, and one small dog called Sugar Pie, in Lee Friedlander’s upcoming comedy “Wasabe Tuna.” Lensing commences March 10 in Los Angeles.

On the Boob Tube…

  • “Alias” is getting a new face in the form of scientist Dr. Neil Caplan. In an episode called “A Free Agent”, the Caplan family gets involved with some tough customers including an arms smuggler, a mercenary and a prosthetics specialist.
  • “All My Children” is looking for Henry Chin’s mother. Alma will stop at nothing to help her son succeed in college, and this means keeping him away from the ladies!
  • Jean Smart and Richard Gilliland star in “Audrey’s Rain” for Hallmark. Jean is Aunt Audrey, who must take in her sister’s kid’s after her sister’s suicide.
  • “Black Sash,” the WB’s “Birds of Play” replacement starting in March, is busy filming episode 6, “Prime Suspect.” This Kung Fu update means I get to see Russell Wong every week!
  • HBO’s Dust Bowl Drama “Carnivale” is working on episode 2. It follows a traveling carnival in the 1930s. So far, I’m getting a little house vibe, but I’m sure I’ll be surprised.
  • “The Day the Magic Died” is ep. 515 of “Charmed.” Cronyn the Sorcerer makes the girls vulnerable so he can take Piper’s baby.
  • “CSI Miami” will have a radiation scare in ep. 115, as a pregnant CSIer finds herself exposed.
  • On “Dead Zone” (watch this if you’re not, it’s pretty darn good!) ep 2010, Johnny warns Irish mob kingping Cathan Donnegal about a hit on his life, causing Cathan to become obsessed with Johnny’s powers, and afraid of what Johnny might know about him.
  • Van’s dad Ray Ray, played by Robert Forster(!), is going after the Ethiopian heroin market on “Fastlane” ep. 115.
  • My heart is broken, “Gilmore Girls” is casting Dean’s new girlfriend. Her name is Lindsay and I hate her already.
  • An old friend of Burton’s shows up on “The Guardian” ep. 216. Red is an old military buddy not long for this world with a stock of secrets and lies about Nick’s father.
  • “John Doe” is captured and interrogated by the government, or some other agency, on ep. “Ashes to Ashes”.
  • “Judging Amy” is looking for a young rock singer to emancipate from her parents. Paging Avril! The girl has been exploited by her parents to be more sexy, but the case is blown when the girl admits she’s in love with a porno director! In this same ep. Stuart Collins returns.
  • Spence gets a girlfriend on “King of Queens”! She’s one of Arthur’s rejects and in her 70s.
  • “Law and Order” is filming “B*TCH”, about a Mary Kay like cosmetics queen who’s daughter may or may not have killed her mom’s lover.
  • The new Fox reality series “Married by America” is looking for 44 folks who want an arranged marriage. The six week shoot begins in March.
  • NBC is movie of the week-ing “Martha Inc.,” which charts the meteoric rise of Martha Stewart, a woman who sold herself to America as a paragon of good taste and do-it-yourself elegance, while simultaneously achieving her business goals by impressing her business partners with her bitch from hell persona. Successful in destroying her personal relationships while achieving her corporate goals, Stewart falls from grace when she is accused of insider trading, and the value of her stock and her reputation plummets.
  • “Mister Sterling” goes to bat for a Latina immigrant in ep. 8. Sterling also charms the IRS, proving that this show is a fantasy.
  • “Mutant X” is looking for Shalimar’s father. Nicholas Fox works for the Maxon Corp. which manufactures evil mutants. Nick says he only wants to help Shalimar, but all is not what is seems in “Lest He Become”.
  • FX is filming a pilot called “Nip/Tuck” (change that now) about a plastic surgeon. FX is also making a movie about the 1997 North Hollywood Bank of America robbery called “44 Minutes”. That’s more like it.
  • There’s “No Place Like Home,” or at least that is what Fox is hoping for from this upcoming one hour pilot. Drama features two families, the Colliers (husband in jail for embezzlement) and the Parras (dealing with the recent loss of the eldest son), who come together when eighteen year old Jaime Parra marries seventeen year old Zoe Collier.
  • “One Life To Live” is looking for a sexy drummer to play Riley. This rocker will be stirring up some trouble.
  • There’s “Romance Looming” on “Sabrina”! The Fates appear in the form of cruel, manipulative Heathers who play with people’s lives.
  • Lifetime might pick up the soon to shoot pilot “A Screwball Homicide.” Lou Murray and Shelly Bennett are homicide detectives, inseparable partners, best friends, and clearly care about one another — and yet for some reason just couldn’t cut it being married. However, that doesn’t mean there’s still not a lot of heat between these two.
  • Producer/Director/Writer Dan Neira thinks he has a great idea for a new show. “Showdown” is Judge Judy meets Jerry Springer in the boxing ring. Men and Women fight three one-minute rounds in order to settle personal disputes and win prizes. Protective gear will be provided.
  • “Six Feet Under” ep. 309 shows us Claire’s first real art exhibit (disaster!), Keith and David renting porn in front of their minister (horror!) and a guy who breaks up with her girlfriend because she’s depressed to truly awful consequences.
  • WB is trying out “Trash,” a Romeo and Juliet story set in a trailer park. And there’s midgets! Seriously!
  • The ninth episode of the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Tremors” series brings aboard two potential new recurring characters: Larry Norvel, a 28 year old man who lives at home with Mom and Dad, works at Wal-Mart, and is bored with his mundane life. An overly enthusiastic sci-fi fan, he dreams of living in a place like Perfection Valley with its famous Graboid. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t know when to shut up and we’d all like him a lot if he wasn’t so pushy. And Dr. Casey Mathews, an attractive and brilliant young geneticist in her early to mid 30s, Casey takes a job in remote Perfection Valley to study the bizarre outbreak of DNA-altered plants and animals. She’s passionate about her work, especially the extremely rare opportunity of studying the eco-system in the weirdest of all places.
  • The victim in “Without a Trace” ep. 15, “There Goes the Bride,” is Claire Rose, a new bride madly in love with her new husband who goes missing during her wedding reception.
  • And finally, Maytag is looking for a new actor to play the lonely Maytag repairman. Aside from shooting the commercials, there will be a large number of personal appearances and a lot of travel. The actor will work 200-300 days per year with a commitment of 8-10 years. Yikes!