EXCLUSIVE: Dianne Doan (Warrior) and Connor Paolo (Revenge) have been cast as leads in Better Half, a surreal romantic comedy marking the feature directorial debut of Patrick Henry Phelan.
Pic’s plot is being kept under wraps, but it’s describe as a stylized feature set in Joshua Tree, CA.
Better Half hails from StudioFest, a festival program that awards its winners the opportunity to produce a feature film. Charles Irving Beale and Jess Jacklin lead the initiative and will exec produce.
“We are so excited to bring Connor and Dianne together for our movie,” said Phelan, “and hope audiences will have as much fun watching it as we’re having making it.”
Doan portrays lead Mai Ling in the Cinemax series Warrior. She’s also known for turns on the TV side in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Good Trouble, Disney Channel’s Descendants franchise, Vikings and more. The actress will next appear alongside Nina Dobrev, Billy Magnussen and more in Chris Nelson’s comedy, Reunion.
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Paolo is best known for his turn as Declan Porter in ABC’s Revenge. Additional TV credits include The Resident, Gossip Girl and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The actor has appeared on the film side in Simon Verhoeven’s horror-thriller Friend Request and Jim Strouse’s The Winning Season, among other titles. He’ll next appear in the thriller Viral, directed by and starring Blair Underwood.
Doan is represented by Innovative Artists, Principals Talent Management in Canada, and Forward Entertainment. Paolo is repped by Paradigm and LINK Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Geoff Pierson (Designated Survivor) and Clark Backo (Letterkenny) have joined the cast of The List, the indie comedy from director Melissa Miller Costanzo.
They’ll appear alongside previously announced cast members Halston Sage, Christian Navarro, Gregg Sulkin, Jonah Platt, Chrissie Fitt, Will Peltz and Zach Reino.
The film written by Rob Lederer and Steve Vitolo centers on Abby (Sage), a woman who is about to get married, for whom everything is perfect. Until she finds out her fiancé Matt (Platt) has slept with a celebrity from his “free pass” list. To get her mind off things, Abby and her best friend Chloe (Fit) come up with a crazy idea: Abby should pursue a celebrity from her own list. But things become complicated when she meets Jake (Navarro), a sweet and charming waiter at a neighborhood cafe, who gives her a fresh perspective.
Pierson will play New York City Mayor Capozzi. On the verge of announcing his bid to run for president, Capozzi has a special, paternal relationship with Abby, who’s been his speechwriter for the last five years. Backo will portray Kenzie Burke, the rising star who sleeps with Abby’s fiancé.
Tobias Weymar, Annie Mahoney and Mark Fasano are producing for Nickel City Pictures, with Sage exec producing alongside Lederer, Vitolo, Eric B. Fleischman and Maurice Fadida, and New Legend Entertainment financing.
Pierson is perhaps best known for his turn as the doomed President John Keeler on 24, and will next be seen opposite Chris Pratt in upcoming Amazon series, The Terminal List. The actor has also appeared on the TV side in Designated Survivor, Splitting Up Together, Castle, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The West Wing and more. He recently appeared on the film side in Tyler Spindel’s Netflix pic The Wrong Missy, previously featuring in the casts of J. Edgar, World’s Greatest Dad, Get Smart, Changeling and other titles.
Backo is an actor, writer and activist who has appeared on the TV side in Hulu’s Letterkenny and The Handmaid’s Tale, Nat Geo’s The Hot Zone, The CW’s Supernatural, Designated Survivor and other series. She’s appeared on the film side in Blumhouse and Netflix’s Seven in Heaven and Jay Baruchel’s Random Acts of Violence, among other titles. The actress will next be seen in Amazon Studios’ rom-com I Want You Back, starring alongside Jenny Slate, Charlie Day, and Gina Rodriguez.
Pierson is repped by Artists & Representatives, Edna Talent Management and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. Backo is with A3 Artists Agency and Ambition Talent.
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