Back in 2010 father directed a production of Playboy of the Western World at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. He cast this sweet-seeming, legitimately Irish looking girl named Ellen Adair for the part of Pegeen Mike. The whole production was lovely but I remember being impressed with how Ellen played the prickly barmaid with flashes of real anger and resentment but also sweetness and vulnerability.
Flash-forward just about ten years when I'm casting the film. Ellen is now an established TV and film actor and I am casting my extremely very low budget film (SAG actually uses the term "ultra" low budget).
But I get her to read my script and she agrees to take on this extremely difficult part of a smart and career-driven autism educator whose personal life seems to be in shambles. I was so grateful she accepted the part and, man did she deliver.
One of my best memories from the filming was the day we shot a very emotional moment where her character reveals story from her past that gives us a window into her state of mind. She told the story simply but you could see how she was experiencing the emotion as she told it. When I said cut there were audible murmurs of appreciation from my battle-worn film crew. Editing this sequence, and each of the beats in her character's storyline was one of the more satisfying parts of post-product.
Word is that she is gotta be able to make it to our East Coast Premiere at the New Hope Film Festival. I hope there’s a red carpet for her, she deserves it.