Posted on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by Adam Quigley
For the longest time, Kevin Smith’s Red State seemed like a film that would never get made, but bit by bit, the project keeps coming together. The film already has a September shooting date (as tweeted by Smith), and the lead role has been locked in place. And now, the film has a not-yet-confirmed roster of actors to fill out the supporting cast.
The potentials include Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Michael Angarano (The Forbidden Kingdom), Stephen Root (Office Space), and the Oscar nominated Melissa Leo (Frozen River). Learn more after the break.
This development comes from The Wrap, and they single-out Leo as “circling the project”, whatever that means. (Is it really so much different than “in talks”, as they list the rest of the cast?)
Previously, Smith said of the casting for Red State:
For the first time since Clerks I’m trying to go, not unknown, but actors who aren’t like, you’re gonna see them on screen and not know their name…it’s a weird kind of in between neither place that I’m reaching for. It’s not complete unknown and it’s not remotely fucking recognizable, name recognizable…It’s really tough to find actors whose name you don’t know.
This line-up is definitely fitting with that sentiment, as all of these actors should be familiar to just about anyone, though most probably wouldn’t be able to put the name to the face.
In terms of talent, Melissa Leo and Stephen Root are the stand-outs of the group. Leo has been following up her work on Frozen River with a terrific stint on Treme, and Root (best known as Milton in Office Space) is a great character actor, and always a wonderful addition to any cast. I’m sure Mulroney is talented as well, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him outside of romantic comedies—usually playing the female protagonist’s one-note husband or love interest.
The curiosities of the casting are Gallner and Angarano, as without knowing more about the script, it’s hard to see where they might fit into a tale based around a religious extremist Fred Phelps-esque figure. I’m hoping though, that this film will provide Gallner an opportunity to break free from his typical typecasting, as he’s been forced to play the same mopey-faced emo high schooler in horror films (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jennifer’s Body, The Haunting in Connecticut) ever since playing Beaver in Veronica Mars. Angarano, meanwhile, has such a natural bright-eyed optimism that—considering how dark Smith has said the film is—it seems like almost a guarantee that things wont be turning out too well for his character.