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It’s a shame only 600 people got to see Jason Reitman‘s Live Read of American Beauty on Thursday. If more people saw it, they’d be lining up to see Men, Women and Children this weekend. The cast proved they are wonderful together.

As the kickoff to the 4th season of Live Reads at LACMA, Reitman presented Alan Ball‘s Oscar-winning 1999 script. For all the roles, he chose actors from his latest film. (Which happens to open wide this weekend.) In the role of Lester Burnham, for which Kevin Spacey won an Oscar, Reitman cast Adam Sandler. The wife Carolyn, originally played by Annette Benning, was played by Rosemarie DeWitt. Their daughter Jane, originated by Thora Birch, was played by Kaitlyn Dever. Her best friend Angela, originated by Mena Suvari, was played by Olivia Crocicchia. Buddy the real estate king, first played by Peter Gallagher, was read by Phil LaMarr. Next door, the Colonel, played by Chris Cooper, was read by Dean Norris. DeWitt doubled as his wife (Allison Janney) and their son, the pot-dealer Ricky was Travis Tope. Wes Bentley originated the role.

With a script as good as Ball’s, an infant could read it and it would sound like poetry. What Reitman showcased with his latest cast is prove that good words are one thing, but chemistry and talent are something entirely different and wonderful. Below, read more about the American Beauty Live Read presented by Film Independent at LACMA. Read More »

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Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman has worked with some pretty big names over the course of his career, including, most recently, Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. His next film, however, could star a near-total unknown.

The filmmaker has reportedly offered a big role in Men, Women and Children to newcomer Travis Tope. Though the 22-year-old has just one completed feature on his resume at the moment (the 2007 indie Divine Souls), he’s definitely on his way up: Tope is also considering roles in Sacha Gervasi‘s November Criminals and Rupert Wyatt‘s The Gambler. More about all three projects and their potential leading man after the jump.

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