Kids In America : A Teen Comedy
The website was created to promote the movie, Kids In America. This page has been created from content from the site's archived pages. Do you remember where you were when this movie was first released? Did you see it in a movie theater or later when it was available on a DVD. I happened to see it in a NYC theater with a group of friends. We Batman clothes themed that night, just to be a bit atypical from the rest of the teen audience but completely onboard with the cultural impact of Batman t shirts and other Dark Knight gear. Since the weather was beginning to turn cooler, I decided to wear one of my fashionable Batman hoodie styles which I had just bought at a very cool online site. The e commerce store is organized not only by image, but also by product to make browsing easier. I just clicked on their "hoodies" pic and boom there are all the selections. They also break down the hoodies by image categories so if you wanted a hoodie with a Batman logo or other signal they are easy to find. I wore a DC Comic design called Sketchy Shadows featuring a black and white sketch of Batman on his knees with skeleton shadows in the background. Some wise kid in the audience yelled when he saw the group of us in our Batman hoodies, t-shirts and sweatshirts that we were at the wrong movie. But we just ignored the idiot. Wearing Batman clothing certainly invited a lot of opportunities to engage with other moviegoers. They were all curious about our sartorial choices.
Based on real events, Kids In America is a teen comedy about a diverse group of high school kids who band together to peacefully kick their principal's ass. Boasting an impressive cast of both established stars and hot new talent, "Kids" tackles such issues as sex education, freedom of speech, and how to kiss for six minutes straight without losing consciousness from lack of oxygen.
Holden Donovan (Gregory Smith) is fed up with Principal Weller (Julie Bowen) who goes to great lengths to stop the students from exercising their right to free expression. She expels a young woman for passing out condoms and advocating safe sex on national “safe sex” day and suspends two boys who were kissing in the hallway. Meanwhile, she is running for the Superintendent of their school district, which will give her a chance to practice her brand of administration beyond Booker High School.
The students have an ally in Mr. Drucker (Malik Yoba) one of their teachers who encourages them to fight for their rights. He pays a price for his leadership and is fired by Principal Weller. He decides to use his dismissal to make a change of his own, by producing a documentary chronicling the experiences of students who are faced with similar issues.
As the story unfolds, Donovan befriends a group of kids including love interest Charlotte (Stephanie Sherrin), Lawrence, Chuck, Walanda, Emily and Katie. Together they organize the student body to take on Weller and make real change at Booker High.
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, mature thematic elements and language)
Genre: Documentary, Comedy
Directed By: Josh Stolberg
Written By: Andrew Shaifer, Josh Stolberg
In Theaters Oct 21, 2005 Limited On DVD: Mar 7, 2006
Box Office: $0.4M
Runtime: 1 hr. 29 min.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews:
OCTOBER 20, 2005
Chief Film Critic Variety
"Kids in America" would be easier to root for if it weren't so very pleased with itself. Taking up the cause of real-life high schoolers punished for going against the grain, writer-director Josh Stolberg launches a scalding attack on the stodgy conservatism of the American public school system, only to end up stacking the deck in egregiously smirky and simple-minded ways.<
“Kids in America” would be easier to root for if it weren’t so very pleased with itself. Taking up the cause of real-life high schoolers punished for going against the grain, writer-director Josh Stolberg launches a scalding attack on the stodgy conservatism of the American public school system, only to end up stacking the deck in egregiously smirky and simple-minded ways. Stateside release in 700 theaters won’t rack up much biz, though pic could make its way into a few classrooms on video.
As may be guessed from its rather obvious title, “Kids in America” aims to inspire teenagers to boldly speak their minds, while giving everyone else an inside look at the repressive tyranny at the heart of the educational establishment. Pic mistakenly assumes, however, that because the contentious issues it raises are drawn from actual situations, dramatic plausibility should automatically follow. Not so.
Shortly after a girl is suspended for taping condoms to her dress to promote safe sex, a rebellious student named Holden (a nod to “The Catcher in the Rye”) uses the school talent show to deliver a withering attack on super-strict principal Donna Weller (Julie Bowen), who cares less about her young charges than her campaign to be elected state superintendent.
The stunt gets Holden (played by “Everwood’s” Gregory Smith) expelled, leaving him free to plot fresh anarchy against Weller and rally the students to take their First Amendment rights seriously. He’s aided by g.f. Charlotte (Stephanie Sherrin) and their other socially conscious pals, all smart teenagers from the fringes of high school society, who are encouraged to “change ‘da world” by their progressive English teacher, Will Drucker (Malik Yoba).
But even Drucker is outraged when Holden’s actions — he starts off by hijacking the school’s PA system and ends up torching a football field — land a student in the hospital. It’s the only time Stolberg acknowledges that even budding activists have a duty to act responsibly.
Pic’s authority figures, however, are punished the most severely, none moreso than the power-mad, virulently homophobic principal. Played by “Boston Legal’s” very attractive Bowen, Weller is a screaming caricature who calls her students retards and says things like, “Bring me his head!” The idea that administrative intolerance might be systemic rather than the work of a Hitler-esque banshee — or that even the most censorious principal might still be a human being — is simply beyond this film’s imagination.
Instead, Weller is pilloried as a not-so-subtle stand-in for the Bush administration — at one point, she actually invokes the Patriot Act — while at the other end of the spectrum, Charlotte’s mother (Rosanna Arquette), a tofu-munching liberal who reminisces happily about her bra-burning days, is idealized as the ultimate in cool parenting.
Younger thesps are competent enough, though the overall group suggests an almost utopian model of peer diversity, with several of the characters — especially an openly gay student (Alex Anfanger) who rattles off references to Wham! and Bob Fosse — feeling more like types than flesh-and-blood adolescents.<
Strenuously clever dialogue is very heavy on pop-culture references, and pic as a whole feels saturated with a love of filmmaking and the arts in general. During one earnest romantic interlude, Holden and Charlotte re-enact a series of classic kissing scenes from teen faves including “Say Anything … ” and “Sixteen Candles.”
Cast also boasts several established thesps in small parts, including Adam Arkin, Elizabeth Perkins, Charles Shaughnessy and George Wendt as a very likable gym teacher. Closing rap, performed by thesp Crystal Celeste Grant, suggests that the material would have made a more than adequate music video.
October 21, 2005
*** ½ Stars
As far as I'm concerned, Kids In America is very underrated. What you have here with this film is a comedy that exposes an important subject. People hate on this film because of the fact that Nicole Ritchie plays in this film. Well, her role I thought was so minimal that it really didn't bring anything memorable to the film. Her role wasn't an essential part of the film. I didn't care to see her on screen, and she didn't annoy me in the process. What I love about Kids In America is that it's very different that your usual Teen comedy. Where the usual teen comedy insults teens for what they usually "are", Kids In America takes a different, refreshing approach and creates something funny, charming but above all, smart. The casting choices are well done, and every actor is perfect for the part they played. The film is very entertaining, funny and well crafted. This is an underrated film that shouldn't be passed up. Most Teen comedies fail to capture what teen life really is about, but Kids In America is the only film of it's kind that is smart and exposes issues that people don't even care about. Kids In America is a better film than what people might think. A well acted film with laughs and drama about important teen issues. Sure the film could have been improved upon, but for what it does, it captures the essence of what growing up really is, and that is one of the reasons that this film works so well.
*** ½ Stars
Honestly I thought it was going to suck. but there is a certain real edge to the movie that you don't find in the vast majority of "teen movies".. Most of the dialogue and characters are spot on, teens act like teens.. yet it still manages to be entertaining and humorous while carrying a message without caving and going to extremes..No names for all but three of the major roles (Gregory Smith, Caitlin Wachs and Julie Bowen) adds to the feel.. A few moments of stupidity and one particular character hurt the movie.. but there are a few great standout scenes and characters that make up for it.. It's not perfect, but it wasn't meant to be.. otherwise you'd end up with that carbon copy teen movie..
August 22, 2011
A good, slightly thought provoking film that will give teenagers another reason to 'fight the power' at school. 'Inspired' rather than 'based' on true events is an accurate description of this film, as it can't quite decide whether to be serious or give into teen-popcorn-dom. Its message of freedom of speech is at times hyped up and made as much of a spectacle as its stereotypical characters, who unrealistically decide to band together. Although the impetus is documentary the theme is at times muddied with over idealization of fictional film which is used to further a romantic subplot. Journalism is touched on but social upheaval and protest is literally given the stage. The film however does illustrate the intelligence of the characters and of non violent protest but is ultimately watered down with artistic licence and the avoidance of rebuke for provoking or persuading young viewers to copy the film. As a whole this film is good but the feeling I got from it was: this movie is true-ish, what they did was right kinda, we're not saying that you should do this too, but hey its enjoyable right! Which is downright hypocritical considering the plot.
Gregory Smith - Holden Donovan
Gregory Smith, star of the WB hit television show, Everwood, is an accomplished young actor with dozens of television and feature credits under his belt. Working with the likes of Mel Gibson in The Patriot and starring as the lead in the Dreamworks production Small Soldiers. “He was the first kid to audition,” recalls Soldier director Joe Dante. “He walked into the room and we immediately knew we were never going to do better. Gregory is a bright kid and an intuitive actor.”
Beginning his acting career at age six on the big screen, Smith was cast in feature roles for numerous studio pics including Kushner/Locke’s Andre, Paramount’s Leaping Leprachaun 1 & 2, and as Richard Dreyfuss’s son in Disney/Touchstone’s Krippendorf’s Tribe. Guest starring in numerous television series including The Commish, and working opposite Shelly Duval in the Showtime film, My Teacher Ate My Homework, Smith was honored with the “Young Artist Award” for Best Leading Young Actor./p>
Stephanie Sherrin- Charlotte Pratt
Stephanie Sherrin made her recent film debut as the female lead in Lenny the Wonderdog alongside Craig Ferguson, Kathy Kinney, Andy Richter and Michael Winslow. In a recent interview, Michael Winslow mentioned that “Stephanie reminds me of a very young Juliane Moore.”<
Stephanie quickly transitioned into her next feature, Kids in America as the lead actress. The auburn-haired teen was born with a passion for acting and seems destined to fulfill her dream. While still in first grade, she performed a one-girl show to an appreciative crowd of several hundred people. The performance featured her playing a number of characters including a “valley girl” and a “cheerleader”, all created from her own imagination. Her parents and teachers were shocked to see this “reserved” kid come to life on stage as she did.
From the time she could aim a video camera, she began performing as well as directing dramatic and comedic shorts. Her love of the craft inspired her to become active in drama clubs, perform in school plays and study acting techniques with private coaches and in workshops. By the time she was a young teenager, she had signed with The Wilhelmina Agency and began her professional career modeling and acting. She has since appeared in numerous commercials and national print campaigns. Sherrin is currently in her sophomore year at Tufts University in Boston.
Nicole Richie - Kelly Stepford
Twenty-four year old Nicole Richie found instant fame in the Fox surprise smash series The Simple Life. Richie is the daughter of legendary pop icon Lionel Richie and her mother is Manager and Music Publisher, Brenda Richie. Richie grew up in Los Angeles and attended the renowned Buckley private school, graduating from Montclair in the San Fernando Valley. Nicole then attended the University of Arizona. Throughout school, Richie took acting classes and was also a competitive figure skater since the age of eight. She won many competitions and passed on her skating talents tutoring younger children skating while she was attending school. An aspiring singer, Richie plays the violin, cello and piano. She is currently working on an album to be released in 2005 and a book for Harper Collins called The Truth About Diamonds.
Richie has also had guest appearances on the UPN shows Eve and Rock Me Baby, HBO's Six Feet Under and NBC's American Dreams as Brenda Reid, the lead singer of The Exciters. In addition to her first film role in Kids in America, Richie also made a cameo appearance in Wes Craven's Cursed.
Nicole Richie is on the board of the Environmental Media Association. She also supports several charities including Young Musician's Fund and The Race to Erase MS and was recently honored by A Place Called Home. When not on the road, Richie makes her home in Los Angeles.
Malik Yoba - Will Drucker “Mr. D.”
Born and raised in NYC, multi-talented Malik Yoba made his professional debut as an actor in the Disney hit, Cool Runnings in 1993. Since that time, he has appeared in almost 20 films including, Copland, Smoke, Blue in the Face, Hooked Up, Harlem Aria, Vote for Me, Ride and Dreaming in Black and White, winner of &lsqou;Best Film' at the 2003 Phoenix Film Festival. He will star in the new series for FX called Thief (spring 2006) with Andre Braugher and Linda Hamilton. He is currently playing the recurring character Ice on the Emmy award winning comedy Arrested Development on Fox Television and can be seen in the recently released Warner Bros. film Criminal starring John C. Rielly and Diego Luna. He is also shooting the independent featureThere Just My Friends in New York with Vincent Pastore and Frank Pelligrino.
Yoba received three NAACP Image Awards for his role as JC Williams, the tough but sensitive cop in the popular television series New York Undercover. He has also starred in TNT's first series Bull and NBC's short lived series Kingpin and had a recurring role in the 2003-2005 seasons ofGirlfriends (UPN). His notable television guest appearances include Twilight Zone, John Wells' short lived series Trinity, Law and Order and Where I Live. He has been a host on Soul Train and MTV as well as two television specials, The Power of One, which he created and was aired on ABC andWhy My Child?
As a musical artist (voice and acoustic guitar), Yoba has performed throughout the country including on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall and he has shared the stage with Patti Labelle, the reggae musical dynasty the Marley family and Whitney Houston.
His notable stage performances include starring roles in Equus, Growing Upand Other Heroic Deeds and his first national tour His Woman His Wife, which toured 13 cities and grossed $5,000,000 in twelve weeks in the urban theatre market. The success of this inspired Yoba to write What's on the Hearts of Men, which he also produced and co- directed with Tony winner George Faison, and performed one of the lead roles. In 2003, he established The Malik Yoba National Theater Company (The MYNT Company), which launched its first production, Acoustic Chocolate in 2004. The mission of The MYNT Company is to create, acquire, produce and distribute content for the urban theatre market. Yoba is also one of the partners in the new publication Urban Theatre and Entertainment Magazine, the first magazine to cover the urban theatre market.
In 2000, he formed the Malik Yoba Fatherhood Project, a non-profit national foundation that provides cultural, educational and community outreach programs for fathers and their families. The first major initiative was Daddy Conference 2000 at Georgetown University which was attended by 150 men from 9 states. In 2001 Yoba created The Great American Fathers Day Celebration, a celebrity driven awards show.
Julie Bowen - Principal Weller
Julie Bowen is currently starring as Denise Bauer on the ABC Television Network's Boston Legal. Bowen was raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she caught the acting bug as a child while putting on plays with her two sisters in their backyard. After graduating from Brown University, she moved to Los Angeles and within weeks won the lead in the Showtime movie Runaway Daughters directed by Joe Dante and went on to complete a nine-episode arc as Noah Wyle's girlfriend on NBC's ER. She recently finished four seasons as a star of the NBC series Ed and she appeared in several episodes of the critically-acclaimed ABC series Lost and Jake in Progress.
On the big screen, Bowen starred opposite Adam Sandler in the comedyHappy Gilmore appeared with Michael Keaton in Multiplicity. She also starred in An American In Paris, performed with Lynn Redgrave in the romantic comedy Venus and Mars and starred with Tim Allen in Joe Somebody.
Caitlin Wachs - Katie
At just 16 years old, Caitlin Wachs is already a veteran actress. In addition to Kids in America, Wachs can also be seen in ABC's Commander-in-Chiefstarring Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland. Other starring roles in TV include the critically acclaimed Fox comedy series, Cracking Up and the WB Television comedy Family Affair.
In addition to Cracking Up and Family Affair, Wachs also appeared as a series regular on NBC's drama The Profiler. She earned a Hollywood Reporter YoungStar Award as well as multiple YoungStar Award nominations for her performance as Ally Walker's daughter, "Chloe Waters". She's also played recurring roles on CBS's To Have and To Hold and the soaps, The Bold & the Beautiful and Days of Our Lives.
Wachs has an extensive film pedigree as well. She recently completed filming the independent feature, Mary Worth, starring as "Mary Worth.rdquo; She also starred in the Warner Bros film, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, directed by Callie Khouri, playing the young version of Ashley Judd and Ellen Burstyn's character, "Vivi.rdquo;
As a youngster, she was seen in the Warner Bros film, My Dog Skip with Frankie Muniz, for which she won a Young Artist Award for her portrayal of her character, Rivers Applewhite. Other film credits include Disney's live action film, Inspector Gadget 2 opposite French Stewart; New Line Cinema'sThirteen Days in which she starred as Kevin Costner's daughter; Paramount's The Next Best Thing with Madonna and Rupert Everett; Walt Disney's Air Bud 3: World Pup, Walt Disney's Air Bud 4: 7th Inning Fetch(for which Wachs was nominated for best actress from the Premiere DVD Awards in 2003).
Emy Coligado - Emily Young
Emily Coligado began her career on Broadway, in the hit Tony nominated musical Miss Saigon. She then moved to Los Angeles and segued into television and film. She was featured in the Warner Bros. feature, Miss Congeniality 2, starring Sandra Bullock, Emily’s list of independent features include Don’t Come Knocking, directed by Wim Wenders and Bamboozled,directed by Spike Lee. Television credits include recurring roles on Malcolm in the Middle, Crossing Jordon and guest star roles in ER, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Law and Order.
Crystal Celeste Grant - Walanda Jenkins
An up-and-comer in the musical world, Crystal’s singing and dancing talents allowed her early entrance into the world of children’s programming starring in music videos and features for Disney, Jim Henson and others. Advancing into teen roles in various television series such as Sister-Sister, The Parenthood, and All About Us she has appeared in numerous features including Lawnmower Man 2, The Wood, and Point Blank.
Chris Morris – Chuck
Debuting in his first feature film with Kids in America, Moriss’ comedic personality began at an early age with a love of impersonation. At age 17, he and his father (a notable city athletic figure) formed the Chris and Dad Show, a stand-up skit that performs regularly for charity in his home town of Philadelphia. Chris traveled with the “Lads of Comedy” stand-up troupe performing in Philadelphia and Chicago, and he can currently be seen performing as a stand-up comedian in dinner theatres in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Deleware.
Alex Anfanger – Lawrence
For the past seven years Alex has been performing in local theatre includingFootloose, Orpheus Descending, Death, Guys and Dolls, Dandelion Wine, Damn Yankees, Fools and The Crucible. Kids in America is Alex’s first feature film project. Graduating from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, he is now living in New York and studying at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Adam Arkin – Mr. Mumsford
Adam Arkin has appeared in numerous feature films and television series throughout his extensive career including films such as Hitch, Marilyn Hotchkiss Charm School, The Doctor, Stark Raving Mad, Hanging Up, Halloween H20 and Wrestling Ernest Hemingway. Arkin is a notable television character actor, well known for his appearances in Northern Exposure, China Beach, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, Frasier, Monk, The West Wing and 8 Simple Rules. Arkin's roles in Frasier, Chicago Hope andNorthern Exposure each earned him an Emmy nomination. He has also appeared on Broadway in Guys and Dolls and I Hate Hamlet for which he received a Tony award nomination and he has gone behind the camera and directed Monk ;and My Louisiana Sky for which he received an Emmy award for Best Director and a DGA nomination. Arkin recently wrapped production on Graduation.
George Wendt - Coach Thompson
George Wendt is best known to television audiences as Norm Peterson fromCheers. The role earned him six Emmy nominations. George began his career with The Second City, Chicago’s famed improvisational company. His feature film credits include Forever Young, Guilty By Suspician, Fletch, Gung Ho, Rubert’s Land, and Outside Providence.
Wendt appeared in the critically acclaimed stage production of David Mamet's Lakeboat, which was directed by Joe Mantegna, and frequently performs onstage in New York, Los Angeles and his native Chicago. In the summer of 1989, Wendt traveled to the USSR to portray the title role ofOblomov in a BBC adaptation of Ivan Goncharov's novel.
Andrew Shaifer - Chip Stratton
Andrew Shaifer has worked extensively as an actor, writer and producer in both Los Angeles and New York for 15 years. He is currently filmingGreetings from the Shore with Paul Sorvino. His previous credits include:Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo, Master of Disguise, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights, ;The Wedding Singer, The Cable Guy, Bulletproof, Little Giants, Final Draft, Lenny the Wonder Dog and Battle of the Sexes which won best short at the Sundance Film Festival.
Shaifer's television credits include a recurring role on The West Wing and a pilot on ABC, Sugar Hill, produced by Gary David Goldberg. He also starred in a pilot for VH-1 called Padded Cells ;and was hired to produce, write and star in the pilot, The Untitled Mike McMichaels Project, for Los Angeles Center Studios. Shaifer has also had guest starring roles on ;Dharma and Greg, Living Single, High Incident, Rude Awakening, Lois and Clark ;andEllen.
Onstage Shaifer understudied Martin Short and Brendan Fraser in Four Dogs and a Bone, directed by Lawrence Kasdan. He also wrote and starred in his own one man show, We the People which played to standing room only audiences in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.<
Rosanna Arquette - Abby Pratt
Rosanna Arquette was born in New York City to a show business family. She was the first-born child of five in the third generation of the Arquette acting clan. Her grandfather Cliff Arquette played "Charley Weaver" on The Jack Paar Show and the original Hollywood Squares. Her father, character actor Lewis Arquette, was well known as "J. D. Pickett" on The Waltons. Her siblings Patricia Arquette, David Arquette, Alexis Arquette and Richmond Arquette all followed her into the family tradition as accomplished working actors>
rquette started working professionally as a teenager and has never stopped. Throughout her career she has worked with some of Hollywood's and Independent Cinema's most important and influential directors including, Blake Edwards (S.O.B.), John Sayles (Baby It's You), Lawrence Kasdan (Silverado), Martin Scorsese (After Hours, New York Stories), Luc Besson (The Big Blue), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), David Cronenberg (Crash), Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66) and Alison Anders (Sugar Town). She has appeared in over 70 films.
Arquette won the British Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her star-making performance opposite Madonna in Susan Seidleman's 1985 hit,Desperately Seeking Susan. She was nominated for an Emmy for her strong performance in the television adaptation of Norman Mailer's, The Executioner's Song opposite Tommy Lee Jones. She also starred in the acclaimed TV movie adaptations of ;Song of the Morning Star and Johnny Belinda. She has guest starred in numerous television series such as Will and Grace, The Practice, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Showtime's provocative hit The L Word. Rosanna Arquette stars in the new ABC seriesWhat About Brian from executive producers J.J. Abrams and Dana Stevens premiering in January 2006.<
Rosanna Arquette's vast experience in the film world has inspired her to explore and expand her talent as a filmmaker into the realm of directing and producing with two highly acclaimed documentaries, 2002's em>Searching for Debra Winger and 2005's All We Are Saying. She is currently developing projects, including her narrative film directorial debut, through her company, Flower Child Productions./p>
Elizabeth Perkins - Sondra Charmichael
Elizabeth Perkins is currently starring as Celia Hodes in Showtime's critically acclaimed show Weeds. Perkins made her feature-film debut in Ed Zwick'sAbout Last Night. Her breakthrough performance was opposite Tom Hanks in Big, followed by an acclaimed performance in Barry Levinson's Avalon. Her other film credits include The Doctor, He Said, She Said with Kevin Bacon, Indian Summer, The Flintstones ;(as 'Wilma'), Miracle on 34th Streetand Moonlight and Valentino. Other feature projects include 28 Days, Cats and Dogs and the animated ;Finding Nemo (as the voice of 'Coral'). Her recent films include ;Fierce People directed by Griffin Dunne, ;The Ring Twoand Must Love Dogs opposite Diane Lane. She also stars in the upcoming Showtime Independent Film Speak.
Charles Shaughnessy - Sargeant Charmichael
Local theatre in Los Angeles landed Charles Shaugnessy an 8 year run onDays of Our Lives as the character Shane Donovan. Later he starred in the successful NBC show The Nanny, opposite Fran Drescher. Feature work includes Denial, with Jason Alexander and Patrick Dempsey,& Second Chances, The Painting and TV movies A Kiss So Deadly, Disney’s Dayo ;with Elijiah Wood and Get a Clue ;with Lindsay Lohan. Preschoolers are great fans of Charles Shaugnessy, he’s the voice of Dennis the Goldfish in the animated series Stanley.
W. Earl Brown ;– Boss McGinn
After receiving his undergraduate degree at Murray State University in Kentucky and his MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University, Earl Brown began his career in Chicago, IL. It was his breakout performance in A View from the Bridge at the Steppenwolf Theatre that brought numerous other projects his way. Stage work led to film work. While in Chicago, Earl was cast in several movies, including Backdraft, The Babe, Excessive Force, Rookie of the Year, and numerous television projects.
In 1993, Brown moved to Los Angeles and began working almost immediately. Auditioning for Wes Craven was a landmark for him as he was cast in Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which led to A Vampire in Brooklyn, which led to Scream. Two years later Brown landed his first breakout role on film playing Warren, Cameron Diaz's mentally challenged brother in There's Something About Mary. His resume includes Vanilla Sky, Being John Malkovich, The Alamo, The Last Shot, Sugar and Spice, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, Deep Impact, Kiss the Girls, and the lead role in Dunsmore.
On television, Brown received much acclaim for his portrayal of the singer Meat Loaf in VH1's biopic, Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back. He has had numerous guest starring roles on shows such as Six Feet Under, NYPD Blue, X-Files, CSI, Cold Case and Seinfeld, as well as series regulars in pilots for Dreamworks/ABC, Paramount/NBC, and a recurring role in Push, NV.<
Currently Brown can be seen on HBO playing "Dan Dority" in the critically acclaimed series Deadwood. This fall, Brown has two films coming to theatres, Killer Diller ;and a supporting lead opposite Robin Williams and Holly Hunter in ;The Big White.
Kim Coles - Loretta Jenkins
When Hollywood first met actress, comedienne, and playwright Kim Coles, she was well on her way to becoming one of funniest and most creative talents in the business. From her starring role as Syncliare on the long-running FOX sitcom Living Single, to her co-starring role on The Geena Davis Show, Coles has always been a true source of humor for television audiences. Her recent unforgettable role as Doctor Mary on NBC's legendary show Frasier only reinforced that truth. Coles has also found success in the current reality trend ñ on ABC's The Mole, VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and BET's Coming to the Stage. When not sharing her thoughts from her hilarious book I'm Free, But It'll Cost You, Coles is performing on comedy stages across the country.
Samantha Mathis - Jennifer Rose
A native of New York City, Samantha Mathis has crafted a distinguished career in film, theater and television. Mathis will be staring in the romantic drama Touched with Jenna Elfman and Randall Batinkoff. She will also be seen in Robert Collector's upcoming drama Believe in Me opposite Jeffery Donovan.
Mathis can next be seen in George Gallo's Local Color, starring opposite Armin Mueller-Stahl and Ray Liotta. Recently, Mathis starred in TNT'sSalem's Lot opposite Rob Lowe, with a cast that included Andre Braugher and Donald Sutherland. Mathis also starred in the feature film ;The Punisheropposite John Travolta and Thomas Jane and in the independent filmFathers and Sons. Mathis burst on the film scene in Pump Up The Volumeopposite Christian Slater followed by the film ;The Thing Called Lovealongside River Phoenix. Additional film credits include Attraction, The Simian Line, American Psycho, Broken Arrow, The American President, How to Make an American Quilt, Jack and Sarah, Little Women, This is My Life, and The Music of Chance.
In 2002, Mathis made her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had All the Luck opposite Chris O'Donnell. She has also made stage appearances starring opposite Tony AwardÆ-winner Linda Lavin in Collected Stories ;at the Geffen Playhouse and Fortin Bras at the Signature Theater in New York.<
Samantha's television credits include the series First Years, the telefilmCollected Stories for PBS and the critically acclaimed miniseries The Mists of Avalon.