After winning plaudits as naïve young investor Jamie Shipley in The Big Short, Finn Wittrock is getting ready for an assignment that may prove even more challenging: playing two characters in indie movie Abe.
The American Horror Story star will portray the title character, an introvert who spends his time on video games, and Abe’s best friend, the rock star-like bad boy Logan. The twist: Logan exists only in Abe’s imagination. Tensions build when Abe meets and falls in love with the cool and quirky Sydney, played by Juno Temple (Black Mass, Far From the Madding Crowd, Maleficent, the upcoming HBO series Vinyl).
Los Angeles-based Australian director Sarah Spillane starts shooting the psychological drama in L.A. next month. Coronet Films’ Deborah Del Prete (The Wedding Planner, Green Street Hooligans, The Submarine Kid) is producing in association with Melissa Beauford and Spillane’s Kick Pictures. Spillane co-wrote the screenplay with Mischa Ayoub (Double Negative).
Spillane’s agents at Paradigm are packaging and financing the film and a deal with an international sales agent is in negotiation. “ I think it takes a unique actor to pull off playing two very different characters in the one story ,” Spillane told Forbes. “Not only does Finn have an incredible performance range but it’s like he physically transforms when he shifts between the two characters. It’s like he’s playing both the Edward Norton and Brad Pitt roles in Fight Club. I was open to casting two different actors to play Abe and Logan because it is important for me that the actor completely embodies each character. But when I heard Finn first read both roles I was convinced.’
Last year Del Prete and Wittrock collaborated on The Submarine Kid. Spillane had been an admirer of the actor since she saw him on Broadway in Death of a Salesman with the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield.
Temple was their first choice to play Sydney. “I have always been a huge fan of her work and was kind of stunned when she responded so positively to the script,” Spillane said. “After she first read it, we met for coffee and immediately connected. I think chemistry between the actors is super important in stories like this so Finn, Juno, and I had lunch about a week after my first meeting with Juno and there were sparks (and multiple fits of laughter) immediately.