The film The Company Men, which stars popular names Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, and Mario Bello, will also feature an appearance by a resident of Massachusetts: Canton actress Cindy Lentol. Company Men, which was shot in Boston last summer and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival screenings at the Coolidge Corner Theater in January, hits theaters today. The movie tells of three businessmen who are dealing with the effects of corporate downsizing. Lentol plays Dana, a woman who hosts a dinner party where Jones’s character is one of her guests.
Lentol has lived in Canton, Mass. for 11 years since moving from Los Angeles, and has had no problem boosting her career as actress and model from New England. Though her name might not be as commonplace as some Hollywood stars, Lentol has been seen — and heard — over the last 20 years in various films and television shows. She appears in an October episode of the ABC medical drama “Body of Proof,” which was filmed in Rhode Island, and has been featured in films such as the 2001 film Prozac Nation and, more recently, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.
Lentol has also appeared in commercials for companies such as Ocean Spray, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and Papa Gino’s. Recently she filmed an Applebee’s commercial in Connecticut with ESPN personality Chris Berman, which will air in November, as well as a commercial for Hunt’s Photo and Video, subject to air soon on WCVB-Channel 5. Her resume also includes voice-over work and modeling for print advertisements or billboards.
While she is still looking to land a role in a large project, Lentol feels she is in a good place — a good sign for all you Hollywood East readers looking to dive into an acting career!
View the trailer of the film Company Men below:
John Well’s directorial debut, The Company Men, which filmed in Boston last summer and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival screenings at the Coolidge Corner Theater in January, was recently purchased by the Weinstein Company and has set its sights on wide distribution this fall. The film, which co-stars Massachusetts natives Ben Affleck and Chris Cooper, follows the tale of a group of highly paid executives whose lives get turned upside down after massive company layoffs.
The film received decent, though not glorious reviews at Sundance, and its been rumored that the Weinstein Company has been involved with Wells in terms of re-editing the film so it will be more suitable for a wider audience in preparation of hitting movie screens nationwide. The movie should ring true to audiences still experiencing mass joblessness as the economy continues to struggle to recover from a recession.
From Living in Cinema:
According to the statement, the deal involves “a mid seven figure P&A commitment as well as a substantial theatrical release.” Considering the timing and the commitment and considering that it’s the The Weinstein Company, you can assume they’ll be making an Oscar push for this one.
Wells, who also wrote and produced the film, is rumored to have partially financed the project. The film also stars heavy-hitters Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, and Maria Bello. The film is now set to hit theaters across the country on October 22.
Fall is just around the corner and with it comes Boston’s Ben Affleck in The Company Men. The film sports a star-studded cast, with Tommy Lee Jones, Craig T. Nelson, and Kevin Costner rounding out the headliners as they portray familiar times by many who have been hit by the recession.
This one should hit close to home, as it resonates with the corporate downsizing and economic pitfall American has been thrown into for the past two years. Affleck plays a white-collar suit who all the perks that come along with his six-figure salary who suddenly finds himself without a job. Where Affleck dons white, his brother (Costner), dons blue, and offers him a job as a construction worker to help support his family during the tough times.
The film, which premiered at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA, highlights the lives of three men who undergo the effects of corporate downsizing, not only on themselves but on their families and community as well. If there ever was a city to highlight the blue-collar worker, it’s Boston. The Company Men filmed around Roxbury and in the suburbs of Wellesley and Framingham.
John Wells, who worked on shows such as “ER” and “The West Wing”, debuted his first directed and original feature film at this past Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews. Even though a movie about downsizing could be a depressing reminder of reality, could it be the next Up In The Air? See if Affleck and crew can hold up to George Clooney and Anna Kendrick’s Oscar nominee, in theaters October 22nd.
A slew of Massachusetts-filmed movies began hitting theaters in February and continue to roll out this summer. Furry Vengeance hit theaters last Friday coming in at number five in the box office. The kid flick chronicles a standoff between titan real estate developer Brendan Frasier and some cute and not-so-cuddly woodland critters fighting to keep their habitats preserved. Furry Vengeance also stars Brooke Shields. The Lightkeepers, starring Richard Dreyfuss, opened in March. Set in early 20th century Cape Cod, Dreyfuss plays a reclusive lighthouse keeper who has sworn off women.
Summer blockbusters Grown Ups and Knight and Day are both due out June 25th, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Both were filmed in Massachusetts, but that’s about where the similarities end. Grown Ups features a star-studded cast headed by Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, and Tim Meadows (whew!). The group reunites as adults after their high school basketball coach dies and inevitably hilarity ensues. Knight and Day pairs up Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on an action-adventure with a tinge of comedy. The two play a globetrotting fugitive couple on the run who realize nothing is what it appears to be, even each other.
The Social Network (Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake) and the The Town (Ben Affleck and Blake Lively) are due out this fall. Every college kid will identify with The Social Network with its history and evolution of ex-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facebook (which has its roots in Cambridge). In The Town, Ben Affleck is a bank robber who’s feelings for a bank manager get in the way of his next heist.
Set to come out in 2010 with no official release dates are The Company Men and The Fighter. Ben Affleck is having a busy year, also starring in The Company Men along side Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones which premiered earlier this year. The Fighter (Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, and Amy Adams) takes a look at boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward’s early career in the 1980s. Local actress Erica McDermott also makes an appearance.
It seems like no matter where you look this year, there’s a good chance you’ll see Massachusetts in many shots on the big screen!
14 year-old Norton, MA native Anthony O’Leary is not your typical teenager. While the charming young man might play pitcher in his local little league, and even dabbles in juggling, what really makes him remarkable is the fact that he can currently be seen holding his own on the silver screen with Academy Award winners Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner in The Company Men. The bright-eyed young star recently took time to talk to Hollywood East Connection about his experience working on his first motion picture, and what it’s like to share scenes with an Oscar winner.
HEC: When did you first become interested in being an actor?
It was about 3 or 4 years ago that I decided I wanted to be in TV commercials. I wanted to be on television. So my mom helped me get into a modeling agency, where I did some print work, and I also did a commercial that aired in New York. I also have done some theater in my town.
HEC: How did you get the role in The Company Men?
The modeling agency in Boston I have called me about the part, so I went in and auditioned. When I got called back, I had to do my scenes with John Wells, the director. The I got called back for a third audition, and I found out I got the part about 2 weeks after I went in for that. The whole process took about a month. After the second audition I felt like I had a real shot at it, but after the third, I really had no idea. When I found out I got it, I was speechless. When we got the call, my family was sitting down at the kitchen table, and they told me I got the part. All I could do was keep smiling, I really couldn’t believe it.
HEC: How did you prepare for it?
Because I didn’t have my manager until after the film, my mom and dad helped me run through lines. They weren’t that hard to memorize. I only spent about 10 days on set total. John Wells is a phenomenal director. He used perfectly understandable words to help me know how I should feel in a scene and act it out. He really is a great guy; one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.
HEC: What was it like working with such big-name stars?
When I got on set, I didn’t expect Ben Affleck to give me the time of day. I really didn’t expect him to talk to me as much as he did, but we talked a lot about sports. We talked about baseball; I guess he’s a pretty big Sox fan. He asked me if I play, and I told him I’m a pitcher, so he asked about what pitches I threw.
HEC: What was the most surprising thing you learned about working on a movie set?
I wasn’t expecting it to be as easy as it was. Everyone always says ‘don’t look at the camera’, but its really not that hard at all. I expected a lot more confusion, but John Wells made it very easy. The entire crew was so amazing, they all know exactly what they are doing and they do it so fast, its very interesting. Overall it was just a really fun, great experience.
HEC: What was your most memorable experience working on the film?
Life itself on the set, everything that was happening on the set, was so interesting. Sometimes we didn’t have to get everything done right away, and the people around the set would tell jokes to pass the time. One time I was juggling on set, someone came and started juggling too. I talked a lot to some of the medics, they gave me a lot of advice about things, like for the future, I should take clips from the movie to send on future auditions.
HEC: Would you like to work on more movies in the future?
I’m hoping to do more movies and have more opportunities in the future, because I really like it a lot. Working in movies is something I really want to get into. I’m lucky because my friends joke with me about it, say things like“hey what’s up movie star”, but no one has tried to be my friend just because I’m in the movie. I have true friends, and it feels really good to know that. Going into the movie, to see it for the first time, I was so nervous, I didn’t know how I was gonna look. Seeing myself on the big screen for the first time was weird, I didn’t think I did that well, but my parents said I did. The second time felt better, I think I got over my nerves, and was a bit more used to it.
HEC: Any final thoughts on your experience with The Company Men?
Just that John and Ben were so nice, I thought that was amazing. Really everyone on set was so nice and so supportive, from my very first day on set. I was absolutely so nervous, I had to listen to my iPod while we were driving there to the set. But as soon as I got there, John Wells and Ben Affleck talked to me, and made me feel at ease and like I belonged.
Thursday night’s sudden snow squall was nothing compared to the flurry of activity at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, as the Sundance Film Festival USA’s world premiere of The Company Men took place, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Costner. Writer, producer, and now first-time director John Wells was in attendance, and sat down with Hollywood East Connection before introducing the locally shot film to a packed theater.
Wells, whose previous projects include writing and producing long-lasting, hit television shows like “ER”, “The West Wing”, and “Third Watch”, stacked his deck well with his directorial debut. Aside from the A-list cast, the humble 6-time primetime Emmy winner spent years researching and writing The Company Men, despite the fact that its relevancy is practically ripped from today’s newspaper headlines. Though the cast features 3 Oscar winners (Affleck, Costner, and Chris Cooper), Wells maintains he did not write the roles for these specific actors, though they were all his first choices.
“Luckily, they were all anxious to do something about what’s going on. For artists, its gratifying to do something that you can see as relevant.” he told the audience in a question and answer session that followed the film.
Though he originally began writing the film during the .com bust several years ago, and even shopped it around production studios, it was deemed not relevant enough at the time, and it got kicked around in the years that followed, before Wells incorporated new material derived from interviews he conducted since the economy crashed a year and a half ago.
“I wanted to bring a dignity to it without being sensationalist or disrespectful to the experience” he said. “I talked to many people who were having a rough time but maintained that it was a tragedy with a small ‘t’.”
Still, the havoc that the economic crises has wreaked on the people who lost their jobs as a result left an impression on Wells.
“There was this leper colony sort of mentality amongst the people that were laid off. A sense of shame, but an individual shame, because they felt like they had lost their chance at the ‘American Dream’” Wells said.
When asked why he chose Boston as the city where he filmed his movie, Wells confessed he originally wrote the script to be set in Philadelphia, only to find that the “City of Brotherly Love” could not provide all of the settings necessary for scenes featuring abandoned manufacturing buildings.
Wells said of Boston “The city is beautiful, and everyone we encountered here was very cooperative. The tax incentives were helpful, as we were looking at cities where they were offered in order to make our budget. We also found great cast and crew from the area. There’s also a lot of great restaurants here–I ate a lot!”
In fact, The Company Men special effects team featured the talents of Jay Stone, and first-time local actor Anthony O’Leary, who we’ll be featuring here in an exclusive interview. For more from the multi-talented director John Wells, look for our upcoming video interview this week, only on Hollywood East Connection!
With the New Year ahead of us, many will be looking for those fresh films that might be a little under the radar for most moviegoers. Shot in the Boston area this past spring, The Company Men has already created quite a buzz within the New England film industry, and continues to bring attention to the region with its upcoming premiere at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA.
Directed by John Wells, The Company Men is about the effects of a major company’s corporate downsizing on three men and those in their lives over the course of a year. The movie stars current Massachusetts resident Chris Cooper, Harvard grad Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Cambridge’s own Ben Affleck.
After screening at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, The Company Men was chosen to be one of eight movies to officially premiere around the country as a part of Sundance Film Festival USA. With the other feature films appearing that same night in places such as Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Chicago, Bostonians should be thrilled that their city will play host to its own red carpet.
The Company Men is set to have its world premiere January 28th at 7 p.m. at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Tickets for the event are available for purchase online and at the theater’s box office on January 4th. This is surely an event that New England film enthusiasts won’t want to miss.
Perhaps it was their child-like charm or their movie-star good looks; either way, producers of the new movie The Company Men recruited three Hastings brothers from Londonderry, NH to play the children of the Oscar award winner Kevin Costner, and the boys readily agreed.
According to the Eagle Tribune, Chip, Sam and Max Hastings, all ranging in ages from 11 to 15, were contacted by their talent agent about the roles, which called for children between the ages of 11 to 14. During their couple of days on set, two spent filming and one in wardrobe, the brothers shot two scenes: one where they celebrate Thanksgiving with Costner and Ben Affleck and another where they play touch football with their on-screen father.
Though this will be their largest role to date, the kids have already been featured in commercials as well as corporate films. The brothers’ interest in the film industry began with Chip’s, 15, involvement in community theatre, notably the Kids Coop in Londonderry. In order to encourage her sons’ interest, Cyndy Hastings took her children to the Boston Agency for Children, who currently represents them. Though it began with Chip’s interest in film, it is Max, 11, who has booked the most jobs. He is currently up for a part in Adam Sandler’s new film, Grown Ups, which has been shooting in Massachusetts.
With the development of the new east coast production company, Plymouth Rock Studios, they intend to expand their resume and continue to attend casting calls. Considering that they’ve already been filmed alongside an Oscar winning actor, who knows where we’ll see them next.
Keep your eyes peeled for Cambridge-bred Ben Affleck, as he, along with Kevin Costner, and Harvard alum Tommy Lee Jones are currently filming in and around Boston for their upcoming film, “The Company Men”. The topically relevant picture follows the three men as they find themselves victims of corperate downsizing, and the resulting turmoil that ensues in their professional and personal lives. The trio of actors and production crew have been spotted filming scenes throughout the past month at the Lawrence Gannon Municipal Golf Course in Lynn, Oakcliff Road in Wellesley, a make-shift soundstage located at 121 Webster Ave. in Chelsea, as well as on Boston Common, the Financial District, the South End, South Boston, and Roxbury. Affleck’s area connections both personally and professionally are deep–his 2007 directorial project, “Gone Baby Gone”, took place in and was filmed around Boston. In 1997, he won the Oscar as a writer on “Good Will Hunting”, in which he also co-starred with best friend, the Boston-born Matt Damon. This film also took place in and was filmed in the Boston/Cambridge area.
Billy Dowd Casting is seeking extras for the feature film, The Company Men, currently being shot here in MA. They’re looking for business professional types, men and women, ages 35 and up for the movie The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kevin Costner. The open casting call will be held on Saturday, April 11th from 10:00am – 3:00pm at the Felt nightclub in Boston, 533 Washington Street. Bring a recent photo and have fun!
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