Meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time can be tough. Planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner – until you realize that they don’t even know she’s gay – is even harder. When Abby (Kristen Stewart) learns that Harper (Mackenzie Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew. Happiest Season is a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.
TriStar Pictures and eOne present a Temple Hill production, Happiest Season. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, with Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen. Directed by Clea DuVall. Produced by Isaac Klausner and Marty Bowen. Screenplay by Clea DuVall & Mary Holland. Story by Clea DuVall. Executive Producers are Wyck Godfrey and Jonathan McCoy. Director of Photography is John Guleserian. Production Designer is Theresa Guleserian. Editor is Melissa Bretherton, ACE. Costume Designer is Kathleen Felix-Hager. Music by Amie Doherty. Music Supervision by Season Kent.
Happiest Season has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for some language.
MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY
“Holiday movies become part of your life in a way that other movies don’t,” says Clea DuVall, co-writer/director of Happiest Season, her second feature film. “They become traditions, they become something you look forward to. A holiday movie will take you to a very specific time and place. There’s no other cinematic experience like it.”
For Kristen Stewart, who takes the starring role opposite Mackenzie Davis, Happiest Season fits squarely into that cinematic tradition. “It’s a heartwarming, slightly stressful and manic Christmas movie – which are definitely my favorite ones, because that is what Christmas actually feels like,” she laughs. “I do love Christmas – it’s just that it can be a complicated time.”
Best-known for her work as an actress, including as Cora Lijek in the Oscar®-winning film Argo, DuVall has moved behind the camera to tell the stories from a perspective only she could bring. She notes that holiday movies have tended to tell one kind of story with one kind of character; as part of the LGBTQ community, DuVall sought to tell a more inclusive story with Happiest Season – the first major studio holiday movie revolving around an LGBTQ couple. “I love holiday movies, but I’ve never seen my own experience represented in one,” she says. “Most romantic comedy holiday movies tend to revolve around a heterosexual couple, and if there are LGBTQ characters, they’re in the background. Happiest Season felt like a way to tell a universal story from a different perspective.”
For DuVall, Happiest Season represents a combination of her sensibilities as a writer-director – a positive, optimistic, heartwarming film, a celebration all of the tropes that make holiday movies a sheer joy, told in a way that audiences have never seen before. “I wanted to make a by-the-book, happy, bright, warm romantic comedy where you know that the end will not be bittersweet. There are a lot of LGBTQ films that are beautiful but skew more dramatic. The LGBTQ community deserves happy endings sometimes.”
In co-writing the movie with DuVall, Mary Holland attests that making a satisfying holiday movie was job one. “I think that holiday movies are really significant to us,” says Holland, who also co-stars in the film. “They’re a big part of our childhoods, and a big part of how we experience the most wonderful time of the year, when we take stock of our lives, and are grateful for our family, either the one we’re born into or the one we find. I’m so excited that this is such an accessible holiday romantic comedy.”
“In Happiest Season, Clea and Mary have come up with a brilliant twist on the Christmas comedy that is laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving,” says producer Marty Bowen. “It manages to be both timely and timeless in the best of ways and we think it’s a holiday classic in the making.”
As she continues as a filmmaker, DuVall says that audiences can expect more films that put new characters into familiar genres. “I gravitate toward universal stories,” she says. “What I love about watching film is connecting with the characters – even when I’m watching characters who are not like me, which is most of the time, there’s something about their story, their journey, that I connect with. As I filmmaker, I want to tell stories do have that universal quality, told through a more specific lens.”
“It was important to us to make a movie that was not only grounded in reality and the intense drama behind certain family dynamics, but one that is also light and fun and relatable,” says Kristen Stewart, who stars as Abby, half of the couple desperately trying to keep the secret. “Not every story told about same sex couples needs to be so dark and intense.”
“What’s wonderful about this movie is that we’re within a very familiar genre to tell a different story,” agrees Mackenzie Davis, who plays Harper, the other half of the couple. “When you watch a Christmas romantic comedy, you know everything’s gonna be okay in the end. You will go through troubles and it will be stressful, but everybody will end up where they need to be in a positive way.”
The tropes of a holiday movie – going home for the holidays, where all of the family drama will boil over comedically – lend themselves beautifully to the family tensions many LGBTQ people face. “These two people going into a situation with a secret that they’re trying very hard to keep,” she says, noting that those secrets lead to an escalating series of comic complications. Even so, they arise from very real lived history. “I think we’ve all been there, where we’re going somewhere as ‘the friend’ – that felt like a good jumping off point for their secret to keep compromising other aspects of their relationship and the trip in unexpected ways.”
At the center of Happiest Season are Abby and Harper, played by Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. When news of their casting broke – that Stewart, who has long been a proud member of the LGBTQ community, would share an on-screen kiss with Mackenzie Davis, whose performance in the “San Junipero” episode of the television series “Black Mirror” earned a legion of fans – the news was extremely well-received. (Tweets: “IM GONG TO DIE”; “You mean to tell me… I’m not supposed to raptor screech about it for the next 10 years”; “Santa finally got around to my … letters after all this time”; “the fact that [they’re] going to be in a rom com together makes life worth living”… there are more.)
The reaction was no surprise to DuVall. “Mackenzie and Kristen are both such extraordinary actresses,” says DuVall. “They have an authenticity to their performances that resonates with audiences. Kristen being a member of the LGBTQ community playing an LGBTQ character is very exciting, and Mackenzie, who’s also been in LGBTQ content that’s been so meaningful to the community, I think it gratified a lot of people to see two people who will bring authenticity and do justice to the experience.”
Producer Isaac Klausner says that the film truly began to take shape when Stewart signed on to play the role. “We got so extraordinarily lucky with our ensemble cast, and it started with Kristen,” he says. “She was the person we were thinking of and hoping for from day one for so many reasons.”
“I knew very early on that I wanted Kristen to be part of the film,” says DuVall. “I’ve been such a huge fan of hers since she was a little kid, and she always makes such good choices in her roles. I love her as an actor so much and I’m grateful she was interested in coming on board. I think she brought such incredible nuance to Abby.”
“Christmas can be a loaded time for people without problems,” notes Stewart. “Abby is ready to propose to Harper, but little does she know that Harper’s parents are pretty conservative – they’re nice, but quite traditional, and don’t know that Harper is gay. Abby is trying to open up and be honest with the people dearest to Harper, which is hard to do at Christmastime.”
“Abby is a very confident person, very sure of herself and her relationship, and then she hits a roadblock that makes her reconsider all of that,” says DuVall.
“This is a very personal story for Clea,” Stewart continues. “The characters were so lived in already, before me and Mackenzie even got our hands on the script and got to work with each other on really making them individuals. I had never read a commercial movie that aspired to do something so straight-down-the-line, but also to do it in a really honest and representative way. I didn’t find that the characters had suddenly been sort of tokenized, or changed from straight characters into gay ones because it’s the time to jump on that bandwagon. It was specific, careful, funny and genuine, and I’d never seen anything like that – especially not from a studio.”
Happiest Season marked a rare film for Stewart – a comedy. “I have done very few comedies in my life. I was so thrilled to be on a set that was so full of laughter, constantly – I’ve never really had that experience before. Because my character doesn’t have a lot of jokes, I thought, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get some funny people here,’ but really, every person we cast is such an incredible actor – they’re present and real, and their comedic chops are constantly on display. Both Marys are MVPs for me – they can rattle off the most creative and elaborate but also present material. We were so lucky to have a family come together that felt real, and truly supportive, and invested, and involved.”
Klausner and Bowen previously teamed with Stewart on the Twilight movies. He says he knew from early on that the actress had the emotional depth and comedic abilities to bring Abby to life. “There’s comic absurdity to her journey, but the heart of it is very real,” he says. “On the one hand, someone she loves has asked her to do something very painful – to hide who she is. At the same time, she becomes trapped in a comedy of errors that keeps compounding hilariously. Kristen’s great talent is her ability to portray all of that simultaneously, sometimes with just a look,” explains Klausner.
The woman Abby loves is Harper, played by Mackenzie Davis. “Harper is a hyper-intelligent, whip-smart young woman who is very sure of who she is, but there’s a whole side of herself that’s the complete opposite of that, brought out when she’s with her family,” explains DuVall. “She desperately wants to please them and feels that she needs to follow a specific set of rules to be accepted by them, and that’s why she feels she’s not able to come out to them. But all of that is coming to a head now, because this is the first time she’s felt about a person the way she feels about Abby. This trip is really her breaking point.”
“Abby and Harper are an ideal, amazing, totally connected, intense relationship,” Davis explains, “I think that makes it so much more shocking when the secret of her having not come out to her parents comes up on the drive.”
“Harper really struggles with being her authentic self,” Davis continues, “whether that’s being out in front of her family or being a distinct individual within her family. There’s such an emphasis on what’s the best look for the family, and in coming home and being a full-fledged individual woman who has a life outside of this home, it’s hard for her – she has to shutter a lot of herself in order to function within the family.”
“I related to a lot of what Harper is going through,” says Davis. “When you become an adult, you have a whole life away from your parents – an identity, tastes, styles that are truly your own. When you come home, you often become your child self again, the easiest version of yourself, wherever you stopped growing in your family’s mind. For me, that idea of being a little girl again around my parents – having to fight for the identity you’ve cultivated outside of the family unit – that’s something I identified with.”
“What Harper asks Abby to do is a lot,” says Klausner. “Mackenzie plays her with a deep and clear sense of kindness and goodness that you fall in love with her and go on the journey with her.”
Davis says she enjoyed acting opposite Stewart and the rest of the cast. “The chemistry between me and Kristen is red-hot,” she says. “Everyone in this movie is so unbelievably good. Everyone brings such a richness to every moment of this movie, and make the movie funny as hell.”
“Mackenzie is such an incredible performer,” says DuVall. “The first time I saw her, in The Martian, she didn’t have a very big part, but she just blew up the screen. I started looking at everything she did, and I was completely blown away by her performances. Harper is the hardest part in the whole movie, and I think she just nailed all the different layers of her.”
The reason Harper has been so afraid to come out is that mom and dad are very specific kinds of old-fashioned, traditional parents. “Tipper is a very put-together, very mannered woman whose full-time job is keeping her family on the track of being a very specific kind of family,” notes DuVall. “She is then confronted with the consequences of her demands for this perfection, not only with her daughters but also with herself.”
Mary Steenburgen plays the role. “Mary is so funny but also an incredible comedic and dramatic actress,” she says. “You can’t help but love Mary’s characters, which is so important, because Tipper doesn’t always say or do things that you love.”
“Tipper’s husband, Ted, is running for mayor, and Tipper is deeply ambitious for him to win, because in many ways Tipper, feels a little unfulfilled,” says Steenburgen. “She’s hoping that his success will give her something too.”
“I think Tipper has kind of lived through her family and not really been as much an advocate for herself,” Steenburgen continues. “She’s chasing power and prestige through her husband, but that’s not necessarily what’s really in her heart.”
As Harper’s father, the charismatic aspiring pol Ted Caldwell, DuVall cast her old friend, Victor Garber. “I’ve always loved him, ever since we worked together on Argo,” DuVall remembers. “He was such a lovely man. Ted is not an easy part, and I knew that he would be able to bring the depth to him that he needed.”
Garber says that though Harper is afraid to come out Ted and Tipper, the parents are simply clueless, not hateful – they are driven to distraction by their own lives. “The Caldwells aren’t bigoted or unaccepting; it’s more about being caught up in wanting your children to be who you thought they were as children,” says Garber. “Ted’s loving; he’s just a myopic father – he doesn’t see all the things that are going on.”
Harper is not the only daughter who feels trapped by the expectations of the parents. Alison Brie plays Sloane, a type-A, buttoned-up lawyer-turned-purveyor of high-end gift baskets – not the kind of choice the Caldwells would approve of. “Sloane is this very uptight – she’s probably the most affected by her family,” says DuVall. “She’s tried to break away and tried to be brave by making a choice for her life that was not what her parents wanted for her. And she has been dealing with the consequences of that ever since.”
DuVall has been an actress for a long time, but still, she still get thrilled when she finds an actor’s performance is so good that the character is completely unlike the person. “Sloane is so buttoned up and uptight, and I would only see Alison on set in her wardrobe,” says DuVall. “Then we would start going out after work, and I would see, ‘Oh, no, you’re actually this very laid-back, cool person!’ I had no idea.”
“You could say Sloane is a little bit tightly wound,” says Brie. “She used to be a high-powered attorney and now she makes a version of high-end gift baskets – she calls them ‘vessels’ – that she’s very proud of, but this new occupation gets very little respect from the family. She’s highly competitive, and definitely competes with Harper for their father’s love.”
That competition gets physical at times, and the “Glow” star was able to put her stunt choreography skills to work. “Who knew that would come in handy on a holiday comedy?” laughs Brie. “We all know how family get togethers can become heated. Tensions definitely reach a tipping point for these sisters. At one point we’re racing each other through an ice-skating rink and falling over children, and the next we’re taking down the Christmas tree in a full-on brawl.”
Mary Holland rounds out the family as Jane. “Jane is the only person in the family who is not completely screwed up, who feels good about herself, and it’s only because the parents don’t really believe in her,” says DuVall. “But she never lets that affect her.”
It’s a role that Holland wrote for herself in co-writing the movie with DuVall. “I just love Jane so much,” says Holland. “She sticks out a little bit. Her family adheres to certain traditions and roles that have been carved out for them, and Jane buys into none of that. From a very young age, she’s been her own person – she’s a great example of what self-love looks like. She’s so unabashedly herself, ever-hopeful and optimistic.”
DuVall and Holland met while working together on HBO’s “Veep.” Hitting it off, they decided to write Happiest Season together. “It was so much fun working with her writing the movie, and then getting to direct her,” says DuVall. “I just adore her and want to see her in every movie.”
In writing for herself, Holland created a character that she identifies with strongly. “There are a lot of details about Jane that feel personal to me,” she says. “I’m a big fan of fantasy fiction. But I also relate to the way she interacts with people; I’m the same way. I am so eager to help people and cannot bear anybody being uncomfortable for a moment. I’ll go out of my way to make sure everybody feels comfortable. And I really aspire to be the kind of person she is – how loving of herself she is.”
Aubrey Plaza takes the role of Riley, Harper’s (secret) ex-girlfriend. After seeing each other in high school (and while Harper was in the closet), the relationship ended badly. “Riley was the only LGBTQ person in their high school, and even now, she feels very isolated,” says DuVall, “so when Abby arrives in town, they quickly develop a friendship.”
“Aubrey’s performance was so exhilarating because I never knew what she was going to do,” says DuVall. “Every time she was on screen, she was doing something interesting and something different. I’m such a huge fan.”
The final piece of the puzzle is John, Abby’s best friend. “He is one of those friends who will always tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it,” says DuVall. “He is her greatest ally and support system. He helps her understand Harper more.”
To play John, DuVall’s timing could not have been better: Daniel Levy, who recently won every Emmy Award possible for his producing, directing, writing, and acting on “Schitt’s Creek,” takes on the role. DuVall reached out as a fan, thinking he’d be right for the part. “I’ve been watching ‘Schitt’s Creek’ since the beginning,” she says. “He couldn’t be funnier, couldn’t be a better guy to work with. I loved hearing what he had to say about the film as a whole, and about his role and what he brought to it. I felt so lucky every time he was on set.”
“I was really particular and nervous about what I was going to do next after ‘Schitt’s Creek.’ We had the most joyful, lovely experience on that show – a feeling of pure, genuine love – and wanted to feel that again, if I could,” Levy recalls. “The minute I sat down with Clea to discuss the part, I knew that she had such a warmth to not just to who she is as a person, but to how she wanted to put this movie together. There was a genuine love for the story that she had written, and she wanted all of us to experience that love. Creating that experience was as important as making the movie. And because she created that, a set where people would feel safe and open to let their hearts bleed out, that feeling is captured on screen in this movie,”
“John has very set beliefs in what is right and what is wrong,” says Levy, describing his character. “When he sees what Abby is going through, it really tests their relationship, but it also tests his own ideas of what he stands for and what he doesn’t.”
Levy notes that a holiday film with LGBTQ characters at the center takes an expansive view toward the meaning of family – for good reason. “A lot of people, particularly members of the LGBTQ community, don’t have supportive families, so they have to turn to their friends in those moments,” he says. “This movie does a really lovely job of marrying family and found family, and celebrating both.”
The family affair in front of the camera was mirrored behind it, as DuVall teamed with the husband-and-wife team of John and Theresa Guleserian to spearhead realizing her vision for the look of the film as Happiest Season’s director of photography and production designer, respectively.
The process began as the three did the best kind of research: immersing themselves in classic holiday films. “We all watched so many Christmas movies together, and talked about what works and what doesn’t work, what is magical to us, what type of broad color palettes we’d like to have,” says Theresa Guleserian, who says that coming on board the project was something of a career highlight. “I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas movie, and this screenplay is so fun and touching.”
The production shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “It was important to Clea that we shoot somewhere that was cold and felt like winter,” says Guleserian. “Pittsburgh was incredible for that. It’s an inspiring city – it’s beautiful the way the river runs through it.”
“When I started researching Pittsburgh, it’s such a cool city that I changed the script so that we could shoot Pittsburgh for Pittsburgh and take advantage of all the gifts that Pittsburgh has to offer,” says DuVall. “The small town nearby where the family lives, I wanted that to be its own little world. When you go back home, it’s like going into a bubble – it feels like you’re stepping into a time machine and everyone regresses. Pittsburgh having so much range allowed us to create that feeling with Harper.”
The filmmakers stepped right into that bubble during the first week of filming, when the temperature was a balmy 17 degrees as the production filmed on the city’s “Candy Cane Lane,” a residential street with elaborate decorations for the holiday. “It’s one of Pittsburgh’s most holiday-splattered streets,” says Guleserian. “There are kids selling cocoa and holiday treats on the sidewalk. Carolers roaming the streets singing Christmas songs. When you step into that scene you know – this is a Christmas movie, everything people love about the holidays, and welcome to our world.” Despite shooting on the decidedly post-Christmas January 21, the neighbors helped out the production by keeping their homes in the Christmas spirit for a few extra weeks.
And while the citizens of Pittsburgh were excellent neighbors and hosts, the weather sometimes played the trickster. Nothing says Christmas like a white Christmas, and shots of the Caldwell house needed a blanket of snow… which wasn’t always there. The special effects crew would help out, then move to an interior shot… just as the skies dumped three to six inches of the real stuff on the ground – pressing a need to get back outside to shoot the winter wonderland.
For the interior of the Caldwell mansion, Guleserian built the entire house on a soundstage. “That was the thing that was most exciting to the team,” she says. “So much of the movie takes place in the house and because of the way the script is written, the geography of the house was paramount.”
“For instance, in one scene, Abby comes up the stairs and creeps past Ted’s office, and then past the family watching television in the den. She almost makes it upstairs, but then ducks back into the hallway. That’s just one piece, and there are million specific pieces like that written into the script. Clea knew exactly what she wanted, exactly how she wanted to experience the home. So that just required that we build it, so we did, and we made it work.”
Helping to bring these characters to life is costume designer, Kathleen Felix-Hager. “Initially talking with Clea about the concept of the film and it being a Christmas movie, and knowing that Christmas movies live forever, we really wanted to make the costumes timeless and classic,” she says. “That influenced a lot of our color palette and the silhouette choices. We didn’t do anything overly trendy, or of 2020. We wanted people to look at the movie 10, 15, 20, 25 years from now and relate to the characters and to be charmed by them, but not to be distracted by their costumes.”
“It was really a fantastic process, but it was definitely a process,” laughs Felix-Hager. “We went from the mood boards to having discussions, and then that changed, and then when the actors came in and we started having fittings, an actress will sometimes inform their character. There’s always tweaks that need to be made, but that’s my favorite part of making the movie – finding the character with the actor, director, and writer.”
Felix-Hager explains that the costumes for Abby and Harper were central, because the story of their character arcs is told through their wardrobe. “Abby is a very practical person,” says the costume designer. “She’s also very comfortable with herself. She knows who she is, and she’s a person that is comfortable in her place in the world. She’s in love with Harper and she wants the world to know it. To express that, we chose well-loved classic pieces that the character has taken very good care of. For instance, she has beautiful grey pea coat that she wears. She has a couple pair of jeans. She’s got a couple pair of boots. She mixes and matches these pieces – grey, navy, dark green, and burgundy. We sort of made that her world.”
In contrast with Abby, Harper’s wardrobe changes as her emotional state and self-awareness changes throughout the film.
“When we first meet Harper in the story, she’s in love with Abby, and she’s her most authentic self. But as Harper starts to adopt the childhood version that being with her family brings out, her personality and costumes change. And then, at the end, we will see her, again, fully embracing her authentic self.”
For Davis, it was an example of clothes helping to make the character. “We tried to turn Harper into her mother with the shapes of the costumes. In the beginning, she has layers and color and chaos, and then very slowly, we start to pare her down and turn her into Audrey Hepburn,” laughs Davis. “The final look is the most performative, female thing I’ve ever seen, just bows on every corner and bell skirts and ruffles all around. And it works really well – it feels like drag at that point, how loudly she’s trying to broadcast her supposed straightness.”
Other characters, too, expressed themselves through their wardrobe. “Jane, the middle sister, played by Mary Holland, is a free spirit and very sure of herself, but still trying desperately to get her family to notice her. So, we just wanted to have fun with her clothes, mixing patterns and prints together in a sort of girlish, quirky way. On the other hand, Sloane – the eldest sister, played by Alison Brie – is very uptight, so her clothes and her color palettes reflect that coolness. We used light blues, lavenders, and silvers to represent the coolness that she has. She dresses more like her parents think is an acceptable version of a young mother.”
The climax of the movie was also Felix-Hager’s most fulfilling moment. “When we were filming the big Christmas party scene, all the actors were there in their Christmassy looks,” she says. “We had over twelve actors in the scene, plus the extras, all requiring fittings and alterations and approvals from the director. After all of that, to finally see this large ensemble cast all together on-camera, and with everyone happy in what they’re wearing, it was a very nice, satisfying moment.”
ABOUT THE CAST
KRISTEN STEWART (Abby) is one of the most accomplished, talented, and in-demand young actresses in Hollywood. In 2015, she became the first American actress to be awarded a Cesar Award in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, in which she starred alongside Juliette Binoche. She received several other accolades for her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria, including the Best Supporting Actress prize for: NYFCC, BSFC, BOFCA, and NSFC. In January 2017, Stewart made her directorial debut with Come Swim which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Most recently, Stewart portrayed the title character, Jean Seberg, in Amazon Studios’ Seberg; starred in Sony’s Charlie’s Angels; and was the lead of Twentieth Century Fox’s Underwater. Next up, Stewart will begin production for Pablo Larraín’s film Spencer, in which she portrays Princess Diana.
Stewart was introduced to worldwide audiences in 2002 with her gripping performance alongside Jodie Foster in Panic Room. Her star took a huge rise when she starred as Bella Swan in the hit franchise The Twilight Saga. The series has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide receipts and consists of five motion pictures. She also starred in Universal’s box office winner Snow White and The Huntsman and in Walter Salles’ screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
Stewart’s career has displayed a challenging assortment of characters in additional films, including: Adventureland, Into the Wild (directed by Sean Penn), The Runaways, Welcome to the Rileys, The Cake Eaters, The Yellow Handkerchief, What Just Happened, In The Land of Women, The Messengers, Zathura, Speak, Fierce People, Catch That Kid, Undertow, Cold Creek Manor, The Safety of Objects, Camp X-Ray, Still Alice, Anesthesia, American Ultra, Equals, Ang Lee’s war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and Lizzie. Notable more recent credits include Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper, Woody Allen’s Café Society, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and JT Leroy.
Stewart resides in Los Angeles.
MACKENZIE DAVIS (Harper) will soon be seen in the HBO Max limited series “Station Eleven,” created by Patrick Somerville. The series, based off of the 2014 novel by the same name, will also star Himesh Patel.
Most recently, Davis starred in the Jon Stewart-directed and written comedy / drama Irresistable alongside Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, and Topher Grace. The film, produced by Plan B Entertainment, follows a Democrat strategist who helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwestern town.
Davis was also recently seen starring in Floria Sigismondi’s The Turning alongside Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince. Produced by Steven Spielberg, the film is a modern take on Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, and follows a young governess (Davis) hired by a man who has become responsible for his young niece and nephew after the death of their parents.
Last year, Davis starred alongside Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Tim Miller’s and Paramount Pictures’ reboot Terminator: Dark Fate, produced by James Cameron.
In 2018, Davis starred in Jason Reitman’s critically-acclaimed film Tully as the title character opposite Charlize Theron. In 2017, she appeared in Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 opposite Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto; and in 2016, she received rave reviews for her lead performance in Sophia Takal’s Always Shine, which premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival and for which she earned an award for Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film. Also in 2016, she starred in an episode of Netflix’s hit anthology series “Black Mirror” opposite Gugu Mbatha-Raw for showrunner Charlie Brooker. Her episode “San Junipero” won the 2017 Emmy for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.
In 2017, Davis starred in the fourth and final season of the critically-acclaimed AMC series Halt and Catch Fire alongside Kerry Bishé, Scoot McNairy, and Lee Pace. The series is set in the 1980s and dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer, and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time.
Other credits include Ridley Scott’s Oscar®-nominated The Martian with Matt Damon and Chiwetel Ejiofor and her breakout performance in Drake Doremus’ feature Breathe In.
Mackenzie Davis currently resides in London.
A two-time Golden Globe and five-time SAG Award-nominated actress, ALISON BRIE (Sloane) is one of the industry’s most talented leading ladies.
Brie can most recently be seen in Dave Franco’s directorial debut The Rental, starring opposite Dan Stevens. The film opened to #1 at the box office and on digital platforms and remained there for two weeks. Earlier this year, Brie starred in Jeff Baena’s Horse Girl, which she co-wrote and produced. The film marked her debut as a filmmaker and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Brie will next star in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman opposite Carey Mulligan, which also premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Focus Features on December 25, 2020.
Brie is well known for her starring role in the Emmy Award-nominated series “GLOW,” which ran for three seasons. For her performance, she received back-to-back Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy and four SAG Award nominations for Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2018 and 2019. Brie was also nominated for two Critics Choice Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2019 and 2020. During season three, Brie made her directorial debut with the episode “Hollywood Homecoming.”
Brie also starred in the award-winning drama series “Mad Men.” For her performance as Trudy Campbell, Brie won a 2009 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Additionally, the show won four Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards, eight AFI Awards, and a Peabody Award. While Brie was in production on “Mad Men,” she was simultaneously starring on the acclaimed comedy series “Community.” For her role as Annie Edison, she received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2018 and the show won the 2012 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Series.
Brie’s other film credits include starring in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture The Post, opposite Meryl Streep; James Franco’s Golden Globe nominee The Disaster Artist; Leslye Headland’s Sleeping with Other People opposite Jason Sudeikis; Jeff Baena’s Joshy and The Little Hours opposite Aubrey Plaza and Dave Franco; Nick Stoller’s The Five-Year Engagement opposite Emily Blunt and Jason Segel; Etan Cohen’s Get Hard opposite Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart; How to Be Single opposite Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson; Wes Craven’s Scream 4; The Kings of Summer; and Save the Date opposite Lizzy Caplan.
Additionally, Brie lent her voice to Uni-Kitty in The LEGO Movie and its sequel, which have grossed over $660 million worldwide, as well as the animated feature Weathering with You with Lee Pace and Riz Ahmed. She voiced the character of Diane in “Bojack Horseman,” Netflix’s first original adult animated series, which received back-to-back Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Animated Program in 2019 and 2020, a Critics Choice award for Best Animated Series in 2016, and four Annie Award nominations for Best TV/Media – General Audience, winning in both 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Brie received an Annie Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production.
Brie will next direct an episode of “Marvel 616,” an anthological documentary series, set to be released on Disney+ on November 20, 2020.
AUBREY PLAZA (Riley) will next star in Lawrence Michael Levine’s Black Bear, a suspenseful meta-drama, opposite Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon which will be released by eOne on December 4, 2020. The film, which she also produced, had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and garnered Plaza rave reviews for her performance. The Hollywood Reporter said: “it’s Plaza you can’t take your eyes off” and that she is “delivering some of her finest dramatic work to date.” Plaza also recently wrapped production on Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers, starring opposite Michael Caine.
Plaza most recently received critical acclaim for her role in Ingird Goes West, which she produced. As a producer, she won the 2018 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Plaza previously starred opposite Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson in Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed, which received the 2013 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay and a nomination for Best First Feature. For her performance in the film, Plaza won the 2012 ALMA Award for Favorite Movie Actress – Comedy/Musical. Her other film credits include: Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours and Life After Beth; Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates opposite Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron; Dirty Grandpa opposite Robert De Niro; Maggie Carey’s The To Do List; Jim Hosking’s An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn; Child’s Play; Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; and Judd Apatow’s Funny People.
On television, she starred in Noah Hawley’s series “Legion” on FX, which was based on the Marvel Comic of the same name. For her role on the show, Plaza was nominated for a 2018 MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Villain and an Imagen Award for Best Actress. Additionally, “Legion” was nominated for a 2018 Peabody Award and a GLAAD Media Award.
Plaza is best known for portraying April Ludgate on the Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning comedy series “Parks and Recreation” with Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Nick Offerman, among others. Her performance garnered her nominations for an American Comedy Award for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2014, an Alma Award for Favorite TV Actress in 2011 and 2012, and an Imagen Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress/Television in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Up next, she has teamed up with Danny DeVito and Dan Harmon to executive produce and voice a new animated series, “Little Demon,” for FX.
Additionally, Plaza hosted the Film Independent Spirits Awards in 2019 and 2020. She has been performing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater since 2004. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Plaza is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
DANIEL LEVY (John) is an Emmy-winning showrunner, writer, actor, director, and producer, best known for his work on one of the most beloved shows on television, “Schitt’s Creek,” which he co-created with his father Eugene Levy. For its sixth and final season, the series received nine Emmy wins, becoming the most awarded comedy series in a single year. The show also broke major records for being the first comedy or drama series to sweep all four acting categories and received the most wins for a comedy series in its final season. Levy and his father were also the first father-son pair to win Emmys in the same year and Levy tied the record for most wins by an individual in a single season with four total wins.
In 2013, he formed Not A Real Company Productions with his father and principals Andrew Barnsley and Fred Levy to create “Schitt’s Creek,” a half-hour single camera comedy for CBC/ITV/Pop. In addition to being the co-creator, showrunner, and executive producer of “Schitt’s Creek,” Levy also starred alongside Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, and Chris Elliott.
“Schitt’s Creek” has garnered dozens of awards and more than 100 nominations, sweeping the 2020 Emmys by winning Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actor, Best Comedy Actress, Best Comedy Supporting Actor, Best Comedy Supporting Actress, Best Comedy Writing, Best Comedy Directing, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. The show also has won a 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy, a 2020 Costume Design Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Television, a 2020 SAG Award nomination for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and a 2020 Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Comedy Series. In 2019, the show received four Emmy nominations, including Best Comedy Series and a 2019 TCA Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Also in 2019, Levy won Best Comedic Performance at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for his role on the show, and was honored by GLAAD with the Davidson/Valentini Award. In 2020, Levy received the CSA Radius Award and was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with the Visibility Award. Most recently, Levy was recognized as one of the Grand Marshals for NYC Pride 2020.
Levy began his television career co-hosting MTV Canada’s flagship show “MTV Live” and later co-wrote, co-hosted, and co-produced the critically-acclaimed ratings hit “The After Show” and its various incarnations, including “The Hills: The After Show” and “The City: Live After Show.” Levy also wrote, produced, and starred in his own Christmas special for MTV, “Daniel Levy’s Holi-Do’s & Don’ts,” and co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet, the “X-Factor” pre-show, and national coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Games for CTV. Levy also co-hosted “The Great Canadian Baking Show” and has also made a guest appearance on “Modern Family.” He made his film debut opposite Tina Fey in Admission. In 2019, Levy signed a multi-year overall deal with Disney’s ABC Studios to develop and produce scripted projects for the studio. Recently, Levy starred alongside Bette Midler, Kailtyn Dever, Sarah Paulson, and Issa Rae in HBO’s “Coastal Elites,” written by Paul Rudnick, directed by Jay Roach, and produced entirely under quarantine.
With six Emmy and four Tony nominations to his credit, VICTOR GARBER (Ted) has been seen in some of the most memorable works of film, television and stage.
Garber co-starred in the Academy Award®-winning film Titanic and co-starred in Ben Affleck’s Academy Award®-winning film Argo. He is also portrayed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in Gus Van Sant’s Academy Award®–nominated film Milk. Additional film credits include Dark Waters, Sicario, Self-Less, Rebel in the Rye, The First Wives Club, Sleepless in Seattle, and Legally Blonde.
For his work on television, Garber has been nominated for six Emmy® Awards, including three for the ABC drama “Alias,” two for comedic guest-star roles on “Frasier” and “Will & Grace,” and a nomination for his portrayal of Sid Luft in the television movie “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.”
He currently recurs on “Ghost” on Starz and “The Orville” on Fox, in addition to having been seen recurring on “Power” on Starz and “The Flash” on CW. He will next be seen playing Harry Svensson on the new series “Family Law.” Garber has also guest starred on such shows as Pop Network’s “Schitt’s Creek,” Showtime’s Lisa Kudrow comedy “Web Therapy,” “The Big C,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Damages,” and “Glee.” Garber starred in CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow,” NBC’s drama “Deception,” ABC’s “Eli Stone,” and “Justice” on Fox. Other credits include ABC musicals “Annie,” “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” and “Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.”
Garber has earned four Tony® nominations for his work in “Damn Yankees,” “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Deathtrap,” and “Little Me.” He performed in the workshops of Sondheim’s “Assassins” and “Wiseguys” as well as in the Tony Award-winning play “Art.”
His stage credits also include the original Broadway productions of “Arcadia,” “The Devil’s Disciple,” “Noises Off,” and “Sweeney Todd.” Additionally, Garber garnered rave reviews in Sondheim’s “Follies” for City Center Encores and for his performance in “Present Laughter,” directed by the late Nicholas Martin. He was most recently seen in the Broadway hit “Hello, Dolly!,” co-starring opposite Bernadette Peters.
Academy Award® and Golden Globe winning actress MARY STEENBURGEN (Tipper) is a Hollywood veteran, having appeared in countless roles on the big and small screen. Steenburgen is also an award-winning songwriter, having co-written the pivotal song from Neon’s critically acclaimed feature film Wild Rose. Steenburgen is known for her Oscar® winning work in Melvin and Howard in addition to unforgettable roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Step Brothers, and such television shows as “Justified,” “Orange is the New Black,” and HBO’s “Togetherness” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Steenburgen currently stars on NBC’s musical television sensation “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” alongside Jane Levy, Peter Gallagher, Skyler Astin, and Lauren Graham. She starred for four seasons on Fox’s critically acclaimed comedy series “The Last Man on Earth” opposite Will Forte.
In 2018, Steenburgen starred in Paramount Pictures film Book Club alongside Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen. In 2017, Steenburgen appeared opposite Lake Bell, Ed Helms and Paul Reiser in the comedy feature I Do… Until I Don’t. She also had a starring turn opposite Kevin Kline in the CBS films feature Dean and appeared alongside Jason Sudeikis & Jessica Biel in The Book of Love, which was screened at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
In addition to her work in film and television, Steenburgen is a singer/songwriter for Warner Chappell and has collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Tim McGraw, Kate York, Caitlyn Smith, Matraca Berg, Troy Verges, Jeremy Spillman, Luke Laird, Lori McKenna and many others. She co-wrote the song “Glasgow” with Nashville songwriters Kate York and Caitlyn Smith for Neon’s critically acclaimed film Wild Rose. In addition to the song being shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Glasgow” also won both the Critics’ Choice Award and the Hollywood Critics Association Award for Best Original Song. Steenburgen has written songs for films including Last Vegas and Dirty Girl (co-written with Melissa Manchester) and is currently writing the music for the animated film adaptation of the book The Underneath.
Her additional film and television credits include: “Curb your Enthusiasm,” “Orange is the New Black,” “30 Rock,” “Bored to Death,” and “Wilfred,” Goin’ South, Time After Time, Ragtime, Philadelphia, Back to the Future Part III, Cross Creek, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Miss Firecracker, The Proposal, Elf, Dirty Girl, Four Christmases, The Help, Last Vegas, and Song One.
A proud member of the Atlantic Theater Company, Steenburgen’s theater credits include “Holiday” (London’s Old Vic, directed by Lindsay Anderson), “Candida,” “Marvin’s Room,” “The Beginning of August,” and “The Exonerated.”
Steenburgen lives in Los Angeles with her husband Ted Danson.
MARY HOLLAND (Jane / screenplay by) Please see filmmaker section.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
CLEA DuVALL (director / screenplay by / story by) has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents with a resume as extensive as it is versatile.
DuVall made her feature film directorial debut with the indie comedy The Intervention, which she also wrote, co-produced, and starred in alongside Melanie Lynskey, who won the Sundance Special Jury Award for her performance in the film, Natasha Lyonne, and Jason Ritter. The film received rave reviews.
In 2019, DuVall co-starred in two of television’s most highly rated series, HBO’s “Veep” and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” alongside such world-renowned actors as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elisabeth Moss, Bradley Whitford, and many more. Additional television credits include Hulu’s miniseries “Looking for Alaska,” “Broad City” on Comedy Central, Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” “New Girl,” “Bones,” “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles,” “The Newsroom,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Event,” “Private Practice,” “Law & Order,” “Heroes,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Most known for her roles in iconic cult-classic films Girl, Interrupted and But I’m a Cheerleader, DuVall is no stranger to the big screen. In 2012, DuVall joined Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, and Alan Arkin in the Oscar®, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award winning film, Argo. Additional film credits include How to Make the Cruelest Month; The Faculty; She’s All That, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook; The Grudge, directed by Takashi Shimizu; Zodiac alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr; Jane Simpson’s Little Witches; Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan’s Can’t Hardly Wait; Jonathan Kahn’s Girl; Wildflowers; Committed; Thirteen Conversations About One Thing; The Slaughter Rule; Out There; 21 Grams; Identity; The Slaughter Rule; The Conviction; The Killing Room; All About Nina; Zen Dog; Heaven’s Floor; and Ten Inch Hero.
DuVall currently resides in Los Angeles.
MARY HOLLAND (screenplay by / Jane) is an actress, comedian, and writer. In early 2021, Holland will star in the hilarious independent film Golden Arm (originally slated to premiere at SXSW 2020), which follows the comedic journey of a woman training for the Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship and the prize money that comes along with it.
Holland can currently be seen starring in the Comedy Central series “Robbie.” The series centers around a delusional small town basketball coach living in the shadow of his father. Holland plays Janie, a spitfire waitress who is obsessed with Robbie, and, without his permission, makes herself at home at his place and in his life. She can also be seen in a recurring role on Season 2 of the hit Amazon series “Homecoming,” as well as “Mapleworth Murders,” which just premiered on Quibi. She provides the voice of the droid in the Star Wars game show “Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge,” which airs on the Star Wars Kids Youtube Channel, and also voices a character in the new Netflix animated series “Hoops,” which premiered in August.
Holland’s previous credits include the film Greener Grass, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released by IFC Films later that year. In 2017, she appeared in Brie Larson’s Unicorn Store and the Fox feature Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Her television credits include “Veep,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Blunt Talk,” and “Shrink.”
As a writer, Holland recently completed writing on season 5 of the hit Netflix series “Big Mouth.” She has also sold projects to YouTube Red and is developing a digital series with Comedy Bang Bang.
Alongside Stephanie Allynne, Lauren Lapkus, and Erin Whitehead, Holland is also a member of the improv comedy group Wild Horses, which has monthly shows at the UCB and the Dynasty Typewriter Theatre, and the group is developing a Wild Horses series based off the show’s format. After being named a New Face at the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival in 2014, Holland was named one of TimeOut Magazine’s Ten Comedians to Watch in 2016 and one of Vulture’s 50 Comedians You Should Know.
Holland received her BFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University, and studied at iO Chicago. After moving to Los Angeles, she continued studying at UCB, where she is currently a regular performer and a cast member of Asssscat.
Holland is from Virginia and currently resides in Los Angeles.
MARTY BOWEN (producer), WYCK GODFREY (executive producer), and ISAAC KLAUSNER (producer) are producers at Temple Hill Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production company established in 2006. Prior to being a producer, Bowen was a partner at the United Talent Agency. Temple Hill Entertainment is best known for producing adaptations of successful properties, including the Twilight film series, the Maze Runner series, and film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks’s novels Dear John and The Longest Ride, and John Green’s novels The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. Recent releases include All Together Now for Netflix, First Man for Universal Pictures, directed by Academy Award®-winning director, Damien Chazelle (La La Land), and starring Ryan Gosling; The Hate U Give for Fox2000, starring Amandla Stenberg, and directed by George Tillman Jr.; and Dan Fogelman’s Life, Itself for Amazon Studios. Upcoming releases include Fatherhood starring Kevin Hart for Sony Pictures. In addition to HBO’s “The Outsider” and Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska,” Temple Hill was also behind “Revenge”for ABC and DirectTV’s “Mr. Mercedes.” The company’s most recent series include “Love, Victor” for Hulu and “Dave” for FXX. In addition to the company’s film and television divisions, Temple Hill also has a publishing imprint with Harper Collins that develops and publishes multiple books every year.
JONATHAN McCOY (executive producer) began his career in advertising where he produced TV and radio commercials for Fisher-Price Power Wheels®. After confronting the moral dilemma of hawking gas-guzzling toys to children, he made the switch to independent film in 1999.
McCoy most recently served as executive producer on Lionsgate’s highly anticipated comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. Prior, he consulted for Amazon Studios overseeing production on Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, a re-imagining of the 1977 cult classic. McCoy was a producer on Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply (Regency/Fox).
JOHN GULESERIAN (director of photography) aspired to be a filmmaker from a young age. He studied cinematography as an undergrad at Columbia College Chicago and then as a graduate student at AFI.
While at AFI, Guleserian began a longstanding collaboration with writer–director Drake Doremus. Guleserian and Doremus have paired up to shoot five feature films including Like Crazy, a romantic drama that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize. This led to an opportunity to shoot his first major studio film, the Universal Studios romantic comedy About Time.
Guleserian went on to shoot many critically acclaimed films, including The Overnight, directed by Patrick Brice, and Equals, a VFX driven sci-fi romance, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The film’s star Kristen Stewart then asked Guleserian to shoot her directorial debut Come Swim, which premiered at Sundance in 2017 and screened at the Cannes Film Festival the same year. In addition to Stewart, Guleserian has collaborated with several actors-turned-director, including Chris Evans and Jeff Probst.
Some of Guleserian’s noteworthy television credits include Amazon’s hit series “Transparent,” Hulu’s “Casual,” and the Netflix series “Friends from College,” created by Nick Stoller.
Lately. Guleserian has been very busy, having shot Greg Berlanti’s “Love, Simon,” Ed Zwick’s Trial by Fire, HBO Max’s first released feature film An American Pickle, and Nia DaCosta’s reboot of the iconic 90’s thriller Candyman. Guleserian is currently in production on Mark Waters’ He’s All That.
THERESA GULESERIAN (Production Designer) points to her education in traditional animation from Columbia College Chicago as the groundwork for her love and understanding of cinematic design. She further pursued that interest with a master’s degree in production design from The American Film Institute where she studied under the late great Robert F. Boyle.
Her film history is multi-platformed across film, television and commercials with frequent collaborators Mark and Jay Duplass (HBO’S “Togetherness,” The One I Love, The Overnight) and Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors 2, Friends from College, Untitled Eichner/Apatow Movie). She also often collaborates with her husband, cinematographer John Guleserian, and after having created a dozen projects together, she feels her artistic sensibility has been elevated through her deeper understanding of designing for the camera.
Lately, Guleserian has been very busy, with four recent studio releases, Nisha Ganatra’s The High Note, Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Vaelley, and Miguel Arteta’s Like a Boss in addition to Happiest Season.
A second- generation Californian, MELISSA BRETHERTON, ACE (editor) graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts. She is the daughter of feature editor David Bretherton, granddaughter of feature editor-turned-director Howard Bretherton, and cousin of feature editor Joe Hutshing.
Joining her family of reputable editors, Bretherton began as an apprentice editor on Raging Bull and went on to work with many great directors, including Martin Scorsese, Michael Cimino, Arthur Hiller, Robert Towne, Robert Redford, Joel Schumacher, and Danny DeVito.
Over her career, Bretherton has also worked with many skilled editors, such as Bill Reynolds, Tom Rolf, Dede Allen, Lynzee Klingman, Claire Simpson, Paul Hirsch, and Brent White. Working with White, in particular, led her to become an additional editor on numerous films by Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, and Paul Feig. She later cut Adam McKay’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Paul Feig’s Spy and Ghostbusters.
More recently, Bretherton has completed two films for Jonathan Levine, Snatched and Long Shot, as well as Charlie Bean’s remake of Lady and the Tramp. She is currently working on Tom Gormican’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, starring Nicolas Cage.
KATHLEEN FELIX-HAGER is a costume designer, currently working in both television and feature film. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began her career on the film Waterworld and fell in love with the art of storytelling through costumes. She has designed the costumes on several award-winning television shows, including “Dexter,” “Veep,” and “Space Force.”
Irish-born AMIE DOHERTY (Music) composes music for a wide variety of films and television series with her experience spanning a range of genres. Her recent scoring credits include Spirit Untamed from DreamWorks Animation. Previous credits include The High Note directed by Nisha Ganatra, the Jurassic Park short Battle at Big Rock from director Colin Trevorrow, Amazon’s series “Undone” starring Bob Odenkirk, and Here & Now starring Sarah Jessica Parker & Renée Zellweger. As an orchestrator and conductor, she has worked on series such as “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “Fargo,” “Legion,” “The Night Of,” “Counterpart,” and “Altered Carbon.” She is an alumna of the Sundance Music & Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound, and holds a masters in film scoring from Berklee College of Music.
SEASON KENT (Music Supervisor) is an award-winning music supervisor who helps storytellers convey emotion to audiences through song. Whether it’s Billie Eilish & Khalid for “13 Reasons Why,” Normani for Love Simon, Charli XCX for The Fault in Our Stars, or Doja Cat for Birds of Prey, Kent’s impeccable taste has helped her soundtracks go platinum and earn Grammy nominations. Through her 15 years as a music supervisor on 50 film and television projects, she has contributed to a range of projects, from the Academy Award®-winning drama The Fighter to Fox’s critically acclaimed The Hate U Give to the party-starting Magic Mike XXL. She recently worked on the box office hit Shazam!. As the television landscape evolves to feature more hit songs, Kent has leant her skills to a full range of comic book adaptations, including Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” DC’s “The Flash,” and the ever-popular “The Walking Dead” franchise. Her work has been recognized twice by her peers at the Guild of Music Supervisor Awards, earning trophies for her work on The Fault in Our Stars and “13 Reasons Why.”