February 14, 2019
“Chicago has grown so much. It's blown my mind. I've always said like, Chicago is my first home. I've been trying for 20 years to get series to last here, and so I'm like, maybe this is the one, that way we can settle down and make some roots in Chicago.”— Riley Smith
IMTA alum Riley Smith returns to prime time TV as one of the stars of the new FOX courtroom drama “Proven Innocent.” The series centers on Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre), a passionate attorney who focuses on overturning wrongful convictions. Her work is personal to her as she was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, Levi (Smith), of murdering her best friend. Madeline runs a firm committed to such cases with her partner, Easy Boudreau (Russell Hornsby), the attorney who helped set her free after 10 years in prison. Kelsy Grammer also stars.
January 17, 2019
I Hate Kids follows Nick Pearson, a former lothario and author of the title best-selling memoir, who has everything he wants. He’s about to marry the woman of his dreams, Sydney Bartlett, who shares his disinterest in becoming a parent. But just days before their wedding, he’s shocked to find out that he has the one thing he never wanted: a child.
Nick’s happy, child-free existence is put in jeopardy when awkward 13-year-old Mason interrupts the engaged couple’s rehearsal dinner and claims to be the groom-to-be’s son. With the aid of flamboyant radio show psychic The Amazing Fabular, who claims he helped Mason find his father after having a vision about them, the three strangers embark on a wild road trip to find out which of a dozen eccentric women from Nick’s past could possibly be Mason’s mother.
October 18, 2018
In Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, IMTA alum Sunny Suljic stars as Stevie, a thirteen year old boy growing up with an abusive older brother and a somewhat absent mother in Los Angeles in the 1990s. In an effort to escape his unhappy home life and find a place where he can feel he belongs, Stevie tries to teach himself to skateboard so that he can hang out with a group of other skaters from his neighborhood, each one of the kids having a similar life story. The film also stars Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston and Jerrod Carmichael.
Suljic, who is an avid skateboarder in real life, had a hard job appearing as a novice skater for the film. “He’s an amazing skateboarder! He’s not an arrogant person so he’s not going to say it, but he’s incredible,” said director Hill. “Not only is he a great actor, but it’s so hard to pretend to be worse than you are, to pretend to be just starting. We were so careful, and Sunny did such an amazing job of being worse than he actually is skill wise, which is very hard to do.” Hill added, “I've never had to carry a movie like that. I usually play supporting roles, and, like, it's crazy to carry — literally strap a movie at 11 years old to your shoulder and [have you] walk across the field with it. It's insane.”
October 11, 2018
In the small town of Wardenclyffe on Halloween Night, best friends Sonny and Sam find a manuscript in an abandoned house that was previously owned by author R. L. Stine. When they open the book, which is ominously titled “Haunted Halloween” and serves as a compendium of every Halloween-themed creature imaginable, they release a ventriloquist’s dummy named Slappy who plans to create the Halloween Apocalypse with the help of his Halloween monster allies. Now, Sonny and Sam, alongside Sonny’s sister, Sarah, must work to thwart Slappy’s plot before all is lost.
IMTA alum Madison Iseman stars as Sarah, together with Jeremy Ray Taylor as Sonny and Caleel Harris as Sam. The cast includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, Ken Jeong and Jack Black. “Sarah is a typical high-school senior. She’s struggling with school, and the balance of relationships and social life while trying to get into college…a lot of real stuff,” Iseman explained about her character. “And her mom’s putting a lot of pressure on her to take care of her brother and take care of the family…it’s a lot of relatable things that a lot of people are dealing with in today’s world. So, throughout the story she finds this confidence she never really knew she had, and she learns to believe in herself, and that she can do anything she puts her mind to.”
October 11, 2018
Based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen, the feature film First Man is a study of the life of the legendary American Astronaut from 1961-1969. While on his journey to becoming the first human to walk the moon, the film explores the sacrifices and costs on the Nation and Armstrong himself, during one of the most dangerous missions in the history of space travel.
Starring in the film as young Rick Armstrong, one of Neil’s sons, is IMTA alum Gavin Warren. Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong, with Claire Foy playing his wife, Janet. Also starring are Kyle Chandler, Pablo Schreiber, Corey Stoll, Ethan Embry, Jon Bernthal, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas and Shea Whigham. Damien Chazelle directed the biopic for Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures.
Coming to IMTA with Neal Hamil Centre in Houston, the LA13 Most Sought Male Talent—and finalist for both Child Actor and Child Model of the Year—decided he wanted to be an actor after watching the comedy Happy Gilmore. “What happened was I used to do gymnastics, and me and my brother were planning to do acting for like awhile. Then we finally decided we should both do it,” Warren says. “We said let’s ask mom so we can be like Adam Sandler.”
September 06, 2018
Each fall as a new television season begins, it is gratifying to note the IMTA alumni who add to their résumés with work on “television.” In the 21st Century, “television” is not just a “smart” TV, but any portable device or computer with internet access. Networks and cable channels produce their own line-up of original shows and films, as do streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu…and soon, Apple TV. YouTube and Vimeo serve as platforms for independent filmmakers and writers to release original series and films. All of these outlets provide unlimited—and ongoing—possibilities for IMTA alumni to appear on “the small screen” by making their full catalog of shows, new and old, available on-line so that they may be viewed year-round, 24-7.
Below are just a few of the IMTA alumni working on network, cable or web series, appearing on returning or new series in regular or recurring roles, announced guest-starring appearances, and lead or supporting roles in TV movies and mini-series. Our apologies for any names missing. IMTA is equally proud of all of the alumni working in the entertainment industry and we try to keep track of as many as we can. Please let us know of castings, guest appearances and other successes of IMTA alums.
May 03, 2018
When it was announced that Anna Faris was set to star in a remake of the beloved 1987 rom-com Overboard, which starred Goldie Hawn alongside Kurt Russell., many people were already comparing the two actresses: blonde, big blue-eyes, perfect comedic timing. In the original film, Hawn played a spoiled heiress who gets amnesia and ends up falling for a rugged carpenter. But in the 2018 version, there is a twist: Faris won’t be reprising Hawn’s character; instead, she’ll be playing Kate, a working-class mother who turns the tables on a wealthy playboy (Eugenio Derbez) when he loses his memory. IMTA alum Eva Longoria costars as Kate’s best friend Theresa, who helps Kate figure out how to take advantage of the situation.
“The script was amazing because of the gender switch, so Anna is not playing Goldie Hawn, Anna is playing Kurt Russell,” explained Longoria. “Eugenio is Leonardo, the spoiled brat, the spoiled trust fund baby. You can expect a lot of heart, a lot of laughs!”
March 15, 2018
In his review of Love, Simon for Variety, Peter Debruge wrote: “It takes enormous courage to come out in high school. It’s a period marked by peer pressure and bullying for most teens, and one can’t blame most adolescents — gay or straight — for wanting to keep their heads down. … But let it be said: Love, Simon is precisely the kind of movie its main character so desperately needs — which means, Simon is about to become the model for an entire demographic that has had to do without, until now.”
It’s very rare for a major Hollywood studio to produce and distribute a coming-of-age story centered on a closeted gay teenager. These kinds of stories are nothing new to independent film, but major studios have long avoided putting a gay protagonist front and center. That drought has ended with the 20th Century Fox feature Love, Simon, a film adapted from Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.”
January 11, 2018
In 1914 in the small town of Crestwick, a demonic spirit named Nefas surfaced to prey on a family, which ended with the death of an innocent young girl. The mysterious events haunted the Midwestern community for years. Now, decades later, a 17 year old teenager who is ready to go to college moves to Crestwick with her mother. She is a sweet vibrant girl with a blossoming personality that drastically changes to a deceitful, angry, ultimately evil girl once her soul is latched on to by Nefas. A skeptical town doctor struggles to stop history from repeating itself by confronting his personal demons while fighting to save the life of the teenage girl who has become possessed in his family’s old house.
IMTA alum Patricia Ashley stars in the film as the possessed teen Charlotte, alongside Charlene Amoia, Julia Larsen, Clint Hummel, Jeremy Miller, Michael Ehlers and Cole Crawford. “It was such a great experience to work on a horror film,” said Ashley. “I personally didn’t watch scary movies before being cast in this film because I was scared of everything, but boy let me tell you, being the one who gets to scare everyone is pretty awesome! It’s an experience I’ll never forget!”
December 19, 2017
In the 1995 hit film Jumanji, two kids find and play a magical board game, releasing a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game. In 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a video game turns the tables on four teenagers who discover an old game console and are thrust into the game’s jungle setting…and into the bodies of their avatars. What do both films have in common? You don’t just play Jumanji — Jumanji plays you.
IMTA alum Madison Iseman stars as Bethany in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle alongside a cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Phys Darby, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner and Ser’Darius Blain. “Bethany is your classic pretty, phone-obsessed, kind of mean, entitled teenage girl,” Iseman said of her character. “But underneath all that, she’s just an insecure girl trying to figure out who she really is.”
November 30, 2017
Although it has been nearly 100 years since the gangster Al Capone ruled crime in Chicago, many people are still familiar with what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. At 10:30 a.m. on February 14, 1929, seven men were murdered at the garage at 2122 North Clark Street, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side. The victims included five members of George "Bugs" Moran's North Side Gang; the massacre was allegedly planned by the organization led by Capone to eliminate Moran.
Capone’s rise to power and the events that led up to the massacre are laid out in the new feature Gangster Land, told from the viewpoint of Capone’s second-in-command “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn. IMTA alum Sean Faris stars as McGurn, alongside Milo Gibson as Capone and Peter Facinelli as Moran. Jason Patric and Jamie-Lynn Sigler also star.
November 17, 2017
Mudbound follows a relocated Mississippi family trying to find their way after the tragic upheavals of World War II, experiencing pains that have struck both at home and abroad. While the film shows glimpses of the horrors of war, its larger aim is concerned with the racial divide of two families in the American South.
Transplanted from an upper class life in Memphis to muddy farm country, the McAllan family is made up of the head-strong Henry, his wife Laura (who still wants to hang onto a sliver of refined life through their piano), Henry’s hostile, racist father “Pappy,” and their daughter. After getting swindled on a more upscale home, they are forced to move into a ramshackle residence on their local farm where the harsh conditions are a shock to their system, but only the beginning of the turmoil they will experience.
November 16, 2017
IMTA alum Joseph David-Jones (“Jo Jo” to his friends) is back on screen as Marcus Jones in Roman J. Israel, Esq. In the crime drama, Denzel Washington stars as the title character, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis after his partner has a heart attack — and soon uncovers details about the crusading law firm’s history that run afoul of his values of helping the poor and dispossessed. Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo and Nazneen Contractor also star in the drama, which was written and directed by Dan Gilroy.
“It was crazy just working with someone like Denzel,” said David-Jones. “It was one of the top five days of my life when we sat down at that table read and I got to meet him. It was crazy. Watching him work was like being in the best masterclass you could ever be in.” He added, “I feel as an actor I should always be trying to improve upon my craft and never get comfortable or complacent in any role. It should always challenge you and make you grow.”
October 26, 2017
When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
These are the two essential questions posed by Thank You for Your Service, the fact-based film of the book of the same name by David Finkel that follows a group of infantry soldiers returning home after combat on the front lines in Bagdad, Iraq. As they struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, they must face living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield.
Miles Teller is a soldier coming home to his child and wife, IMTA alum Haley Bennett, after serving in the Middle East. While initially he is happy to be home and spending time with his beautiful wife, PTSD quickly rears its ugly head. Reluctant to discuss what went on over there, he struggles to deal with the price of war and what he’s brought home with him. The cast also includes Hunter Burke, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Joe Cole, Omar J. Dorsey, Scott Haze, Amy Schumer and Kate Lyn Sheil.
October 19, 2017
It is not difficult to see that IMTA alum Sunny Suljic’s acting career is taking off. The young actor is receiving kudos for his role starring opposite Hollywood heavyweights Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in the critically acclaimed The Killing of a Sacred Deer that opens in limited release on Friday. Alicia Silversone, Barry Keoghan and Bill Camp also star in the film that has been screening at numerous international film festivals—including its debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival where it was nominated for the Palm d’Or, the highest prize at the festival, and won the award for Best Screenplay.
In The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Anna and Steven Murphy are a married couple with two lovely children. She's a dentist, he's a doctor, and the kids are well adjusted—in short, the seemingly perfect family. Into this family comes Martin, a young man who happens to be the son of a former patient of Farrell's—a patient who is now dead, presumably at the hands of Dr. Murphy. As Martin integrates himself further into the Murphy family’s lives he makes a demand: the Murphy's must decide which of their kids is going to die and if they can't decide, the entire family will perish. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is an adaptation of the Greek myth of Agamemnon in which he kills a deer sacred to the goddess Artemis and is instructed to kill his daughter Iphigenia to appease her.
September 29, 2017
The convention was held aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas August 8 through August 12. Since our official partnership in Shanghai this past April, 94 regional contests were hosted in ten major cities all over China, having attracted over 20,000 young contestants. One-hundred talents from different cities made their way into the final competition after a series of preliminary rounds.
The finalists were requested to compete in competitions that included jeans, swimwear, runway, fashion print, TV commercials, singing and dancing. The winners were awarded a scholarship to attend the IMTA LA 2018. Mr. Joey Hunter, of IMTA, was invited to be the chief judge of the final contest.
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The IMTA Team