September 08, 2016
On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed Sully, glided his US Airways plane — disabled after striking a flock of birds just as it was taking off — onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the title role, the highly anticipated Sully premiered this past weekend at the Telluride International Film Festival in advance of its theatrical release on September 9th. The film is based on Sullenberger’s own memoir, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” which he co-wrote with journalist Jeffrey Zaslow. Laura Linney plays Sully’s wife Lorrie, and Aaron Eckhart is Sully’s co-pilot Jeff Skiles.
September 08, 2016
Each year as the fall television season begins, we like to take a look at the list of IMTA alumni who are making their mark on the entertainment business with roles on television. However, these days “television” or “TV” encompasses more than just the flat screen on the family room wall; it includes smartphones, tablets and PCs. Watching “TV” is no longer confined to home, but can be viewed anywhere, anytime on any mobile device. It is not just the networks and cable channels that produce scripted and reality programming and movies, but streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have their own line-up of shows and films. Amazon and YouTube offer original programming and serve as hosts for channels such as PixL and Reelz. YouTube and Vimeo serve as platforms for independent filmmakers and writers to release original series and movies. All of these outlets provide unlimited possibilities for IMTA alumni to appear on “the small screen.”
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.
September 01, 2016
After surviving eight near-death accidents during his young life, Louis Drax plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday. While police investigate the cause of Louis’ near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father, an acclaimed neurologist uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition. But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’ seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’ mother. And as new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him.
IMTA alum Aaron Paul stars in The 9th Life of Louis Drax as Peter Drax, Louis’ father, who is suspected of abusing his son and possibly being the cause of his multiple mishaps. Newcomer Aiden Longworth plays Louis, Jamie Dornan is the psychologist and Sarah Gadon is Louis’ mother. Oliver Platt, Molly Parker and Barbara Hershey also star. Coincidently, Longworth will play the young version of IMTA alum Elijah Wood’s character in the first episode of the new BBC America series, “Dirk Gently,” that debuts in October.
August 18, 2016
Since attending IMTA in Los Angeles 2005, IMTA alum Moises Arias has grown from a comedy child star on shows such as Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” to become a solid dramatic actor in critically acclaimed films such as The Kings of Summer, The Stanford Prison Experiment and The Land. Two new projects add variety and depth to the now 22-year-old Arias’ résumé…and they just happen to open on the same day.
Ben-Hur is the spic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. Based on Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the 2016 film is the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, following 1925’s silent film starring Ramon Navarro, 1959’s multi-Oscar blockbuster starring Charlton Heston, and 2010’s TV mini-series starring Joseph Morgan. Jack Huston plays the new Judah Ben-Hur, alongside Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Morgan Freeman and Arias.
April 07, 2016
Hardcore Henry opens nationwide Friday, April 8t
"Hardcore Henry is basically a mix of Jason Bourne, Captain America and Call of Duty.”" – Engadget.com For IMTA alum Haley Bennett, 2016 looks to be her breakout year. Since her screen debut in 2007's Music and Lyrics as a teen singing sensation, her star has been steadily rising with significant roles in successes such as Marley & Me and The Equalizer. Now, with no less than seven different high-profile projects currently in the works or scheduled for release this year, Bennett—who came to IMTA with Pro Model & Talent in Akron, OH—will have ample opportunities to have audiences and critics take notice.
The first of Bennett’s films to hit the screens in 2016 is the highly anticipated sci-fi action adventure Hardcore Henry, which opens Friday. The film was shot entirely from the point of view of the title character Henry, who has been brought back from the edge of death by his wife (Bennett) and has no memory of a past life. Suddenly, his wife has been kidnapped by a warlord bent on world domination and Henry must not only fight to get her back, but also try to recover the truth about his past life. Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky and Tim Roth also star in the R rated film, which was selected by the SXSW Film Festival as a premiere headliner.
March 31, 2016
"The Ranch" premieres on Netflix on April 1st
"We decided to take it to Netflix because they really let you make the show you want to make, and we knew we wanted to try some different things. We want these people to talk like real people, so this show has really irreverent language in places, and it’s not your same old family sitcom. It’s definitely got a little bit more edge to it." – Ashton Kutcher
Since his debut in Hollywood in 1998 as Kelso on the hit comedy "That ‘70s Show," IMTA alum Ashton Kutcher has forged a path that few could have imagined when he competed at IMTA in 1997. From TV shows such as "Punk'd," "Miss Guided" and "Two and a Half Men" to numerous theatrical films such as Dude, Where's My Car, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Guardian, What Happens in Vegas and Jobs, Kutcher has become one of the industry’s most prolific actors, jumping back-and-forth between TV and the big screen, as well as a successful producer of films and TV shows through his production company, Katalyst Films.
March 29, 2016
"I wasn’t really looking to jump back into TV this quickly, but my reps called and said, 'You must read these first two episodes.' I read them and I just could not ignore the material. It was just so gripping and so beautifully written and so well done." – Aaron Paul
In what is turning out to be a banner year for Aaron Paul following roles in Eye in the Sky and Triple 9, the IMTA alum returns to television in a new series on Hulu which early reviews are describing as "compelling" and "engaging." "The Path" focuses on a family at the center of a controversial cult movement as they struggle with relationships, faith, and power. According to Hulu, "Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. The series blends elements of mystery-thriller, romance, and mysticism."
March 10, 2016
"I want to do stories that have my heart racing. That’s why you don’t see me in romantic comedies. I love sappy movies, but I’m drawn to characters that are going through a lot. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe I love feeling those emotions because I know I can zip the skin off and walk away from them." – Aaron Paul
You are a military drone pilot in Nevada, being directed to bomb terrorists in Nairobi by a British Colonel in Southern England, when suddenly a civilian enters the target area. What do you do? Follow orders and knowingly risk killing an innocent young girl and sparking an international incident, or listen to your conscience and disobey a direct order, allowing the terrorists to proceed with a suicide bombing as well as ending your career.
Such is the dilemma faced by IMTA alum Aaron Paul in the thriller Eye in the Sky. "I’m playing a pilot who’s safe in this bunker outside Las Vegas, flying a drone over Kenya," explained Paul. "It’s such a strange thing that this pilot controls this huge drone that has missiles attached to it, and is being ordered to drop them on buildings that could hurt innocent civilians in them. There’s a lot going on."
March 01, 2016
"All the artisans I met could have had bigger jobs, but they gave up that opportunity to do what they loved. Their passion for what they do is so strong the money isn't what matters." - Jill Wagner
If you have ever created something by hand, if you have ever wondered how something is made, or if you are simply a fan of Etsy, Pinterest, DIY, Kickstarter or Maker Faire, then "Handcrafted America" is a show you will definitely want to watch. IMTA alum Jill Wagner hosts the new series, traveling the country to seek out talented artisans who continue to make products the traditional way...with their own two hands.
In every half-hour episode, Wagner meets three gifted craftsmen and gets a behind-the-scenes look at how their products are created. Along the way, viewers learn about the history and cultural heritage that inspire and influence the design of their handcrafted items. "Americans still work with their hands and they seek out unique, one-of-a-kind creations for themselves and for others," said Craig Miller, VP of Original Series at INSP. "Artisans from coast to coast still create handcrafted treasures. This is the focal point of the series. From glass blowing to ornate clock making to blacksmithing, "Handcrafted America" entertains and informs – not in a dry, academic way, but with adventure, spirited discovery, fun and authenticity."
February 25, 2016
"Elias is going to blow people away. That kid is going to be a breakout star. He's really, really funny, doing jokes and rhythms I have never seen out of a little kid before." – Jeff Franklin, "Fuller House" Writer/Executive Producer
For fans of the classic TV sitcom "Full House" that ran from 1987-1995, the wait for the spin-off series is finally over. "Fuller House," which will stream on Netflix beginning February 26, is not a reboot of the original series, but a chance to catch up with the characters several years later. Child stars of "Full House"-Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweeten and Andrea Barber-are reprising their roles as D.J. Tanner, Stephanie Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler respectively, but they are now adults with children of their own. One of D.J.’s children is “neurotic 7-year-old Max” who is being played by IMTA alum Elias Harger.
"The live taping nights were very exciting because there's a lot of dancing and music," Harger told People Magazine. "Filming the show was fun because I got to make a lot of friends."
February 25, 2016
"This film is so intense, it’s impossible not to be sucked violently into this story. I loved it!" – Aaron Paul
In Triple 9, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist and the only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for "officer down." Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck action-packed finale tangled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.
IMTA alum Aaron Paul stars in Triple 9 as Gabe Welch, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Gal Gadot and Kate Winslet. “I have no idea why I’m part of this great ensemble,” Paul said. “But I am blessed to be in this film."
"I love playing characters with a lot of conflict," Paul explained about his role. "The very beginning of the film, you can tell he's, kind of an intense guy, and something very dramatic happens to him. He just continues down this very dark rabbit hole. For me it’s a lot of fun to play as an actor."
February 12, 2016
"I guess what I just like the most about my character is just her attitude, because she’s so athletic and cool and so unlike me in my normal daily life. She just doesn’t care." – Brianna Hildebrand
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Helping Deadpool on his mission are X-Men allies, one of whom is goth girl Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by LA14 IMTA alum Brianna Hildebrand. "She is a 15 year old psychic, she reads the future, and she also is her own personal cannonball, she’s a warhead," Hildebrand said of her character. "So she runs at things and explodes at them, and she’s Colossus’ sidekick. Her relationship with Deadpool is friendly, it’s like a brother-sister relationship. They don’t really get along but they’re on the same side."
February 11, 2016
"There are things that are pure entertainment, and there are things that mean something to me. Touched With Fire — this really means a lot to me. I’m really proud of this." – Katie Holmes
In the romantic drama Touched With Fire, IMTA alum Katie Holmes plays Carla, a young poet who falls intensely in love with another poet. The complication? They met in a psychiatric hospital, both being treated for bipolar disorder. While their passion inspires them creatively, it also drives their mania, taking them to incredible highs before plunging them to soul-crushing lows. Written and directed by Paul Dalio—who struggled to overcome his own bipolar disorder—Touched With Fire also stars Luke Kirby, Christine Lahti, Griffin Dunne and Bruce Altman.
"I didn’t know much about [bipolar disorder], quite honestly,” Holmes told Yahoo Movies. “Our director is very open about having the disorder and this was very much his experience. When I sat down with him, I was really inspired by what he was saying. I’d never done a part like this before. The challenge of that was very enticing. I know there are so many families affected by this, so it became something bigger than just an acting job."
February 04, 2016
"Working with guys like this, you can see why they are so great. And for me to watch and work with them…I got a master class in how they do what they do." - Josh Duhamel
In the suspense thriller Misconduct, IMTA alum Josh Duhamel stars as an ambitious young lawyer who takes on a big case against a powerful and ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company. He soon finds himself involved in a case of blackmail and corruption, framed for a crime he did not commit and a fugitive on the run. Veteran actors Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins also star, alongside Malin Ackerman, Alice Eve and Julia Stiles.
Duhamel has worked practically non-stop since competing at IMTA. Starting as a model (he was the NY97 Male Model of the Year), he then appeared on daytime drama in "All My Children," starred in primetime television on "Las Vegas" and "Battle Creek," and become a feature film star with Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and the Transformers series.
January 25, 2016
The Sundance Film Festival is among the most prestigious festivals in the world. The Festival, which runs this year January 21-31, brings the most original storytellers together with the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic and documentary films, shorts, New Frontier films, installations, performances, panel discussions, and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition, received commercial distribution, and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. Year after year, the Festival pursues new ways to introduce more people to the most original and authentic storytelling.
Many IMTA alumni have appeared in films that had their world premiere at Sundance. This year, three IMTA alums-brothers Moises and Mateo Arias (LA05) and Brianna Hildebrand (LA14)-are staring in films making their premiere as part of the Festival’s Next Series, which are "Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to story-telling. Digital tech paired with unfettered creativity promises they will shape a 'greater' next wave in American cinema."
December 07, 2015
“The way these writers write is my kind of funny. I love physical comedy — I love big, broad comedies that can appeal to everyone and that deal with universal themes. The world we’re in is specific, but the themes we deal with are pretty universal.” – Eva Longoria
Since “Desperate Housewives” ended its eight-year run in 2012, IMTA alum Eva Longoria has filled her time producing (“Devious Maids,” John Wick, Food Chains), starring in feature films (Any Day, Frontera, Visions), and doing occasional guest appearances on TV (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Simpsons,” “Mother Up”). She is set to return to prime-time TV in January with the ensemble comedy “Telenovela,” that goes behind the scenes of a Spanish-language TV show and its star, whose off-camera life rivals the drama of her on-screen story lines. As a teaser for the series, which will move to its regular Monday spot on January 4th at 8:30pm, NBC offers a 2-episode sneak peak of the show tonight.
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The IMTA Team