Friday, 11 September 2015

BLACK MASS, directed by Scott Cooper, starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton & Benedict Cumberbatch is releasing across cinemas in India on September 18th, 2015.

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Three-time Oscar nominee Johnny Depp (“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Finding Neverland,” the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) stars as notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger in the drama “Black Mass,” directed by Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”).
The ensemble cast also includes Joel Edgerton (“The Great Gatsby,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as FBI Agent John Connolly; Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”) as Whitey’s brother, powerful State Senator Billy Bulger; Rory Cochrane (“Argo”) as Stephen Flemmi, Whitey’s closest partner in crime; Jesse Plemons (TV’s “Fargo”) as Whitey’s main henchman, Kevin Weeks; and Kevin Bacon (“Crazy, Stupid, Love,” TV’s “The Following”) as FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles McGuire.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster Jimmy Bulger (Depp) to collaborate with the FBI in order to eliminate their common enemy: the Italian mob.  The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Bulger to evade law enforcement while escalating his power to become the most feared crime lord in Boston and one of the most dangerous gangsters in U.S. history.
Cooper directed “Black Mass” from a screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.  John Lesher, Brian Oliver, Scott Cooper, Patrick McCormick and Tyler Thompson produced the film, with Brett Ratner, James Packer, Peter Mallouk, Ray Mallouk, Christopher Woodrow, Brett Granstaff, Gary Granstaff, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross serving as executive producers.  
The film also stars W Earl Brown (“Draft Day”) as Bulger hit man John Martorano; David Harbour (“End of Watch”) as FBI Agent John Morris, who is complicit in the deal between Bulger and Connolly; Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) as Lindsey Cyr, Whitey’s former girlfriend and mother of his only child; Julianne Nicholson (“August: Osage County”) as John Connolly’s wife, Marianne; Corey Stoll (“The Bourne Legacy”) as federal prosecutor Fred Wyshak; Peter Sarsgaard (“Blue Jasmine”) as Brian Halloran; Adam Scott (ABC’s “Parks and Recreation”) as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick; and Juno Temple (“Maleficent”) as Flemmi’s young mistress, who is also his own stepdaughter, Deborah Hussey.
The behind-the-scenes creative team was led by director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Out of the Furnace”), production designer Stefania Cella (“The Great Beauty”), Oscar-nominated editor David Rosenbloom (“The Insider”), and costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone (“Foxcatcher”).  The score was composed by Tom Holkenborg (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”).
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Cross Creek Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a Cross Creek Pictures Production in association with Le Grisbi Productions, Free State Pictures and Head Gear Films, a Scott Cooper Film, “Black Mass.”  The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


You know what I do to rats, John?

It ain’t rattin’, Jimmy.
It’s an alliance.

An alliance? Between me and the FBI.

No, no.  Between you and me…
…An alliance like this doesn’t
weaken you, Jimmy.
It makes you stronger.

For more than a decade—until his capture in 2011—Boston’s most infamous crime lord, James “Whitey” Bulger, was hunted by the FBI, surpassed only by Osama Bin Laden at the top of the Bureau’s Most Wanted List.  But the ironic fact is that Bulger might never have risen to the level of power he achieved were it not for the aid and abetment of the FBI.
“Black Mass” explores how a deal between ruthless gangster Whitey Bulger and FBI Agent John Connolly enabled Bulger to expand his criminal empire with complete impunity, as Connolly—blinded by his own ambition—shielded him from investigation, ignoring the rising body count.  
Director/producer Scott Cooper relates, “John Connolly had known Whitey and his brother, Billy Bulger, since they were kids growing up in the small enclave of South Boston, called ‘Southie.’  This story interested me because of the bond between these two brothers, who could not have been more different, and John Connolly, who understood the power of the Bulger clan and had always revered them.  Connolly ultimately allowed Bulger to run amok in the city because he’d wanted to be in Whitey’s good graces ever since Whitey rescued him in a playground fight when they were kids.”
While Connolly was rising through the FBI ranks by taking on the New York Mafia, Whitey Bulger was making a different kind of name for himself back home.  As he grew in power, eventually taking over leadership of the local Winter Hill Gang, he was feared by some, but by many others he was something of a Robin Hood figure who was good to, and for, the neighborhood.
Johnny Depp, who portrays James “Whitey” Bulger, expands, “Southie was and is a very close knit neighborhood and they were very loyal to Jimmy,” he says, using the first name by which Bulger preferred to be called.  “Many people grew up kind of idolizing him; many wanted to be him because he did things his own way and, for the most part, he won.  But he was also a very charismatic man.  He had this draw that made people want to get close to him.  They wanted to understand him.  They wanted to know him.  I found James Bulger to be a fascinating character and was interested in what drove him.”
Cast in the role of John Connolly, Joel Edgerton says, “I think John saw Whitey as a kind of renegade who had this rock star glow about him in the community.  To him, there was a deeper connection—he knew the rock star and that rock star had treated him well.  Once.  I believe he went into the FBI with good intentions and had aspirations of being a great lawman.  But on his home turf there was a very blurry line between crime and the law, and if the person you admired was on the other side of the law, it could lead to other aspirations.  When you look at the seemingly boundless freedom with which criminals operate…I think he started to get a little intoxicated by that.”
Producer John Lesher observes that Connolly’s fascination with Whitey might not be so different from the rest of us.  “We know from movies, books and television that people are intrigued by gangsters; they live by different rules than the rest of society.  In this particular case, you have a close tie between a notorious gangster, whose brother happens to be the most powerful politician in the state, and a star FBI agent.  You couldn’t make this up; it’s too incredible.”
That said, Lesher acknowledges that the filmmakers did take some creative license in dramatizing the real-life events “because it would be impossible to adequately portray everything that transpired in a single movie.  We composited a few characters and compressed the timeline of some things, but the overall story is based on real events, which makes it extremely compelling.”

There’s informing and then there’s informing
…It’s a business opportunity.
Get the FBI to fight our wars against
our enemies, while they protect us
and we do whatever the f*** we want to do.

The explosive revelation that Whitey Bulger had been an informant for the FBI made headlines in The Boston Globe in 1988 and, over the next decade, the details of the corruption spilled out.  Then-Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, who broke the story, later laid out the entire case in their book Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, upon which the movie is based.  Initially, however, they’d had a completely different slant to their article.  Lehr discloses, “It was originally going to be a tale of two brothers: Whitey and Billy, who grew up in the same house in the South Boston projects and ended up at the top of their respective games, albeit with very different rules.”
Billy Bulger’s game was politics.  College educated, his career trajectory was the polar opposite of his criminal brother’s, taking him all the way to the presidency of the Massachusetts State Senate.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the role of Billy, concurs that the dichotomy between the two brothers was an intriguing angle to pursue.  “Billy Bulger was a very powerful political figure for many years in the State Senate.  If you wanted anything done, you went through him.  And then, on the other hand, he’s the brother of Whitey Bulger and is fatefully entwined with quite possibly the most infamous criminal of the 20th century.  It’s a fascinating divide.”
Depp agrees.  “Billy went his way and became this very highfalutin’ politician, and Jimmy went his way and ended up a king of the underworld.  Yet they visited their mom and were a close family even though they were on distinctly different sides.”
The exploration of the brothers’ remarkably divergent paths was going to be the crux of the article…until the journalists uncovered a stunning twist.  Lehr explains, “We discovered that even though Whitey was an acknowledged crime boss, he had somehow eluded the authorities with a kind of magical touch.  As we started to peel the layers of the onion, we found that, within local law enforcement, it was long suspected something funny was going on between Whitey and the FBI—namely an agent named John Connolly, also from South Boston.”

What makes you so sure that
he’s gonna be a reliable source…?

I grew up with him in Southie.
Jimmy, his brother Billy, and me,
and that’s a bond that doesn’t
get broken.  If he gives me his
word, he will keep it.

“Once we were able to establish that Whitey was an FBI informant, we let the genie out of the bottle,” O’Neill says.  “Informants are the Holy Grail of the FBI and, in turn, the ‘wise guys’ want a friend in law enforcement, so it’s a symbiotic relationship.  But I don’t think Whitey Bulger would have been an informant for anyone who wasn’t from Southie.  Connolly having grown up in that neighborhood made them simpatico in a way no other agent could be.  Connolly was able to use his hometown connection and was recognized and rewarded for having Whitey as an informant, but it was Whitey who was in control.”
“At first,” Lehr continues, “it was hard to believe that Whitey was informing for the FBI because it went against everything he stood for.  We did corroborate and confirm it and published what turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.”
“And boom…the fuse was lit,” O’Neill interjects.
“We didn’t know how deep and dark and horrifying it was; that took years to tumble out,” says Lehr.  “But the story opened the door to what later became this epic saga and the historic scandal involving Whitey and the FBI.”
Producer Brian Oliver, who originally optioned Lehr and O’Neill’s book, notes, “What interested me was the notion that the FBI would have high level mob people working for the Bureau—or the FBI thinking they’re working for them.  It shows anybody can get sucked down the rabbit hole.  Connolly probably thought he was doing the right thing until he knew he was doing the wrong thing, but there was no going back.”
The screenplay for “Black Mass” was written by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, who each saw how the neighborhood ties that bound Connolly and Bulger formed a knot that couldn’t be undone.  Mallouk says, “It’s about how ambition erased the better part of the good works Connolly achieved when he started out in the FBI.  He wanted to save Boston from the Italian mob; that was his intention when he put his toe in the pool and started helping Whitey.  He thought it would be a mutually beneficial relationship.  But there is no putting your toe in the pool with someone like Whitey Bulger.  You’re underwater right away.”
“It becomes a case of the tail wagging the dog,” adds Butterworth.  “This force Connolly was hoping to harness on behalf of the FBI ends up the other way around, with Whitey holding the reins.  Anyone who wasn’t so embroiled with Bulger would probably have recognized what was happening, but for some reason Connolly didn’t.”
Scott Cooper reveals that the unique dynamic between the characters was largely what intrigued him about the script.  “I tend to be drawn to the deeply tragic and the deeply human and this film offered up both.  It’s almost Shakespearean in nature and dealt with themes I like to explore: corruption, deceit and hubris, all wrapped into a narrative I felt it would be very interesting to mine.”
There are also the contrasting—and sometimes conflicting—portraits of family: the family to which you are born, personified in Whitey and Billy, and the family born of the streets, seen through Connolly and Whitey and also through Whitey and the Winter Hill Gang.  “I think James Bulger ran his crew like a family and looked at those people as his real family,” says Depp.
Another aspect of family is the one you choose, depicted in the relationships between Whitey and his former girlfriend, Lindsey Cyr, played by Dakota Johnson, and Connolly and his wife, Marianne, played by Julianne Nicholson.  “Lindsey and Marianne bring an emotional quality to the story that would be missing without them,” Cooper remarks.  “It is only through their eyes that we see this facet of Whitey Bulger and John Connolly, respectively.”
The producers knew that director Scott Cooper was the right choice to capture the themes of deception, ambition and often misguided loyalty woven throughout the film.  Lesher recalls, “When we met with Scott, one of the things he said to me, which I loved, was that he wanted to focus on the characters as people first.  Then he would sort of pivot the point of view and show what they were up to.  I think he really achieved that without making them sympathetic or excusing their actions.”
“You need a very skilled and extremely intelligent director to figure out how to make a movie work where there are truly no good guys, and in ‘Black Mass,’ that’s definitely the case,” Oliver notes.  “To pull off a story where the characters have real arcs, but without any of them as your hero, is a hard thing to do, and Scott navigated those waters amazingly well.”
“Scott Cooper is a rare talent,” Depp attests.  “I was blown away by ‘Crazy Heart’ and ‘Out of the Furnace’—the depth he exhibited that you might not expect from a relative newcomer—and I really wanted to work with him.  On the set, I found it remarkable that this was only his third film.  I was stupefied by his ability, the strength of his vision and his passion.  He ate, drank and slept this film.  I mean, the dude’s amazing; I’d shoot the telephone book with him,” the actor smiles, emphasizing, “I would!  I have tremendous respect for him; he’s a great filmmaker with an enormous future.”
Kevin Bacon, who appears as Connolly’s direct superior in the film, adds, “I’ve admired Scott’s work and appreciated his process on the set.  He fostered a very open and collaborative atmosphere among the cast, so it was a shared and very rewarding experience.”
Rounding out the main cast were Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, W Earl Brown, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott and Juno Temple.
One element as important to the fabric of the story as the characters was the city in which the drama unfolded.  “Black Mass” was filmed in Boston because “it could not have been shot anywhere else,” Cooper states.  “For me, a specific location or a city allows the audience to really grasp a certain place and time, and Boston is a very distinct town.”
Producer Tyler Thompson agrees.  “Boston plays its own role in the movie that couldn’t have been duplicated anywhere else.  It’s an amazing place and the people were wonderful.”
“It’s a homegrown story,” producer Patrick McCormick affirms.  “It still echoes throughout those neighborhoods.  We needed to be there to catch the voices, the architecture and, whenever possible, the actual locations where some of the events happened.”
“We understand that people and events get modified for the purpose of a movie,” Lehr says, “but accuracy in the setting and surroundings is still key, and the cast and filmmakers had almost an obsession to get that right.”
Cooper asserts, “All films are challenging in one way or another, but especially so when you’re dealing with any kind of truth.  This particular story was sprawling and had a large cast of players with many different vantage points, so the truth often seemed elusive.  It took a great deal of work to creatively show what happened as faithfully as possible.”

The truth is, us Irish Southie kids
went straight from playing cops
and robbers on the playground to
doing it for real in the streets.
And just like on the playground, it
wasn’t easy to tell which was which.


At the start of “Black Mass,” Whitey Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang are barely even on the FBI’s radar.  Says Cooper, “As we enter the film, the Italian Mafia, centered in the North End of Boston, are the real power players.  Bulger and his Irish-American Winter Hill Gang are small-time racketeers and loan sharks with maybe the occasional murder, but it’s Gennaro Angiulo and his soldiers who are running organized crime in the city.  When Connolly moves back up to Boston, he understands that in order to rise to the top ranks of the FBI’s Boston office, he needs to bring down the Cosa Nostra.  And to do that, he needs Whitey Bulger.  Connolly believes Whitey could be a wealth of valuable intel.  However, he’s also an extremely dangerous man, so the FBI is wary about allowing Connolly to use him as an informant.”
It turns out the Bureau’s concerns are well founded.  Whitey agrees to feed Connolly information, becoming what they euphemistically call “a liaison.”  Cooper says, “Quite frankly, you’re talking about a man without conscience who is extremely bright and cunning, and now he has unfettered access to all levels of crime in the city and the ability to do whatever he wants.  That’s a recipe for disaster, and the consequences ultimately became the biggest scandal in the history of the FBI.”
Evoking the adage that there is honor among thieves, Johnny Depp contends, “First and foremost, Jimmy Bulger is—in his own mind and his own heart—a man of honor.  His immediate response to Connolly is that he would never be a rat.  He’s not going to rat on his own people, for nobody, for nothing.  But helping the FBI get the Italian Mafia is a business decision that, without question, works for him.  I mean, if you’re offered that kind of clemency, you’re going to take it, and he takes it and runs with it.  He ends up giving the FBI very little and gets a lot in return, so it’s kind of brilliant on his part.”
Cooper calls Depp’s Whitey Bulger “a character unlike any he’s ever played.  Whitey could be charming, but he was also a man who, in the blink of an eye, would just as soon kill you as look at you.  Johnny understood that Whitey Bulger is not a likable character for the most part; there’s a very vicious side to him, which you’ve never seen before from Johnny.
“But,” the director continues, “what he wanted to do was create a full-bodied portrait—to show him as flawed as he is maniacal, ruthless but also human.  There’s a danger to that because we don’t want people to say we’re humanizing a man who personified evil.  We certainly show all levels of his brutality.  He was a stone cold killer and Johnny plays that to the hilt.  He went to great lengths to create his performance through a tremendous amount of research and in-depth discussions between the two of us and others.  From the way he moved to the timbre of his voice, he was able to inhabit fully the sociopath that is Whitey Bulger.”
Depp offers, “One of the great challenges in ‘finding’ James Bulger is that he’s a pretty mysterious fellow.  I got to know him mainly through friends and people he worked with in those early years.  That was helpful in being able to literally grab hold of the character and hang on.  For me it was walking that tightrope between playing a very dangerous, unpredictable walking time bomb who could also be emotional and even sensitive.”
The actor confirms that his portrayal involved more than delving into his character’s psyche.  “It’s also very important, when you’re playing someone who existed or exists, to approach it with respect, no matter what.  It’s their life, so regardless of what they may have done, they deserve as close to an honest version of themselves as humanly possible.  So that’s where prosthetics come into play.  Joel Harlow, who did the makeup for the film and whom I’ve worked with for years, did an amazing job.”
Cooper adds, “Johnny wanted to fully embrace the physical aspects of the character.  Whitey Bulger was balding and blue-eyed while Johnny has dark eyes and a full head of dark hair.  But between Johnny and Joel Harlow, they nailed Whitey perfectly.  Through archival footage and photographs, they were able to develop a very complex process to get all of Whitey’s facial features right: the distance between his eyes and his nose; the sneer of his lip; his chin; his hairline…  It was so convincing that when he walked on the set, people who knew Whitey found it chilling.”
“He really, really looked like Whitey,” avows Dick Lehr.  “He had that same body language and swagger.  It was eerie and very effective.”
Acting opposite Depp, Joel Edgerton says, “What Johnny was able to do with his role—from the inside as well as the outside—was very special.  I love working with actors who can make you think, ‘Okay, that’s definitely not him right now,’ and Johnny is certainly one of them.  He became Whitey Bulger.”
“Working with Joel was such a joy,” Depp reciprocates, “because you could throw anything at him and he’d knock it back.  When you can have that sort of emotional ping pong with another actor and you recognize in them that they’re strong enough to take it, that’s beautiful.  There wasn’t one scene Joel and I did together that he didn’t try new things or find a different way to go.  He surprised me every time.  He’s a great, great actor.”
Like Depp, Edgerton researched his part, exploring John Connolly’s motives and where they led him.  “John is an FBI agent who just came off a glossy arrest of a top Mafioso in New York and got a hero’s welcome when he came home.  Now he sees an opportunity to be the guy who dismantles the Italian Mafia in Boston, and the way he’s going to do that is through his old childhood friend, namely Whitey Bulger.  John successfully appeals to him to come on board as a top-echelon FBI informant.  That’s where things start to get complicated because the deal he makes is: if Whitey can help the FBI take down the Cosa Nostra, then there will be a certain ‘turn-a-blind-eye’ approach from the Bureau toward any dealings Whitey is involved in…with the exception of murder.”

…I do not consider this rattin’ or
informing. This is business.

I couldn’t have said it any better.
You’re a liaison. You pretty much
do whatever you want, no one’s
gonna raise an eyebrow,
as long as you’re leading us
into some pretty big busts.

The pact with the devil is done.
“It quickly spins out of control,” Brian Oliver expounds, “because Connolly is hanging around with Whitey to where it’s no longer business.  He crosses the line and once he crosses that line, Whitey knows he has him.”
Connolly has already been seduced by success and the rewards that come with it, so, in his mind, the ends justify whatever means are necessary.  Edgerton surmises, “I think John wants to be celebrated and admired by everybody.  But unfortunately that takes him to some dark places.  John becomes so enmeshed with Jimmy that he doesn’t realize how deep he’s gone, how dangerous the landscape has become, and how irretrievable his conscience is.  His whole life becomes dismantled by this obsessive relationship and by this need to be constantly affirmed by a criminal.”
Cooper remarks, “Joel Edgerton had a very difficult part because John Connolly wears many different masks.  With his wife he’s one thing; with Billy Bulger he’s another; with Whitey yet another; and, of course, he has a completely different mask when he’s around his FBI colleagues.  Joel delivered such a nuanced performance, perfectly capturing Connolly’s bravado and his preening peacock confidence, but also his vulnerability and searing weaknesses, of which he had many.  In fact, when the real Fred Wyshak, who had known Connolly for years, came to visit the set, he said Joel was ‘nailing everything about him in every way.’  He’s extraordinary.”
Edgerton has equal praise for the director, noting, “Scott has a good understanding of how to approach each person in their own individual way because you need that singular relationship.  He’s able to relay whatever information is going to help guide you in a different direction or to an emotional state or wherever else the character needs to go.  He is also very passionate and always prepared; he did tons of homework and knew the story inside and out.  On a personal level, he’s a real gentleman, just an exceptional person with a great energy about him.  It was a pleasure to come to work.”
Benedict Cumberbatch says the opportunity to collaborate with Cooper was one of the things that attracted him to the project.  “Scott is an incredible magnet for actors and the work I’d seen in his previous films immediately made me want to see what the game was about.  He was an actor, so he comes from a place of complete empathy for what you’re doing in front of a camera and knows how to get the best out of a scene.  He revels in naturalism—that’s his hallmark as a director—so it was a joy working with him on the more intimate moments, the stuff you really enjoy sinking your teeth into as an actor.”
Cooper says, “Benedict was brilliant as Billy Bulger; he fully embodied that character.  He is much taller than the actual person, but you never even think about the physicality of his performance because he really understood the heart of this man and who Billy was to his community.  Benedict watched hours and hours of footage and was very specific about the way he carried himself as Billy and the way he spoke, which was different from his brother.  It was very clipped and bespoke a man of high education.”
That research was vital to Cumberbatch, who relates, “There is an added responsibility playing real people.  You’re not there just as a storyteller; you’ve got to take into account that these people exist.  And how much of that do you sacrifice for the sake of creating a movie?  Films are very potent because they do become a kind of history—they form a sort of modern oral history in the sense that they are a way in which we pass these stories and characters on to future generations.  So you have to take care…you have to take real care.”

Jimmy’s business is Jimmy’s
business. It sure as hell
ain’t none of mine…

…You need to hear this, Billy.
Your brother is wading into
some very dark waters.
We all need friends. Even Jimmy.
Even you. Nobody gets there on
their own. Ain’t that right, Senator?

Cumberbatch describes his character as “an extraordinary human being who personifies an old-school, hard-edged, Irish-American political era.  He’s a fiercely intelligent and erudite man who’s imbued with a lot of power, but he’s struggling to exist between a rock and a hard place.  You see his love for his brother as well as his duties as a civil servant.  It’s a great tension to play in a character.  What we tried to do was deal with the private relationship and try not to suggest whether Whitey was protecting Billy or Billy was protecting Whitey.  We left that alone and just focused on the fact that they were two brothers who loved each other very deeply and let the audience come to their own conclusions.”
Mirroring their relationship in the film, Depp says he and Cumberbatch “became like brothers.  He’s a very giving actor and went above and beyond.  You could see his heart, you could see him carrying that sense of loyalty and the love between Billy and Jimmy.”
Apart from his brother, Whitey’s closest confidant is Stephen “the Rifleman” Flemmi, the only person he trusts enough to share his “business opportunity” with the FBI.  Playing Flemmi, Rory Cochrane says, “He is less puffed up and definitely quieter than Whitey, but he is just as lethal.  Flemmi is surprised when Whitey tells him about the deal because you can get killed for talking to the cops or the FBI.  But the idea is not to give the FBI too much information, and to use them to get tipped off on what’s coming down or who’s ratting.  So they could basically get away with anything.”
Tyler Thompson says, “Rory Cochrane transformed himself into Steve Flemmi, a man of few words.  Even spending time with him between scenes, he could be pretty damn scary.”
John Lesher recalls how Cochrane soaked up the local flavor in preparing for his role.  “I started calling Rory the Mayor of South Boston because he knew everybody,” he laughs.  “He totally dove into researching his part and brought such amazing intensity and authenticity to his work.  He really helped the film be what it is.”
“It was great meeting the people, some who knew Flemmi, and picking up pieces of information along the way,” says Cochrane.  “It could be a tiny, little thing, but it all helped.”
Cochrane was joined on his jaunts through Southie by castmate Jesse Plemons, who adds, “The first few weeks, Rory and I felt like detectives.  We were following every possible lead that could give us a shred of anything that could inform our work.”
Plemons gained 40 pounds to portray the newest and youngest member of the Winter Hill Gang, Kevin Weeks.  “Weeks is around 18 years old when we first meet him,” Plemons offers.  “He’s bouncing outside of Triple O’s, which is Jimmy’s spot.  A brawl ensues and Weeks, who’d done some boxing, fights like a lion, even though the odds are not in his favor.  When Whitey comes out and sees that this kid has no quit in him he makes him a soldier in the gang.
“The interesting thing was putting myself in Weeks’ shoes and asking, ‘If I grew up there, if I was raised that way, what would I have done?’  It gives Weeks a feeling of power just being the guy standing next to Whitey Bulger.  How do you turn down something like that?” Plemons questions.
Cooper says he had Plemons in mind for the role from the start.  “He first came to my notice when I was watching the film ‘The Master.’  I knew I wanted him to play Kevin Weeks from the day I signed on to direct the project.  He has a great arc: from a tough kid who’s a bit oblivious to a devoted enforcer and a witness to Whitey’s pillaging of the city.  He’s a very soulful actor who’s sublime in this film in every way.”
Peter Sarsgaard joins the ensemble as Brian Halloran, a peripheral member of the Winter Hill Gang, who makes the mistake of trying to rat out Whitey Bulger to the FBI…namely Special Agent John Connolly.
“Peter is incredible in this role,” states Cooper.  “Brian Halloran is a drug addict, who appears rather unnerved and jumpy, which is understandable given the circumstance in which he puts himself.  Peter really captured his eccentricities and his strung-out nature in a performance that leaves a lasting impression in a relatively short amount of screen time.”
A few of Connolly’s FBI colleagues see more pitfalls than perks in making Whitey Bulger a top-echelon informant.  His direct superior, Special Agent in Charge Charles McGuire, “is very wary of bringing Whitey into the fold because he knows this is a very vicious man who could ultimately put other agents in harm’s way,” Cooper affirms.  
McGuire is one instance where the filmmakers chose to create a composite character.  Cooper explains, “He is a fictional amalgamation of several different special agents in charge because, in reality, they move on after three or four years and our film spans decades.  But I felt it was important to have one person overseeing the operation throughout.
“Charles McGuire is played by Kevin Bacon, and I could not have asked for a better actor for the role,” the director continues.  “He fit perfectly into the fabric of this film, from his accent to the way he carried himself—as a man who demands a great deal of respect.”
Bacon appreciated the fact that his character “has a strong moral conscience about corruption and trying to uphold the law.  In a way,” the actor suggests, “he’s actually the voice of reason within the Bureau, which you need.  It’s a good balance to have someone who isn’t swept up by the idea of using Whitey Bulger to bring the Italian mob down.  I think McGuire sees John Connolly as a little bit of a hothead and isn’t wowed by his history, his style or his intimidating nature.”
Unlike McGuire, another of Connolly’s superiors, Special Agent John Morris, allows his better judgment to be clouded by the dogged resolve of John Connolly and the deceptive charm of Whitey Bulger.  David Harbour, who appears as Morris, says, “Connolly is very sure of himself and gets what he wants done, and Morris admires that.  Early on, you see that Connolly is very gung-ho about Bulger as an informant and he convinces Morris.  However, there comes a point where they cross the line and start socializing with these gangsters, and Morris is compromising his career and his future to impress this guy.  Whitey Bulger can be very gracious one minute and then turn on a dime, and he does that to Morris.  That’s when the reality of the situation hits him and the clock starts ticking.”
In fact, the sands begin to shift with the new arrival of an incorruptible federal prosecutor named Fred Wyshak.  Played by Corey Stoll, Wyshak is unimpressed by Connolly’s attempt to glad-hand him with Red Sox tickets and can’t be dissuaded by the agent’s double talk about his lead informant: Whitey Bulger.  
“The previous federal prosecutor took a more hands-off approach and didn’t interfere with Connolly’s corrupt involvement with Bulger,” Stoll acknowledges.  “Then Fred Wyshak takes over the office, and he can see that things are not adding up.  Whitey Bulger is supposed to be this great informant, but he’s really not producing anything.  If anything, information is flowing from the FBI to him, which is not the way it’s supposed to happen.  The first conversation between them is about Wyshak letting him know there’s a new regime.  He puts the first chink in Connolly’s armor.”
Stoll had the added pressure of having the real Fred Wyshak on set his first day of shooting.  “It was a little nerve wracking at first,” he admits, “but it was also invaluable having him there.”
Though, in the context of the day, the FBI and the mob were each something of a boys’ club, there are women in the story who have a distinct impact on what transpires…even if only as collateral damage.
Juno Temple appears as Deborah Hussey, who “has a questionable relationship with her stepfather, Steve Flemmi,” the actress says cryptically.  “Unbeknownst to her, she ends up on the wrong side of Whitey Bulger, which leads to serious complications for her.”
Dakota Johnson plays Lindsey Cyr, who had been Whitey’s longtime girlfriend and the mother of his only child.  “Dakota has a sweetness and an earthiness about her that I wanted in Lindsey to counterbalance Whitey’s more taciturn nature,” says Cooper.
“Lindsey does bring out some level of humanity in Whitey, mainly through their shared love for their son,” Johnson observes.  “It doesn’t make him any less terrible a person, but it shows a different side of him.”
Marianne Connolly starts to see another side of her husband, John, as he becomes more entangled with Whitey.  Cast as Marianne, Julianne Nicholson asserts, “Marianne is seeing a lot less of her husband and when he’s home, she notices how much he’s changing: he’s wearing flashy watches and fancy suits and even carries himself in a different way.  It’s basically like he’s buying his own hype and becoming somebody else.  That’s not what she signed on for, so they grow apart.”

You’re changing, John…
It’s Jimmy Bulger that’s changing you.

…Like it or not, Marianne, you
married a street kid. And the streets
taught me that you give and you
get loyalty from your friends,
and loyalty means a lot to me.

Cooper recounts, “When we first meet John and Marianne, they are deeply in love and brimming with optimism.  They’ve just returned home, the city is beckoning, and the Bureau has high expectations for John to leave a real mark on Boston, which he does…just not in the way they had hoped.”
Edgerton comments, “I think Marianne is the heart of the movie in that she’s a reflection of how wayward John is going.  The strain on their marriage shows just how far he’s gone.”
Hailing from Medford, Massachusetts, Nicholson had an advantage over most of her castmates, as the instantly recognizable Boston accent came naturally to her.  “It’s wicked hard to do a good Boston accent,” she nods, incorporating New England’s trademark adjective.  “I was really impressed by how everyone handled it.”
The cast worked with dialect coaches Howard Samuelson and Carla Meyer to learn the nuances of speaking like a native Bostonian—in most cases, from South Boston specifically.  Complicating the task were the various starting points of the international cast.
Edgerton attests, “I’m an Aussie, and I think this is one of the most difficult accents I’ve ever had to do.  No other accent is more criticized and scrutinized than Boston’s because it’s very particular.  But sometimes the greatest challenges create the best results.  You have to trust your instincts and your ear but also do the hard work, and when you’re doing it right, you can feel it.”
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch notes that his accent had to reflect someone who was born and bred in Southie and—while he never lost touch with his origins—now works in the rarified environment of politics.  “Both worlds are present in his riotous, whip-smart wit on display in the countless hours of footage I watched, including the famous St. Patrick’s Day pancake breakfasts he hosted.  He was a natural entertainer and a very lively comic and mimic, so we could, and did, go anywhere with his voice.”
“I spent time with a bunch of Southie guys who helped me out just by talking,” Depp says.  “They would talk and I’d listen and sponge it up.”
Cooper remarks, “All of the actors have a real ear for dialects and worked hard to get the accent right.  When you have an ensemble as large as this, you have to really be on point as to what you want from each actor.  The best ones allow you to peer into their souls in a very organic and unfettered way, and I certainly had that in this cast.”

I want Whitey Bulger.  If we have to
arrest every lowlife in Boston to do
that, we arrest them.  Every loan shark.  
Every bookie.  Every drug dealer.
One of these guys is going to
make a case against him.


Behind the camera, Cooper also counted on his creative team to convey both the tones and times of the drama.  “I had some remarkably talented people working with me to tell the story in the most authentic and beautifully crafted way.  My cinematographer, Masanobu Takayanagi, is a wonderful collaborator.  Masa shot my last film and really gets how I compose shots, how I like to light, and when I like to move the camera or not move the camera.  My production designer, Stefania Cella, is both an old friend and an extremely talented artist with a wonderful sense of detail.  And my costume designer is Kasia Walicka Maimone, who has an extraordinary eye and cares as much as I do about getting it right.  So I chose to tell this very American story with the help of a Japanese cinematographer, an Italian production designer and a Polish costume designer,” the director laughs.  “But the only thing that matters is they all delivered brilliantly.”
There was never any question that “Black Mass” would be shot in Boston and, whenever possible, “in the actual locations where certain scenarios took place,” Cooper says.  
Patrick McCormick adds, “Our goal in going to the real places was to amplify that feeling of verisimilitude.  Being in the old haunts of these characters carries you to that place and time.”
Depp comments, “The neighborhood of Southie plays a hugely significant part in the film in terms of Jimmy Bulger’s life, his upbringing, and the very definition of who he and the other characters are.  Scott certainly understood that.”
Scenes were filmed in the Lancaster Street Garage in South Boston, which was the de facto headquarters of Whitey, Stephen Flemmi and the Winter Hill Gang.  They also shot along the Neponset River in Quincy, under the overpass where Whitey had many of his victims buried.  
Working in and around South Boston, the filmmakers were sensitive to the memories of the community.  “We felt a responsibility to the locals, especially those who might have been impacted by the actions of Whitey Bulger,” Brian Oliver states.
“The denizens of Boston were very generous and opened their arms to us,” Cooper says.  “We couldn’t have done it without their support and cooperation at every turn.”
One major hurdle was that much has changed in the time since the events depicted in the film.  Stefania Cella shares, “When you’re doing a period movie, even 30 or 40 years ago, it’s always a challenge to cut back the modernity and a lot of those areas have been renovated over the years.  The starting point is research, which is fundamental.  We delved into newspaper clippings and photographs and looked at television news footage.  We also met with FBI agents and journalists.”
Staying true to the period, the modifications included changing signage and bringing in phone booths, which, with the advent of cell phones, have largely disappeared.  Even the striping on the roads had to be changed.  
Journalist-turned-author Gerard O’Neill recalls, “I was enormously impressed.  They really captured the milieu of Boston in that era.”
A few specific locations simply don’t exist anymore.  The Southie bar, Triple O’s, where Whitey and his cronies often hung out, has long since changed hands.  “We had scenes inside and outside Triple O’s,” says Cella, “so we went scouting for a place that had the same atmosphere.  We found a perfect space in a less gentrified part of Cambridge.  We redid the façade of the Polish American Club, turning it into Triple O’s, and changed the storefronts up and down the streets.”
The suburb of Lynn, Massachusetts, about ten miles north of Boston, also provided exteriors for some street scenes, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, led by Benedict Cumberbatch as Billy Bulger.
In Chelsea, directly across the Mystic River from Boston, the production converted an empty warehouse to serve as a soundstage for some interiors.  One of the main sets Cella and her crew constructed there was the home where Whitey and Billy grew up and where their mother lived until she passed away.  Cella details, “I was able to see archival photographs of the homes in the projects and we scouted a few, but the rooms would have been too small to shoot in and they are nothing like they were in the `70s and `80s.  Building it on a stage gave me the freedom to recreate it with the right wallpaper and floors.  Then we dressed the sets with pieces that could be changed out to indicate the passage of time.”
Two separate locations served as Boston’s FBI headquarters.  An empty floor in a high-rise office building in the heart of Boston was transformed into Connolly’s and McGuire’s offices, the interrogation and conference rooms and the organized crime unit’s bullpen.  A few scenes were also accomplished in the hallway and courtyard of Boston City Hall.
McCormick says the most extreme departure from actual locations was “cheating Miami in Boston, for which I give Stefania great credit.  We were going for Miami in 1982, which doesn’t really exist in the way we needed it to.  We found a blank slate on Revere Beach, and Stefania referenced some beautiful photographs to replicate a beachside café in Little Havana, with palm trees and white sands and a few period cars.  There was no reason to travel to Miami when we could get what we needed right outside of Boston.”
Kasia Walicka Maimone also had to blend fact and fiction in creating the wardrobe for the various characters.  She says, “When dealing with real people, I always look for iconic images.  There was nothing ostentatious or especially distinctive about the way these gangsters dressed, except Whitey had his own style.  Sifting through pictures of him, there were certain things that stood out.  Discussing it with Scott, I suggested we keep Whitey in a leather jacket to form one main look and then manipulate other aspects of his wardrobe as the decades change.  So the majority of the film, he is wearing the same style leather jacket, except he switches from black to tan over time.”
Maimone also accessorized the character according to her research.  “From the photos, we knew he loved his custom-made cowboy boots,” she notes.  “He also liked a belt with an Alcatraz buckle that had been given to him by an FBI agent, so we reproduced that buckle.  He consistently wore his jeans quite high-waisted and his t-shirts tight through the decades, so those also became consistent elements of Johnny’s costume.  He was amazing embodying the persona of his character, which was crucial to how he wore the clothes.  You always hope for a collaboration like this—where all the parties speak the same language—and that was very much the case on this film.”
The designer found photos of Stephen Flemmi in an off-white jacket, so she dressed Rory Cochrane in lighter-colored jackets for much of the film.  For the younger Kevin Weeks, who had been a boxer, she put Jesse Plemons in more functional, sportier clothes and boxing shoes.
“It was an interesting process of building the characters’ wardrobe through what we found out about the actual people, while interpreting that information for our own purposes,” Maimone says.  
As an FBI agent, John Connolly wore mainly suits and ties, which would seem a relatively easy task for a costume designer.  However, Maimone counters, “Joel Edgerton’s costumes were challenging to us because there is such a clear arc that needs to happen with his character.  When we first meet Connolly, he is clearly in off-the-rack suits, but we gradually see him go from an understated look to a bit bolder and more tailored suits.  We didn’t want to hit it too hard, so we took small steps.  It was important not to fall too far out of the FBI ‘box,’ so we were walking a fine line.”
Billy Bulger’s suits were also designed to reflect a change in status, starting out, Maimone describes, “maybe a hair louder than a politician’s should be.  But he quickly learns the vocabulary of the world of politics, and his suit becomes impeccable, as befits a man in his position.”
In fitting Benedict Cumberbatch to portray Billy, Maimone employed a few tailoring tricks.  Widening the legs of the trousers and broadening the shoulders of the jackets helped give the illusion that the actor was somewhat shorter than he is.  Additionally, Cumberbatch put on a few pounds to appear a little stockier than usual.  The makeup department also used facial prosthetics to widen his cheeks and round out his face.
Finely sculpted facial prosthetics were also used to give Johnny Depp the visage of Whitey Bulger.  Makeup department head Joel Harlow offers, “From the beginning, it was important to Johnny to look as much like Whitey Bulger as possible.  We started with a cyber scan of his head and then, using reference materials from the Internet, I shaped silicone prosthetics.  We went through a number of tests before finding what worked: focusing on the forehead and the nose to create an amalgam of Whitey and Johnny.  We went to enormous lengths to get the density of the silicone correct, especially on the forehead, so Johnny’s expressions would come through organically.”
For Whitey’s distinctive hairline, the hair department, headed by Gloria Casny, began with Harlow’s silicone pieces that had been shaped precisely to Depp’s own head and extended over the forehead down to the eyebrows.  Then special effects hair/wigmaker Khanh Trance spent dozens of hours punching thousands of individual strands of hair into the silicone to create the hairline as well as the brows.  Casny explains, “She had to do one hair at a time to make it look the most natural.  I then added a salt-and-pepper back wig to blend into the hairline and cover Johnny’s naturally dark hair.”
The job was made all the more daunting because each silicone piece could only be used once, “so we had to do new ones every single day,” Casny says.  “At one point, we had two people helping Khanh in 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day.  We also had to show stages of aging, which we did by increasing the grey and thinning the hair.  Different sideburns also reflected the changing times.”
“All in all, it’s a stunning transformation,” Cooper sums up simply.

In the beginning, Jimmy was a
small-town player who mattered
only in Southie… The next thing you
know, he’s a goddamn kingpin. You
know why? The FBI let it happen.


When principal photography was complete, Cooper teamed with editor David Rosenbloom in the cutting room and with composer Tom Holkenborg on the scoring stage.
Holkenborg recalls, “When I saw the movie, I literally came out with sweat on my hands and my knees were shaking.  It was very impressive and had an enormous impact on me.”
“I knew that was a good start,” Cooper smiles.  “He said, ‘Let me go away and write something, and I’ll be back to you in one week.’  So he comes back in a week with 48 minutes of music that absolutely crushed me.  It was gorgeous.  It had all the emotion and the pathos that I wanted and this unsettling feeling that would ultimately course through the narrative.  And born out of that suite, Tom crafted a beautifully evocative score that helped give the film its shape.”
“The first thing I thought about was what I was going to do for Whitey,” says Holkenborg.  “He’s such an evil person, so incredibly dark, I wanted to write a theme that would underscore the darkness but also convey the multiple facets of the character.  What I came up with is a reoccurring pattern in the low frequencies, heard through piano and cello.”
“I think the music really helps take the audience inside the unpredictable and fractured psyche of Whitey Bulger,” Cooper observes.
The composer created a rising and falling melody to serve as the theme for John Connolly.  He illustrates, “His theme comes from a low note and goes to a high note that sounds like it’s reaching to go even higher but never can, and then goes back to low.  It’s like he wants so badly to climb up and then something pulls him back down, and as the movie progresses that becomes more and more intense.”
Connolly’s theme also features a cello motif, which “actually fits multiple personalities in the film.  In fact, the cello is the main instrument in the score,” Holkenborg relates.
“The cello is one of my favorite instruments,” Cooper says.  “It has an extremely mournful but powerful quality.  The music is at times propulsive with a full orchestra, other times with a lush string section.  But there are moments, unnerving moments, where it’s just a very small selection of strings or a solo cello.”
Another instrument featured in the score is the pipe organ.  “It just made sense; I mean the movie is called ‘Black Mass,’” justifies Holkenborg, who bought an organ specifically to use on the film.  “It’s a beautiful instrument and it was nice to have with all its sound capacities.  And it was great that Scott embraced it because the point is to serve the ideas the director has for the film.
“With this movie,” he continues, “we agreed restraint was key.  But within that range, I had all the creative freedom I could possibly get from a director.  I tried to give him something that was out of the ordinary—a little left of center—and he was very welcoming to the emotionally stirring sounds that I felt we needed for the characters in the film.”
“Tom is an incredibly diverse composer who fully comprehended the doomed relationship between Whitey Bulger and John Connolly and a city that was forever scarred by Bulger’s exploits,” Cooper reflects.
Depp observes, “I think the main reason Bulger did ‘set up shop’ with Connolly was because he was another Southie boy and they understood each other on that level.  That Southie bond is really something and it still exists to this day.”
Cooper concludes, “I wanted to explore the bonds of brotherhood and the bonds of loyalty, but also the unbridled ambition, avarice and hubris that drove these people.  It was important to me not to simply tell a story about criminals that happened to be human, but to tell a story about humans, reprehensible or not, who happened to be criminals.  And never losing sight of the fact that, in Boston in the 1970s and `80s, certain lawmen and criminals were virtually indistinguishable.”

JOHNNY DEPP (James “Whitey” Bulger) is an award-winning actor who is also producing projects under the banner of his company, infinitum nihil.  
A three-time Academy Award nominee in the category of Best Actor, Depp was honored with his first Oscar nod for his work in Gore Verbinski’s 2003 blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” which launched the hugely successful film franchise.  He also won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and an Empire Award and garnered Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his creation of Captain Jack Sparrow, who became an instant screen classic.  Depp went on to reprise the role in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” earning another Golden Globe nomination; “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
His next Oscar nomination came for his performance in Marc Forster’s acclaimed 2004 drama “Finding Neverland.”  For his portrayal of Peter Pan author James Barrie in that film, he also received Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and SAG Award nominations.  He earned his third Oscar nomination for his work in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” director Tim Burton’s 2007 screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical.  Depp also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for his performance in the film’s title role.
He has collaborated with Burton on eight features to date, starting with the title role in “Edward Scissorhands,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.  He also earned Golden Globe nominations for his work under Burton’s direction in “Ed Wood,” winning a London Film Critics Circle Award for the title role; “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” as Willy Wonka; and “Alice in Wonderland,” playing the Mad Hatter.  Additionally, he starred in “Dark Shadows” and lent his voice to Burton’s animated hit “Corpse Bride.”
Depp recently reprised the role of the Mad Hatter for the adventure “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” due out next year.  He just wrapped production on “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” in which he returns to the role of Captain Jack Sparrow.  
Depp began his performing career as a musician, before segueing to acting.  He made his feature film debut in the horror hit “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” followed by Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning war drama “Platoon.” In 1987, he landed his breakout role on the hit television show “21 Jump Street.”
After starring in the series for four seasons, Depp returned to the big screen in John Waters’ “Cry-Baby.” His early film work also includes “Benny & Joon,” gaining a Golden Globe nomination; Lasse Hallström’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”; “Don Juan DeMarco,” with Marlon Brando; Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco”; and Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”  In 1997, Depp made his writing and directing debut with “The Brave,” in which he also starred with Brando.
Depp has also starred in such diverse films as Lasse Hallström’s “Chocolat,” for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe; the Hughes brothers’ “From Hell”; Robert Rodriguez’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”; Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies”; “The Tourist,” earning another Golden Globe nomination; “The Rum Diary,” which he also produced; Gore Verbinski’s “The Lone Ranger”; and Rob Marshall’s screen adaptation of the hit musical “Into the Woods.”  In addition, he voiced the title character in Verbinski’s Oscar-winning animated feature “Rango,” and was a producer on Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated fantasy “Hugo.”

JOEL EDGERTON (John Connolly) was honored for his performance as Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby,” Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.  Edgerton won Australian Film Institute (AFI) and Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) Awards and was nominated for an Australian Film Critics Association Award, all in the category of Best Supporting Actor.
Edgerton more recently directed, wrote, produced and starred in the psychological thriller “The Gift,” also starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall.  The independent film delivered tremendously, with a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score and an opening weekend of $12 million.  He also starred opposite Christian Bale in Ridley Scott’s biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”  
Edgerton’s upcoming credits include starring roles in Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi thriller “Midnight Special,” and Gavin O’Connor’s Western “Jane Got a Gun,” with Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor.  He is currently reunited with Nichols on the fact-based drama “Loving,” about the couple whose challenge to Virginia’s interracial marriage ban led to a landmark Supreme Court case.
In 2012, Edgerton gained international attention with his role in Kathryn Bigelow’s award-winning true-life drama “Zero Dark Thirty.”  That same year, he starred opposite Jennifer Garner in Peter Hedges’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” and in “Wish You Were Here,” winning an FCCA Award for Best Actor.
His other recent film credits include the drama “Felony,” which he also wrote and produced and which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival; Gavin O’Connor’s drama “Warrior,” with Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte; the horror thriller “The Thing,” the prequel to John Carpenter’s cult classic; and David Michôd’s “Animal Kingdom,” for which he won AFI and FCCA Awards for Best Supporting Actor.  
Edgerton had earlier starred in such films as “The Square,” directed by his brother Nash Edgerton; the Australian feature “Acolytes”; “Whisper,” with Josh Holloway”; the crime thriller “Smokin’ Aces”; the drag comedy “Kinky Boots”; and George Lucas’s blockbusters “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” playing the young Owen Lars, who would become Uncle Owen to Luke Skywalker.  He also lent his voice to Zack Snyder’s animated feature “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” and the Oscar-nominated animated short “The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello,” performing the title role.
Born in New South Wales, Australia, Edgerton attended the Nepean Drama School in western Sydney.  He went on to appear in various stage productions, most notably with the Sydney Theatre Company in “Blackrock,” “Third World Blues” and “Love for Love”; and the Bell Shakespeare, where he appeared in “Henry IV.”  
In 2009, he returned to the stage to star as Stanley Kowalski, alongside Cate Blanchett’s Blanche DuBois, in the Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  The pair also performed the play to sold-out audiences at the Kennedy Center in November of that year, followed by a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in December.
On Australian television, he is known for playing the role of Will in the long-running series “The Secret Life of Us,” for which he was nominated for an AFI Award.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (Billy Bulger) earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor earlier this year for his performance in the 2014 true-life drama “The Imitation Game.”  His riveting portrayal of code breaker Alan Turing in that film also brought him a Hollywood Film Award for Best Actor, as well as nominations for a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, a British Independent Film Award, a Critics’ Choice Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award.
In 2013, Cumberbatch starred in the film adaptation of the hit play “August: Osage County,” as part of an all-star ensemble cast under the direction of John Wells, and in Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning fact-based drama “12 Years a Slave.”  Cumberbatch shared in SAG Award nominations with his castmates from both films.  That same year, he also starred as Khan in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” and as Julian Assange in Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate,” and played the dragon Smaug in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”  He received the BAFTA/LA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year for his work in all five roles.
Last year, Cumberbatch reprised the role of Smaug in the conclusion of “The Hobbit” Trilogy, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” and also lent his voice to Agent Classified in the animated feature “Penguins of Madagascar.”  His other film credits include “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” for which he received a British Independent Film Award nomination; Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse”; “Wreckers”; “Third Star”; “The Other Boleyn Girl”; “Atonement”; “Starter for 10”; and “Amazing Grace.”
Cumberbatch has also been honored for his work on the small screen, most notably in the title role of the BBC’s contemporized “Sherlock,” winning Emmy and Critics’ Choice TV Awards and receiving Golden Globe and two BAFTA TV Award nominations for his portrayal of the renowned detective.  He also garnered Emmy and Critics’ Choice TV Award nominations for his performance in the HBO miniseries “Parade’s End,” and a BAFTA TV Award nomination for his role in the BBC telefilm “Small Island.”  
Cumberbatch studied drama at the University of Manchester before training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.  Early in his career, he was seen in a number of theatre and television roles; however, it was his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the 2004 BBC biopic “Hawking” that brought him international attention and his first BAFTA TV Award nomination.  Among his other television credits are “Silent Witness,” “MI-5,” “Dunkirk,” “To the Ends of the Earth,” “Stuart: A Life Backwards” and “The Last Enemy.”  
On the stage, Cumberbatch starred in Danny Boyle’s celebrated 2011 production of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” at the National Theatre, alternating (with Jonny Lee Miller) in the roles of The Creature and Dr. Frankenstein.  Together with Miller, he shared in an Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Theatre Award and a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for the dual roles.  He previously received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance in Richard Eyre’s 2005 West End production of “Hedda Gabler.”  His extensive stage work also includes two seasons with the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park with The New Shakespeare Company; Trevor Nunn’s production of “Lady from the Sea”; Tennessee Williams’ “Period of Adjustment”; Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”; “The Arsonists”; “The City” at the Royal Court Theatre; and Thea Sharrock’s award-winning 2010 revival of “After the Dance” at the National Theatre.
Upcoming, Cumberbatch stars in the title role of the action adventure “Dr. Strange,” bringing the Marvel Comics character to the screen.  In addition, he will play the tiger Shere Khan, in “Jungle Book: Origins,” slated for release in fall 2017.  He will also star as Richard III in “The Hollow Crown,” the BBC’s miniseries adaptations of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” “Henry IV” and “Henry V.”  He is currently on stage in London’s West End, playing the title role of the Bard’s “Hamlet.”  The production will be filmed for National Theatre LIVE and will come to select cinemas this fall.  

RORY COCHRANE (Steve Flemmi) was honored as a member of the ensemble cast of the 2012 Oscar-winning Best Picture “Argo,” directed by and starring Ben Affleck.  Cochrane shared in several accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble, for his role as one of six American Embassy staffers trapped in Iran after the 1979 embassy takeover.  His more recent film credits include another true-life drama “Parkland,” and the horror thriller “Oculus,” which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Upcoming, he stars in the independent war drama “Soy Negro.”
Born in New York, Cochrane spent much of his childhood in England, eventually returning to Manhattan to study at the La Guardia High School of Performing Arts.  His first notable role was as Jeff Goldblum’s character’s son in the drama “Fathers and Sons.”  His early film roles also include Slater, the young stoner in Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused”; Billy Mack Black, the crazed tattooed killer in “Love and a .45”; and Lucas in “Empire Records.”  
His subsequent film credits include “The Low Life” and “Dogtown” for director George Hickenlooper; Joel Schumacher’s “Flawless,” with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert De Niro; “The Prime Gig,” with Vince Vaughn and Ed Harris; “Hart’s War,” opposite Colin Farrell and Bruce Willis; “A Scanner Darkly,” which reunited him with Richard Linklater; Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale; “Passion Play,” with Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke; and “Bringing Up Bobby,” with Milla Jovovich.
Cochrane is best known to television audiences for the role of Tim Speedle in “CSI: Miami,” on which he was a regular from 2002 through 2004.  He later had a seven-episode arc, opposite Jon Voight, on the hit show “24.”  His additional television credits include the award-winning TNT miniseries “The Company,” in which he co-starred with Michael Keaton and Chris O’Donnell.

JESSE PLEMONS (Kevin Weeks) counts among his recent film credits Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically lauded drama “The Master,” with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix; the Western “The Homesman,” directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones.  His upcoming films include Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama “Bridge of Spies,” with Tom Hanks; Stephen Frears’ cycling drama “The Program,” about Lance Armstrong; and Doug Liman’s thriller “Mena,” starring Tom Cruise.
On television, Plemons joined the cast of “Breaking Bad” for the final season of the award-winning series, sharing in a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Drama Series Ensemble.  He also won an IGN Summer Movie Award for Best TV Villain.  He has since co-starred with Frances McDormand in the acclaimed HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.”  In addition, he is now starring opposite Kirsten Dunst on the acclaimed FX series “Fargo.”
Born in Dallas, Texas, Plemons got an early start as an actor, making his debut at age three in a Coca-Cola commercial.  He followed with guest appearances on a number of series and small film roles before landing his breakout role: Landry Clarke on the award-winning hit series “Friday Night Lights.”  After five seasons on the show, Plemons was cast in a number of films, including the action film “Battleship,” written and directed by “Friday Night Lights” series creator Peter Berg, who wrote the role of Jimmy Ord specifically for Plemons.
Apart from acting, Plemons performs in the band Cowboy and Indian.

DAVID HARBOUR (John Morris) has been recognized for his work on both the stage and screen.  Upcoming, he will be seen in the action adventure “Suicide Squad,” based on the DC Comics characters and being directed by David Ayer for release in summer 2016.  He is also about to begin production on the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” starring opposite Winona Ryder.
A native New Yorker, Harbour graduated from Dartmouth College with a double major in Drama and Italian.  Beginning his career on the stage, he made his Broadway debut in the 1999 revival of “The Rainmaker.”  He later earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Nick in the 2005 revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  He more recently starred alongside Al Pacino in the 2012/13 revival of David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross.”  His additional Broadway credits include Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” also with Pacino; Tom Stoppard’s “The Coast of Utopia” trilogy of plays, “Voyage,” “Shipwreck” and “Salvage”; and Stoppard’s “The Invention of Love.”  He also starred off Broadway in Lanford Wilson’s “The Fifth of July,” and in the world premiere of Donald Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” at the Geffen in Los Angeles.
Harbour made his feature film debut in “Kinsey,” with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, followed by Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and Ang Lee’s groundbreaking film “Brokeback Mountain.”  He also starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Sam Mendes’ drama “Revolutionary Road.”  His additional film credits include “Quantum of Solace,” “State of Play,” “The Green Hornet,” “End of Watch,” “Parkland,” “A Walk Among the Tombstones” and “The Equalizer.”
On television, Harbour had a recurring role on the acclaimed HBO series “The Newsroom.”  His series work also includes the shows “State of Affairs,” “Manhattan,” Rake” and “Pan Am.”  He also co-starred with Diane Keaton and Ellen Page in the HBO movie “Tilda,” and has had guest roles on such series as “Banshee,” “Elementary,” “Royal Pains,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Unit” and “Law & Order.”

DAKOTA JOHNSON (Lindsey Cyr) has become one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars.  She recently starred in the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the box office record smashing “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ novel.  
She plays one of the leads in “A Bigger Splash,” Luca Guadagnino’s remake of “La Piscine,” in which she stars alongside Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts.  Johnson also recently shot the upcoming comedy “How to Be Single,” in which she stars with Rebel Wilson.  
Johnson first burst on the scene with her performance in David Fincher’s critically acclaimed hit “The Social Network,” written by Aaron Sorkin.  She went on to play roles in the comedies “The Five Year Engagement,” and “21 Jump Street,” with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
On the television side, Johnson starred in the lead role of FOX’s primetime, single-camera ensemble comedy series “Ben and Kate.”  She had the honor of being Miss Golden Globe at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards.

JULIANNE NICHOLSON (Marianne Connolly) recently starred in John Wells’ “August: Osage County,” based on the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play of the same name.  As part of the ensemble cast, also including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholson earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and won a Hollywood Film Award.  
With independent film work a staple in her career, Nicholson next stars in the title role of the independent feature “Sophie and the Rising Sun.”  She has also had leading roles in such films as “10,000 Saints,” which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival; “Shadows & Lies,” opposite James Franco; “Staten Island, New York,” alongside Ethan Hawke; “Two Weeks,” with Sally Field; Bill Condon’s “Kinsey,” with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney; Nick Hurran’s “Little Black Book”; Hilary Birmingham’s “Tully”; and Peter Chan’s “The Love Letter.”
On the small screen, Nicholson stars in Sundance TV’s series “The Red Road,” with Jason Momoa and Martin Henderson.  She also received a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for her recurring guest role as Dr. Lillian DePaul on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.”  Her recent credits also include a recurring role on HBO’s award-winning series “Boardwalk Empire,” and recurring or regular roles on such series as “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Ally McBeal,” and “The Others.”
Her New York stage work includes roles she originated in Sam Shepard’s 2012 off-Broadway play “Heartless”; and Melissa James Gibson’s new play “This”; Adam Rapp’s “The Hallway Trilogy”; and Bathsheba Doran’s “Parents’ Evening.”
Nicholson was born and raised just outside of Boston in Medford, Massachusetts.  Moving to New York, she attended Hunter College before pursuing her professional acting career.

KEVIN BACON (Charles McGuire) is an award-winning actor who has balanced starring roles with powerful supporting characters on both the screen and stage.
Bacon earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance in the controversial drama “The Woodsman,” which he also executive produced.  He had earlier received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in Curtis Hanson’s 1994 thriller “The River Wild.”  The following year, he received a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nomination and won a Critics Choice Award for his work in “Murder in the First,” and won a SAG Award as a member of the ensemble cast of Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13.”  He has since garnered two more SAG Award nominations in the category of Outstanding Motion Picture Cast, for his roles in Clint Eastwood’s drama “Mystic River” and Ron Howard’s “Frost/Nixon.”
A native of Philadelphia, Bacon became the youngest student at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York and made his film debut in “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”  That led to starring roles in Barry Levinson’s “Diner” and Herbert Ross’s smash hit “Footloose,” which propelled Bacon to stardom.
Bacon has since continued to prove his talents in a wide range of movies.  His more than 60 feature film credits include “She’s Having a Baby,” “The Big Picture,” “Tremors,” “Flatliners,” “JFK,” “A Few Good Men,” “Sleepers,” “Balto,” “Picture Perfect,” “Telling Lies in America,” “Stir of Echoes,” “My Dog Skip,” “Hollow Man,” “Trapped,” “Beauty Shop,” “Where the Truth Lies,” “The Air I Breathe” and “My One and Only.”  Among his more recent films are “X-Men: First Class” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”  Also in 2015, Bacon stars in the thriller “Cop Car,” which he executive produced.
On television, Bacon most recently starred on the hit FOX series “The Following,” which completed its third season.  In 2009, Bacon starred in the HBO movie “Taking Chance,” for which he won Golden Globe and SAG Awards and earned an Emmy nomination.  His other credits include the PBS staging of Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky,” with his then-future wife, Kyra Sedgwick; “The Gift”; “Mr. Roberts”; and guest spots on “Will & Grace” and “Frasier.”
In 1996, Bacon made his directorial debut with “Losing Chase,” starring Sedgwick, Beau Bridges and Helen Mirren, who won a Golden Globe Award for her performance.  The telefilm was also Golden Globe-nominated for Best Miniseries or Movie for Television.  He has since directed and produced the film “Loverboy,” and helmed several episodes of Sedgwick’s drama series “The Closer.”
On the stage, Bacon made his Broadway debut in 1983’s “Slab Boys,” with Sean Penn, and later starred in the 1986 production of Joe Orton’s “Loot.”  His theatre work also includes such off-Broadway plays as “Album,” “Poor Little Lambs,” “Getting Out” and Theresa Rebeck’s comedy “Spike Heels.”  In 2002, he returned to Broadway in the one-man show “An Almost Holy Picture.”  Bacon was more recently seen onstage in the celebrated Los Angeles reading of Dustin Lance Black’s play “8.”
Bacon teamed with his brother Michael to form the successful band The Bacon Brothers, with a sound they describe as Forosoco—folk, rock, soul and country—which was the title of their debut CD.  They have recorded eight CDs and a concert DVD.
In 2007, Bacon launched, a web site that encourages people to become a celebrity for their cause through a philanthropic social media network.  Bacon received the 2010 Joel Siegel Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association in recognition of his work with  In 2000, the Film Society of Lincoln Center honored Bacon for his extraordinary career in the film industry.

COREY STOLL (Fred Wyshak) most recently co-starred with Paul Rudd in the super hero action adventure hit “Ant-Man.”  
His latest film work also includes Noah Buschel’s “Glass Chin,” which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival, and the thriller “Dark Places,” opposite Charlize Theron.  In 2014, Stoll starred in three very different films: “The Good Lie,” with Reese Witherspoon; Shawn Levy’s dramatic comedy “This is Where I Leave You,” joining the ensemble cast with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda; and Jaume Collet-Serra’s action hit “Non-Stop,” with Liam Neeson.  
Stoll previously received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance as Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”  His other film credits include the Sundance competition film “C.O.G.”; Tony Gilroy’s “The Bourne Legacy”; “Salt,” with Angelina Jolie; Joel Schumacher’s “The Number 23”; and “North Country,” starring Charlize Theron.
On television, Stoll received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of Congressman Peter Russo in David Fincher’s Netflix series “House of Cards.”  He currently stars in Guillermo del Toro’s FX sci-fi/horror series “The Strain,” and was seen in the award-winning HBO movie “The Normal Heart.”
Stoll earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from NYU, and began his professional career on stage in Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel.”  His performance as the love interest of Viola Davis’s character brought him a Drama Desk Award nomination in New York and a Drama Critics’ Circle Award in Los Angeles.  He made his Broadway debut in 2003 in “Henry IV” and later starred in the 2007 revival of “Old Acquaintance.”  In 2010, he starred in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson.

PETER SARSGAARD (Brian Halloran) is currently in production on Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven,” in which he stars with Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington.  
Sarsgaard attended the Actors’ Studio Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, before making his theatrical debut in the 1995 off-Broadway production of Horton Foote’s “Laura Dennis,” directed by James Houghton.  In 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Trigorin in Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan.  This was the beginning of his critically acclaimed run in Chekhov plays, followed by an off-Broadway run in “Uncle Vanya” and culminating with “The Three Sisters,” both directed by Austin Pendleton and starring opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Earlier this year, Sarsgaard reunited with Pendleton for a six-week run of “Hamlet” at the Classic Stage Company.
On the big screen, he was recently seen in Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves”; Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” opposite Cate Blanchett; and “Lovelace,” opposite Amanda Seyfried.  He also appears in the independent films “Pawn Sacrifice,” alongside Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber under the direction of Edward Zwick; Alain Choquart’s “Ladygrey,” with Jérémie Renier and Emily Mortimer; and “Experimenter,” in which he portrays famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram, opposite Winona Ryder.  The last premiered to great reviews at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
On television, Sarsgaard starred on the NBC limited series “The Slap,” with Thandie Newton and Zachary Quinto.  He also earned a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work in AMC’s “The Killing.”
Sarsgaard earlier received Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations for work in the 2003 drama “Shattered Glass.”  He was also recognized with Critics’ Choice and Spirit Award nominations for his role in Bill Condon’s “Kinsey,” with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.  
His additional film work includes Martin Campbell’s “The Green Lantern”; “Knight and Day,” with Tom Cruise; “An Education”; Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Orphan”; “In the Electric Mist”; “Elegy” with Penélope Cruz and Ben Kingsley; “Rendition,” with Jake Gyllenhaal; Mike White’s “Year of the Dog”; “Jarhead,” with Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx under the direction of Sam Mendes; “Flightplan,” opposite Jodie Foster; “The Dying Gaul,” alongside Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson; Zach Braff’s “Garden State”; and Kathryn Bigelow’s “K-19: The Widowmaker,” with Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford.  He first gained wide acclaim for his performance as the tormenter and rapist in Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry,” with Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny.

ADAM SCOTT (Robert Fitzpatrick) will next be seen opposite Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie in the romantic comedy “Sleeping with Other People,” which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theaters this September.  Additionally, he will star opposite Toni Collette in “Krampus,” a Christmas-themed horror movie hitting theaters this December.  He also recently wrapped production on the upcoming comedy “My Blind Brother,” opposite Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate.
Off-screen, Scott formed a production company with his wife, Naomi Scott, called Gettin’ Rad Productions.  Together with Mark Duplass, the duo executive produced “The Overnight,” a comedy in which Scott starred with Jason Schwartzman and Taylor Schilling.  The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and was released in theaters in June.  The Scotts have also signed a development deal with Universal Television under the Gettin’ Rad umbrella.  Under the deal, the Scotts, together with Joe Mande, will executive produce “Buds,” a scripted comedy revolving around the day-to-day operations of a marijuana dispensary.  Gettin’ Rad has also created and produced a series of specials for Adult Swim called “The Greatest Event in Television History.”  The specials, which Scott directed, have featured Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, and Billy Joel, among others.
Scott is perhaps best known for his role as Ben Wyatt on NBC’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series “Parks and Recreation,” which completed its seventh and final season in February 2015.  For his work on the show, Scott received two Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.
Previously, Scott was the lead in the indie comedy “A.C.O.D.” and starred in the Ben Stiller-directed remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”  His additional film credits include “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” “Friends with Kids,” “See Girl Run,” “The Guilt Trip,” “Bachelorette,” “Our Idiot Brother,” “The Aviator,” “August,” “Piranha 3D,” “Leap Year,” “Knocked Up,” “The Great Buck Howard,” “Art School Confidential,” and the smash hit comedy “Step Brothers.”  Scott also starred opposite Brittany Snow in the drama “The Vicious Kind,” earning a 2010 Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead.
Scott starred in the Starz original series “Party Down,” which, in recent years, has gained a cult following.  He also produced the series alongside executive producers Paul Rudd, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge and John Enbom.  In addition, Scott starred as Palek in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Tell Me You Love Me,” and had a recurring role on the HBO comedy series “Eastbound & Down,” opposite Danny McBride.

JUNO TEMPLE (Deborah Hussey) is currently in production on the highly anticipated HBO series “Vinyl,” created by Terence Winter and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, who is also directing episodes.  Co-starring Bobby Cannavale and Olivia Wilde, the series will premiere in 2016.  On the big screen, she also stars in Tim Godsall’s “Len and Company,” which will have its premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Temple recently completed production on the independent feature “Away,” starring opposite Timothy Spall under the direction of David Blair.  She also recently starred in “Meadowland,” which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival; “Safelight”; and “Far From the Madding Crowd.”
Last year, Temple starred alongside Angelina Jolie in the hit “Maleficent,” and was also seen in Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” opposite Josh Brolin and Ray Liotta.
In 2013, Temple was honored with the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award.  That same year, she starred in three films that premiered to critical acclaim at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival: Jill Soloway’s directorial debut, “Afternoon Delight”; Sebastian Silva’s dark thriller “Magic Magic”; and “Lovelace,” the untold story of Linda Lovelace, in which she co-starred with Amanda Seyfried.  They were followed by Alexandre Aja’s “Horns,” opposite Daniel Radcliffe, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
She was previously seen in the blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises,” the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and the indie film “Killer Joe,” opposite Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch for director William Friedkin.
Temple was earlier named one of BAFTA’s Brits to Watch and Variety’s Ten Actors to Watch.
Her other film credits include Paul W. S. Anderson’s “The Three Musketeers,” with Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz; Elgin James’ “Little Birds”; Abe Sylvia’s “Dirty Girl”; Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom”; Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” starring Ben Stiller; Jordan Scott’s “Cracks”; Stephen Poliakoff’s “Glorious 39,” with Bill Nighy and Julie Christie; Harold Ramis’ “Year One,” opposite Jack Black; Justin Chadwick’s “The Other Boleyn Girl,” starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson; Joe Wright’s “Atonement,” with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy; and Richard Eyre’s “Notes on a Scandal,” opposite Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.


SCOTT COOPER (Director / Producer) made his feature film directorial debut in 2009 with “Crazy Heart,” which he also wrote and produced.  The film, which starred Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Duvall, earned three Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Actor (Bridges) and Best Song.  Cooper won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and earned nominations for a Writers Guild of America Award, a Spirit Award and a USC Scripter Award for his screenplay.
He more recently wrote and directed the independent thriller “Out of the Furnace,” starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Zoë Saldana, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard.  For his work on that film, Cooper won the Best Debut and Second Film Award at the 2013 Rome Film Fest, where he was also nominated for a Golden Marc’Aurelio Award.
Cooper has several projects in development, including “The Little Jewel,” a Depression-era crime drama he adapted from the novel The Road Home by Michael Armour.  Cooper will direct the film from his own script, as well as produce together with Leonardo DiCaprio.  He has also adapted one of his favorite novels, William Styron’s Lie Down in Darkness, which he plans to direct for the screen in the future.
Cooper started out as an actor, training at the renowned Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City.  In addition to directing Robert Duvall in “Crazy Heart,” Cooper has acted alongside him in three projects: the independent film “Get Low,” the Civil War epic “Gods and Generals,” and Walter Hill’s award-winning miniseries “Broken Trail.”

MARK MALLOUK (Screenwriter) is currently writing the as-yet-untitled Calabrese Crime Family Project, a crime drama based on the life rights of Kurt Calabrese, son of Chicago Outfit hitman Frank Calabrese Sr., for Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill at Black Label Media.  He recently completed “Sunflower,” a female-driven thriller, for Michael Bay’s recently launched 451 Media Group.  Mallouk wrote “Two Rabbits,” an American remake of the 2012 Brazilian crime-thriller “2 Coelhos” for producers Andrew Lazar and Steven Shainberg.  In addition, he is developing the premium cable series “The Whisky,” based on the legendary Sunset Strip rock & roll venue The Whisky A Go Go and Mario Maglieri, the icon who ran and operated the club beginning in 1964.
Mallouk is an executive producer on the upcoming true-life adventure “Everest,” with an all-star cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright and Sam Worthington.  He previously served as an executive producer on the thriller “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson, and as a co-executive producer on Ron Howard’s “Rush.”
Born and raised in Kansas City, Mallouk graduated from the University of Kansas with three BA degrees, in Economics, Psychology and Human Development.  After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles where he earned his Master of Business Administration degree at Pepperdine University.  He then completed the Professional Program in Screenwriting at the UCLA Graduate School of Theater, Film and Television before beginning his writing and producing career.

JEZ BUTTERWORTH (Screenwriter) co-wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.  He more recently co-wrote the James Brown biopic “Get on Up.”
Butterworth, together with his brother, John-Henry, previously won the Writers Guild of America’s Paul Selvin Honorary Award for their screenplay for the Doug Liman-directed film “Fair Game,” about the alleged government leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
His additional film credits include the independent features “Mojo,” based on his play, and “Birthday Girl,” both of which he also directed; and “The Last Legion.”  For television, Butterworth has written the telefilms “Night of the Golden Brain” and “Christmas.”
Butterworth is also an accomplished playwright whose latest play, “The River,” opened in London’s West End in 2012.  In fall 2014, “The River” made its U.S. debut on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman.  Butterworth previously earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play for “Jerusalem,” and won an Olivier Award and an Evening Standard Award for “Mojo.”  Among his other plays are “Parlour Song,” “The Night Heron” and “The Winterling.”

JOHN LESHER (Producer) is an Oscar-winning producer and the founder and President of Le Grisbi Productions, an independent film and television production company.  
Lesher won an Academy Award as a producer on the Best Picture winner “Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone.  For his work on that film, Lesher also won an Independent Spirit Award, an AFI Award and a Producers Guild of America Award, and earned a BAFTA Award nomination.  
He also recently produced the hit World War II drama “Fury,” written and directed by David Ayer and starring Brad Pitt, and “Mediterranea,” which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and served as an executive producer on “Mississippi Grind,” which premiered at Sundance.  Lesher previously produced “Blood Ties,” starring Clive Owen and Billy Crudup under the direction of Guillaume Canet, and “End of Watch,” written and directed by David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña and Anna Kendrick.
A graduate of Harvard University, Lesher began his career as an agent at the Bauer-Benedek Agency.  He went on to become a partner at United Talent Agency, followed by the Endeavor Agency.  As an agent, he worked with such noted talents as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Walter Salles, Harmony Korine, Fernando Meirelles, Sydney Pollack, Bennett Miller, Judd Apatow and Ben Stiller.
In 2005, Lesher left Endeavor to form Paramount Vantage, where he was responsible for such films as Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Babel,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” and the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning Best Picture “No Country for Old Men.”  In 2008, he was appointed President of Paramount Pictures, where he shepherded such titles as J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek,” Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air,” David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Michael Bay’s “Transformers” and Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” among others.  During his tenure the studio earned 49 Academy Award nominations, including one Best Picture win and 13 wins in other categories.
In January, he partnered with LBI Entertainment and Rick and Julie Yorn on the company’s future projects.

BRIAN OLIVER (Producer) is an Academy Award-nominated producer and a veteran film executive who is president of Cross Creek Pictures.  Oliver brings his tremendous production and financing expertise to Cross Creek Pictures, which currently has a three-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures.  Formed by Oliver and Timmy Thompson, the company maintains a mandate of developing and strengthening the collaborative relationship between filmmakers and financiers with the goal of producing thought-provoking and commercial films in a filmmaker-friendly environment.  Oliver is also a member of the investment committee of Cross Creek Partners, a film fund formed by Thompson and a consortium of private business investors from Louisiana and Texas.
Oliver is a producer on two more Cross Creek films set for release in 2015: the true-life dramatic adventure “Everest,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal; and “Legend,” the Brian Helgeland-directed thriller about London’s infamous twin gangsters, Ronald and Reginald Kray, starring Tom Hardy as both brothers.  Oliver is also producing “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” slated for release in 2016, and is developing a number of other diverse projects, including “The Creed of Violence” and “Beautiful Ruins,” both written and to be directed by Todd Field.
Oliver’s first Cross Creek production was Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 psychological drama “Black Swan,” which grossed more than $328 million worldwide.  As a producer on the film, Oliver received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and won Best Feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.  The acclaimed film earned numerous honors, including five Academy Award nominations, twelve BAFTA Award nominations and four Golden Globe nominations, all including Best Picture.
In 2011, he produced Cross Creek’s political drama “The Ides of March,” directed by and starring George Clooney, which premiered as the Opening Night Gala screening at the Venice International Film Festival.  Oliver next produced the thriller “The Woman in Black,” starring Daniel Radcliffe under the direction of James Watkins.  Based on the best-selling horror novel by Susan Hill, the film grossed more than $127 million worldwide, making it the most successful British horror film in history.  He more recently produced “Arthur Newman,” starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival; Ron Howard’s “Rush,” starring Chris Hemsworth; and “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson.
Oliver started his career at Paramount Pictures, followed by a stint in the motion picture department at the William Morris Agency.  He left there to become Vice President of Production at Propaganda Films, where he developed and produced Paul Schrader’s “Auto Focus.”  He then founded and ran Arthaus Pictures before teaming with Thompson to launch Cross Creek.
Oliver holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a law degree from Whittier Law School.

PATRICK McCORMICK (Producer) counts “Black Mass” as his sixth film with Johnny Depp.  They first worked together on “Donnie Brasco,” directed by Mike Newell, followed by two films for director Tim Burton, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”  They more recently collaborated on “The Rum Diary,” based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, and the comedy “Mortdecai,” directed by David Koepp.
McCormick more recently produced director Bryan Singer’s fantasy adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer,” starring Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci and Ewan McGregor, and executive produced Mike Newell’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley.
He previously produced P.J. Hogan’s “Peter Pan,” starring Jason Isaacs, Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood and Lynn Redgrave; Martha Coolidge’s “Angie,” starring Geena Davis and James Gandolfini; “A Shock to the System,” starring Michael Caine; and “Last Rites,” starring Tom Berenger.
McCormick served as executive producer on three films directed by Barry Levinson: “Bandits,” a comic caper, starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett; “An Everlasting Piece”; and “Liberty Heights,” the fourth in the director’s Baltimore series, starring Adrien Brody, Orlando Jones, Bebe Neuwirth and Joe Mantegna.  His other credits as executive producer include Chris Columbus’s “Stepmom,” starring Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris; “The Juror,” starring Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin and James Gandolfini; and Paul Mazursky’s “The Pickle.”  
He was also a co-producer on Herbert Ross’s “Boys On The Side,” starring Drew Barrymore, Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Matthew McConaughey; Mazursky’s “Scenes from a Mall,” starring Woody Allen and Bette Midler; and Joe Roth’s “Streets of Gold,” starring Wesley Snipes.  Earlier in his career, he served as an associate producer and/or unit production manager on such films as Brian De Palma’s “Wise Guys,” Ivan Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” and Mazursky’s “Moscow on the Hudson.”

TYLER THOMPSON (Producer) is the executive vice president of Cross Creek Pictures, which he co-founded with his father, Timmy Thompson, and partner, Brian Oliver.  
Entering the film business in 2008, Thompson was responsible for the financing of the 2010 thriller “Burning Palms,” starring Zoë Saldana, Rosamund Pike and Dylan McDermott.  The film also marked his first producing credit, as an executive producer.  
Under the Cross Creek banner, Thompson has been an executive producer on the Oscar-winning psychological drama “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman; the horror hit “The Woman in Black,” starring Daniel Radcliffe; Ron Howard’s “Rush,” starring Chris Hemsworth; Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s adventure “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet”; and Scott Frank’s thriller “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson.
Thompson most recently served as a producer on Cross Creek’s upcoming films “Everest,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley; “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”; and “Mena,” starring Tom Cruise under the direction of Doug Liman.  He is also an executive producer on “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy in the dual role of twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray.
In December 2012, Thompson was featured on Forbes’ annual “30 Under 30” list of young disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs in Hollywood.

DICK LEHR (Author) is a professor of journalism at Boston University.  He worked at The Boston Globe for two decades, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won numerous investigative and public service awards.  He was a beat reporter (legal affairs), a feature writer, a magazine writer and an investigative reporter on the Globe Spotlight Team.  Before the Globe, he was a staff reporter at The Hartford Courant and The Weekly Old Lyme Gazette.  
His newest book is The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Director and Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War.  He is coauthor of the Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestseller Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, The FBI, and a Devil’s Deal and its sequel, Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss.  His other books include two other Edgar Award finalists: The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, and Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders, coauthored with Mitchell Zuckoff.
Lehr has degrees from Harvard College and the University of Connecticut School of Law.  He has been a visiting journalist at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

GERARD O’NEILL (Author) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was editor of the The Boston Globe’s investigative team for 22 years before teaching at Boston University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Born in Boston, he worked as a Globe reporter at the Massachusetts State House and Boston City Hall, which led to his long career in investigative reporting.  With Dick Lehr, he authored a trilogy on the Boston underworld: The Underboss: the Rise and Fall of a Mafia Family; the New York Times bestseller Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal; and, most recently, Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss.  Among O’Neill’s other books is a political history of Boston entitled Rogues & Redeemers: When Politics was King in Irish Boston.
In addition to his Pulitzer Prize, he has won several regional and national reporting awards, including the Associated Press Managing Editors Award and the Loeb Award for Business Reporting.

BRETT RATNER (Executive Producer) is one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers.  His films as a director alone have grossed close to $2 billion at the global box office.  He began his career directing numerous music videos before making his feature directorial debut on the crime comedy “Money Talks,” starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker.  He followed with the blockbuster action comedy “Rush Hour,” starring Tucker and Jackie Chan, which earned $250 million worldwide and launched two hit sequels.  Ratner has since helmed the films “The Family Man,” “Red Dragon,” “After the Sunset,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Tower Heist” and “Hercules.”
Ratner has also enjoyed success as a producer.  His recent films include the smash hit comedy “Horrible Bosses” and its sequel, and the re-imagined Snow White tale “Mirror Mirror.”  Upcoming RatPac projects include “Truth,” starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett; “I Saw the Light,” starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen; an as-yet-untitled Howard Hughes project, written and to be directed and produced by Warren Beatty; and the much-anticipated drama “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  
His additional producing credits include the documentaries “Catfish,” the Emmy-nominated “Woody Allen – A Documentary,” “Helmut by June,” and “I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale.”  He also executive produced the Golden Globe-nominated FOX series “Prison Break,” and is currently executive producing the television movie “Rush Hour,” based on his hit films.
Ratner, with Australian mogul James Packer, formed RatPac Entertainment, a film finance and production partnership in 2013.  RatPac Entertainment’s aim is to produce and finance commercial and independent theatrical films as well as co-financing tentpoles with studio partners.  RatPac has a first-look deal at Warner Bros. and also has partnered with New Regency to share Plan B’s first-look deal to produce and develop their upcoming films.  In addition, RatPac Entertainment joined with Dune Capital to form RatPac-Dune, which will co-finance Warner Bros.’ film slate.

JAMES PACKER (Executive Producer) is the Chairman and co-founder of RatPac Entertainment, along with his business partner and co-founder, Brett Ratner.
Under the RatPac banner, Packer has served as an executive producer on such projects as the smash hit animated adventure “The LEGO Movie”; Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys”; Shawn Levy’s “This is Where I Leave You,” starring Jane Fonda, Tina Fey and Jason Bateman; and Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, “The Water Diviner.”  Among RatPac’s upcoming films are the period drama “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio; “Truth,” starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett; “I Saw the Light,” starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen; and Warren Beatty’s as-yet-untitled Howard Hughes project.
Packer is also the controlling shareholder in Australian tourism and leisure company Crown Resorts Limited.  Crown, with its partner, Melco Crown Entertainment, has resorts and hotels in Melbourne, Perth, Manila, Macau and London.  In addition, Packer serves as Co-Chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment, is a major shareholder in Australia’s Network Ten, and has a number of other successful internet investments.

PETER MALLOUK (Executive Producer) is a partner at Free State Pictures.  In addition to “Black Mass,” he is an executive producer on the soon-to-be-released “Everest,” with an ensemble cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin and Sam Worthington.
His previous credits include “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson, and Ron Howard’s “Rush,” which earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Drama.

RAY MALLOUK (Executive Producer) is a partner at Free State Pictures.  “Black Mass” marks his first executive producer credit.  
He has since served as an executive producer on the upcoming “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy in the dual roles of Ronald and Reginald Kray, twin brothers who became two of the most notorious gangsters in London’s history.

CHRISTOPHER WOODROW (Executive Producer) served as an executive producer on the 2015 Oscar-winning Best Picture “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” from director Alejandro González Iñárritu.   
He has also produced a number of other diverse films, including Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties,” starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis; Atom Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot,” starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; Eli Roth’s horror thriller “The Green Inferno;” James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner; William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe,” starring Matthew McConaughey in the title role; and the David Gordon Green-directed films “Joe,” starring Nicolas Cage, and “Manglehorn,” starring Al Pacino.
He also serves as an executive producer on a wide range of upcoming films, including Gary Ross’s “The Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey; Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge”; Doug Liman’s “Mena,” starring Tom Cruise; Nicolas Winding Refn’s horror thriller “The Neon Demon”; Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt; and the period drama “Tulip Fever.”

BRETT GRANSTAFF (Executive Producer) is President of Ridgerock Entertainment Group, where he is charged with the overall producing strategy of the company.  This encompasses acquiring the intellectual properties, creative development and running all phases of production.  He has a wide range of experience in both film and television.  
He attended New York University earning a BFA in Film and Television.  While at NYU, he was chosen for an internship at the BBC in London and completed their TV production course.  After completing several projects in partnership with Emmett Furla Films (EFF) and Cross Creek Pictures, he chose to further his expertise by getting an MBA at the prestigious Judge Business School at Cambridge University, UK.  
Over the past four years, Granstaff has produced or executive produced seven films, starring such notable actors as Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Sienna Miller, Bruce Willis, John Cusack, Nicolas Cage, Dwayne Johnson and Robert De Niro.

GARY GRANSTAFF (Executive Producer) is Vice President of Ridgerock Entertainment Group (REG) and is charged with development, finance and acquiring intellectual properties for the company.  With an extensive background in marketing and finance, he also owns one of the largest retirement consulting firms within Voya Financial Corporation, operating in 42 states with more than 300 associates.  He has been awarded the company’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the success of the enterprise.  Granstaff has an undergraduate and graduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and attended Nashville Law School.
Together with Brett Granstaff, he founded Ridgerock Entertainment Group in 2005.  Granstaff was a finance partner with William H. Macy on his independent film “The Deal,” starring Macy and Meg Ryan.  In addition to projects owned by REG, Granstaff is currently in partnership with Cross Creek Pictures on several films, including “Black Mass.”  The Granstaffs have also partnered with Emmett Furla Films on projects starring such renowned actors as Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Bruce Willis.  Gary heads the newly formed Ridgerock Faith division, which produces and finances “faith based” films.  Recently completed, “The Masked Saint,” will be released early 2016 and is just the first of many slated faith based films that will produced by Ridgerock Faith.

PHIL HUNT (Executive Producer) is the founder and Co-Managing Director of Bankside Films, an international film distribution company, and Head Gear Films, a film and TV investment company.  He has served as a producer or executive producer on a number of movies, and, in the past decade, has invested in over 70 feature films, recently including “Belle,” and the upcoming “Freeheld,” “London Fields” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”  Head Gear Films is now one of the UK’s biggest financiers of independent films.  
Other aspects to Hunt’s career include being a BAFTA voting member; mentor to National Film and Television producing students and others; regular speaker on the industry circuit; and founder/festival director of the British Film Festival of Kurdistan, Iraq (
Hunt began producing feature films in the mid 1990s with micro budgets.  Prior to the film business, he was an advertising and music photographer, including working with post punk bands such as Big Audio Dynamite.  He sporadically still dusts off his Hasselblad.  

COMPTON ROSS (Executive Producer) has worked as a CEO in the international oil and gas industry for 35 years.  He is a co-founder of the Metrol Technology Group, which is internationally recognized for its innovation and unique developments and is considered one of the leading specialist service companies in that industry.
Ross is also co-founder of Head Gear Films, Bankside Films, and Kreo Films, which are all involved in the finance, production, sales and distribution of feature films worldwide.  Over the last 13 years, he has executive produced and/or produced over 70 movies, featuring many of the film industry’s most successful and award-winning actors, writers, producers and directors.  In addition to “Black Mass,” his credits include “Belle,” “Hector and the Search for Happiness,” “Big Game,” “A Brilliant Young Mind,” “Freeheld” and the upcoming “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

MASANOBU TAKAYANAGI (Director of Photography) previously collaborated with director Scott Cooper as the DP on the drama “Out of the Furnace.”  His recent film credits also include David O. Russell’s award-winning “Silver Linings Playbook”; “True Story,” for director Rupert Goold; and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” which will premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival before opening in theatres in November.
Takayanagi was born and grew up in Gunma, Japan, and attended Tohoku University in the northern city of Sendai, where he studied English linguistics.  During his time at the university, he realized his love for cinema and, after graduation, moved across the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles to pursue cinematography.  
He studied at Cal State University Long Beach and later graduated from the American Film Institute (AFI) with an MFA in cinematography.  For the thesis project Takayanagi filmed at AFI, he received the John F. Seitz Heritage Award for outstanding cinematography from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) in 2003.  He also received a Kodak Award for best cinematography at the 2003 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films.  Kodak subsequently invited him to the Cannes Film Festival as one of the emerging filmmakers in the world.
Following graduation, Takayanagi worked on a range of projects, including music videos, commercials, shorts and feature films.  He went on to serve as 2nd unit cinematographer for DP Rodrigo Prieto on “Babel,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.  The experience led to more work as a 2nd unit cinematographer, on the films “State of Play,” “Eat Pray Love” and “The Eagle.”  His first major films as a main unit director of photography were Gavin O’Connor’s “Warrior” and Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey.”

STEFANIA CELLA (Production Designer) is an internationally award-winning production designer.  She recently won a David di Donatello Award, Italy’s highest film honor, for her work on the 2013 feature “The Great Beauty,” directed by Paolo Sorrentino.  She has also won two Ciak d’Oro Awards, for her work on “The Great Beauty” and “This Must Be the Place,” also directed by Sorrentino.  In addition, she won a Silver Ribbon from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for the latter.
Born and raised in Milan Italy, Cella was educated in theater and art history before beginning her film career.  Her early films include Nick Cassavetes’ “John Q,” starring Denzel Washington; and the independent films “Leo,” starring Joseph Fiennes, and “Assassination Tango,” directed by and starring Robert Duvall.  Cella has also served as the production designer on two films for director Barry Levinson: “Man of the Year,” starring Robin Williams, and “What Just Happened,” starring Robert De Niro.
Cella’s upcoming films include “Downsizing,” written and to be directed by Alexander Payne and starring Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon, Neil Patrick Harris, Alec Baldwin and Jason Sudeikis.

DAVID ROSENBLOOM (Editor) earned an Academy Award nomination for his editing work on Michael Mann’s award-winning drama “The Insider.”  He has also worked repeatedly with a number of other directors.  For Gregory Hoblit, he edited the features “Primal Fear,” “Frequency,” “Hart’s War,” “Fracture” and “Untraceable,” as well as the telefilm “Class of `61.”  He also collaborated with Mimi Leder on the films “The Peacemaker,” “Pay It Forward” and “Deep Impact,” and with David Anspaugh on the films “Fresh Horses,” “Rudy” and “Moonlight and Valentino.”
Rosenbloom previously worked with Scott Cooper on “Out of the Furnace.”  His other film credits include Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals,” Mikael Håfström’s “The Rite,” Peter Berg’s “Friday Night Lights,” Roger Donaldson’s “The Recruit,” and William Friedkin’s “Blue Chips.”
Beginning his career in television, Rosenbloom served as an editor on the first three seasons of the groundbreaking series “Hill Street Blues.”  He later earned an Emmy Award nomination for his editing work on the pilot for “I’ll Fly Away” and also edited the pilot for the hit series “Miami Vice.”  In addition, he served as a co-producer on “Equal Justice,” also directing one episode, and directed episodes of such series as “Melrose Place” and “Reasonable Doubts.”

KASIA WALICKA MAIMONE (Costume Designer) most recently designed the costumes for two upcoming fact-based dramas: “Bridge of Spies,” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks; and “Deepwater Horizon,” directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson.  
She has collaborated with Bennett Miller on all of the director’s major feature films, including “Foxcatcher,” “Moneyball” and “Capote,” earning an Excellence in Period Film Award nomination from the Costume Designers Guild for the last.  She more recently gained a second nomination in the same category for her costumes for Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.”
Maimone also worked with director Mira Nair’s on “Amelia,” starring Hilary Swank as the legendary aviatrix, and the “India” segment of the “September 11th” anthology film.  She also designed the costumes for Ang Lee’s BMW short, “Chosen.”  Her other credits include “A Most Violent Year,” “St. Vincent,” “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “The Switch,” “Little Manhattan,” “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” “The Business of Strangers,” “Songcatcher,” “The Opportunists,” “Jesus’ Son,” “The Florentine” and the HBO movie “Hysterical Blindness.”
Designing for the stage, Maimone’s opera projects include Philip Glass’s “Les Enfants Terribles” and “The Sound of a Voice.”  She has participated in elaborate experimental theater pieces, including “Oedipus Rex,” by Robert Woodruff, and Richard Foreman’s “Maria del Bosco” and “King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe.”  Her latest production was “Available Light,” choreographed by Lucinda Child to music by John Adams.

TOM HOLKENBORG (Composer) is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum producer and composer.  A multi-instrumentalist who plays keyboards, guitar, drums, violin, and bass, he also possesses a mastery of studio technology.
Now focusing on film composition, Holkenborg recently created the score for George Miller’s blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road.”  He is also scoring a wide range of upcoming films, including the reimagining of the action thriller “Point Break,” the crime comedy “Kill Your Friends,” and Zack Snyder’s much-anticipated action adventure “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”  His recent film credits also include Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Run All Night,” Robert Luketic’s “Paranoia,” Neil Burger’s “Divergent,” and Noam Murro’s “300: Rise of an Empire.”
The foundation for Holkenborg’s new career path was laid in his native Holland, where he created multiple film scores.  He later continued to grow under mentorships with renowned composers like Harry Gregson-Williams, on the films “Domino” and “Kingdom of Heaven,” and Klaus Badelt on “Catwoman.”  From there, Holkenborg formed a successful association with composer Hans Zimmer, with whom he worked on Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel”; Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Inception”; and the animated “Madagascar” films and “Megamind.”
Earlier in his composing career, Holkenborg also provided music for such films as “Bandslam,” “DOA: Dead or Alive,” “The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury,” “The Animatrix” and “Resident Evil.”

Holkenborg’s career as an artist began in 1993 when he started the industrial rock band NERVE, while also producing hardcore and metal bands like Sepultura and Fear Factory.  Drawn by electronic breakbeats, he started Junkie XL in 1997, debuting with the album Saturday Teenage Kick.  Holkenborg went on to produce five more albums under the Junkie XL moniker while playing headline shows all over the world.  In 2002, the producer-remixer scored a number one hit in 24 countries with his rework of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation.”  Following that success, Holkenborg collaborated with celebrated artists like Dave Gahan, Robert Smith and Chuck D, and remixed such artists as Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, among many others.  In addition, Holkenborg created the music for videogames, including “Need for Speed,” “The Sims” and “SSX,” as well as commercials for global campaigns for Nike, Heineken, Adidas, Cadillac and VISA.

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