Bona Fide Productions and Fox Searchlight Pictures announced today that principal photography for the romantic comedy “He Loves Me” has begun in Los Angeles. The film stars Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, three-time Golden Globe® nominee Antonio Banderas, four-time Oscar® nominee Annette Bening, three-time BAFTA® winner Steve Coogan, Oscar nominee Elliot Gould, Chris Messina and Deborah Ann Woll. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, whose first big screen feature “Little Miss Sunshine” was nominated for four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture as well as winning the Independent Spirit Award for best feature, direct from an original screenplay by Zoe Kazan. Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (“Little Miss Sunshine”, “Cold Mountain,” “Election”) are producing with Robert Graf (“No Country For Old Men”) executive producing. “He Loves Me” will be released worldwide by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
In “He Loves Me,” Calvin (Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing – as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person.
Claudia Lewis, President of Production and David Greenbaum, Senior Vice President of Production are overseeing the project.
Paul Dano, acclaimed as one of the top actors of his generation, co-stars this summer with Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde in the sci-fi western “Cowboys & Aliens,” directed by Jon Favreau. In 2007, Dano garnered a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Oscar nominated “There Will Be Blood.” In 2006, Dano starred with Alan Arkin, Abigail B reslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear in the Oscar nominated “Little Miss Sunshine,” directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. His performance in that film earned him the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actor and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film’s ensemble earned Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.
“He Loves Me” is Zoe Kazan’s first screenplay. She made her Broadway debut, starring alongside S. Epatha Merkerson in a revival of Come Back, Little Sheba. Following this role, Zoe was named the recipient of the 2008 Derwent Award, honoring “the most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene.” She became a professional playwright who’s family drama, Absalom, was presented at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Kazan continued to find acting success on Broadway, but eventually landed roles for the big screen, appearing in films like “In The Valley Of Elah,” “The Savages,” “Revolutionary Road,” “Taking Woodstock,” “Me And Orson Welles” and “Meek’s Cutoff.” In the spring of 2010, Zoe returned Broadway to star A Behanding In Spokane opposite Christopher Walken, Anthony Mackie and Sam Rockwell, as well as Angels In America. Kazan graduated from Yale University in 2005.
Annette Bening plays Calvin’s mother, Gertrude, an artist who’s curious about Calvin’s new girlfriend, but worried about how much he hates her second husband, an eccentric hippie named Mort played by Antonio Banderas. Bening is a four-time Oscar® nominee for her roles in “The Grifters,” “American Beauty,” “Being Julia,” and “The Kids Are All Right,” winning Golden Globe® awards for the latter two films. Banderas is an international star and renowned film actor who began his career with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar and then appeared in high-profile Hollywood films including Assassins, Evita, Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Philadelphia, Desperado, The Mask Of Zorro, Spy Kids and The Shrek sequels.
Elliott Gould plays Dr. Rosenthal, Calvin’s Psychiatrist. Gould began his acting career during the 1960s, and has remained prolific ever since. Some of his most notable films include “M*A*S*H” and “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” for which he received an Oscar nomination. In recent years, he has starred as Jack Geller on “Friends” and as Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen
Chris Messina portrays Harry, Calvin’s older brother and Steve Coogan is Langdon Tharp, successful novelist and self proclaimed esteemed literary God. Messina started his career as a well-received off-Broadway actor. He has appeared in episodes of the television series “Law & Order,” “Third Watch” and “Medium.” His film credits include “Rounders,” “The Siege,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “Towelhead.” Coogan is a three-time BAFTA award-winning English comedian, actor, writer and producer. Coogan is best known for his roles in films such as “Night At The Museum,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Hamlet 2,” and “The Other Guys.
Lila, Calvin’s ex-girlfriend, who makes surprise reappearance in his life, is played by Deborah Ann Woll, best known for her role as Jessica Hamby on HBO’s “True Blood.”
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made their feature film directorial debut with the Oscar nominated “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006. The married team began their careers by directing and pioneering MTV show, “The Cutting Edge.” They continued to work at the leading edge of music television, directing award-winning videos and documentaries for artists including REM, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, The Smashing Pumpkins, Macy Gray, Oasis, Weezer and The Ramones. Their music productions ultimately earned them two Grammy Awards, nine MTV Music Video Awards and a Billboard Music “Director of the Year” Award. In addition, Jonathan and Valerie have worked extensively in television, including directing episodes of the groundbreaking sketch comedy series “Mr. Show with Bob and David” for HBO. They also produced two feature films: the documentary “The Decline Of Western Civilization Part Ii: The Metal Years” for New Line Cinema and Jane’s Addiction “Gift” for Warner Bros Music.
Source: Press release