BOSTON. MA. September 12, 2012 – The Massachusetts Film Office (MFO) today announced production on the new Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, The Makeover will begin filming in Boston this month.
The film – which will premiere on ABC in 2013 – stars Julia Stiles (The Bourne Identity, Dexter) and David Walton (Perfect Couples, Heist), directed by John Gray (Ghost Whisperer, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Seventh Stream). The teleplay is by C. Jay Cox (Sweet Home Alabama, Latter Days), based on George Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion tale, first performed 100 years ago.
“We are excited to have Hallmark here in Massachusetts”, said Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office. “With a strong incentive program, our experienced crew and talent, and our fabulous locations we are happy to continue to draw projects such as this to Massachusetts.”
“Especially since our story is set in Boston, we’re thrilled to be actually filming it on location in Boston,” says Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions president Brad R. Moore. “We’ve had total cooperation from the Massachusetts state film office, and from officials in the city of Boston. This is a real win-win situation: great for us, great for Boston and Massachusetts.”
Hannah Higgins (Julia Stiles) is a smart, driven Harvard-educated professor. She is so driven that she decides to run for Congress to advance the cause of education reform. Unfortunately, Hannah’s a disaster of a candidate; her considerable smarts translate to voters as “uppity.”
For the next election, Hannah and her business partner, Colleen Pickering, played by Camryn Manheim (The Practice, The Ghost Whisperer), decide to recruit somebody to run who is definitely not uppity. Elliot Doolittle (David Walton), a Massachusetts native, delivers beer to local drinking establishments. He’s a take-me-for-what-I-am character, and speaks with a broad South Boston accent.
Elliot and Hannah are about as oil-and-water as any two people can be. But as Elliot becomes a little more “proper” and Hannah becomes a little less “pompous,” could this be a match made – maybe not in Heaven, but – in South Boston?
Julia Stiles has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most fearless and talented actresses in Hollywood.” She has made her mark on the big screen starring in the “Bourne” trilogy, opposite Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Her many other features include Hamlet, O, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Business of Strangers, Save the Last Dance and State and Main. She received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her work on Showtime’s acclaimed Dexter series.
David Walton is a Boston native, and a 2001 graduate of Brown University. He’s been featured in several television series, including Bent (2012), Happy Endings (2011), Perfect Couples (2011), 100 Questions (2010), Quarterlife (2008), Heist (2006) and Cracking Up (2004). He stars as Zooey Deschanel’s love interest in the second season of Fox’s New Girl. Features credits include Fired Up! and Burlesque.
John Gray is the creator of the TV series Ghost Whisperer, and has written and directed several episodes. He directed the ABC miniseries Empire (2005). He wrote and directed previous Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations The Seventh Stream (Scott Glenn, Saffron Burrows) and An American Story (Brad Johnson, Kathleen Quinlan), and directed A Place For Annie (Sissy Spacek, Mary-Louise Parker).
C. Jay Cox wrote the screenplay for Sweet Home Alabama (Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey) and New in Town (Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick, Jr). He wrote and directed the award-winning Latter Days (2003).
The Makeover is from Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc. Brent Shields (Firelight, A Smile as Big as the Moon) is the executive producer.
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Ellen N. Jasa
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Massachusetts Film Office