Brian Dennehy and J.K. Simmons have joined the cast of Larry Clarke’s feature directorial debut Life Support, which is currently shooting around Los Angeles. Taylor & Dodge is handling foreign, and will be selling the film at AFM from Nov. 1-8. Conduit will be handling domestic.
Also joining Dennehy and Simmons is Lesley Ann Warren, Tom Arnold, David Koechner, Mo Gaffney (Absolutely Fabulous, The Mick) as well as Mike O’Malley (Sully, Glee), Julie Ann Emery (AMC’s Preacher, Better Call Saul) and Eric Edelstein (Jurassic World).
Clarke is a career actor of stage, screen and TV having worked with David Rabe (Streamers, The Dog Problem), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Glory Of Living), and Jeff Daniels (Thy Kingdom’s Coming) on Off Broadway, and appeared in such TV series as David Lynch’s Twins Peaks: The Return, The Wachowskis’ Sense 8 and movies such as Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant and Contagion.
Life Support is loosely based on his life and follows a manic Roman Catholic family who is preparing for the death of their dying father, Bob (played by Dennehy) who is in complete denial over his fate, even though he’s fully aware of it. Clarke plays Eddie, the son supposedly in charge, isn’t ready for any of this, especially having to deal with his mother-in-law, Dawn (Lesley Ann Warren). Together with his siblings, Eddie struggles over many end-of-life decisions, including potentially pulling the plug should the time come — all in front of a dying Bob, who argues that while he’s still alive, he’s calling the shots.
“I wanted to capture the full range of emotions one experiences when a loved one is dying, from absurd comedic, to the tragic. Concentrating on that period specifically—I’ve never seen a movie explore that,” says Clarke.
The 79-year old Dennehy won a Golden Globe for his turn in the 2000 TV movie Death of a Salesman and has starred in such prolific movies as First Blood, 10, M*A*S*H, Serpico and the F/X franchise. He’s been starring on SundanceTV’s highest-rated original series Hap and Leonard as Sheriff Valentine Otis. Simmons won a supporting actor Oscar for his turn as an acerbic music school instructor in Whiplash and next appears in Warner Bros.’ Justice League.