Jack-of-many-trades Kevin Connolly is in Berlin this week to talk up his latest directorial effort, The Wright Girls. The soon-to-be 40-year-old Connolly, who’s been working in the business for more than 30 years, also stars in upcoming comedy Friends With Better Lives which debuts on CBS following the finale of How I Met Your Mother. Nevertheless, this is his first sales market. Despite being awed by the process, he told me tonight, “The more you know about every aspect of the business, the better.” The Wright Girls is a remake based on the Japanese movie 2LDK and centers on two female co-stars of a past-its-prime sitcom who are roommates in real life. When they realize they are both up for the same lead role in a big movie, they go from best friends to worst enemies in the course of one action-packed night. Atlas Independent’s William Green and Aaron Ginsberg are producing with Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner. Highland Film Group is selling here at EFM. Jessica Alba stars in the movie with the other lead to be cast soon. Alba, who Connolly recently directed in Dear Eleanor on which he’s in post, was the one to float the Wright Girls script to him — and he bit, quickly. Both Dear Eleanor and The Wright Girls are female driven movies; a seeming departure for the star who is most closely associated with the ultimate bro-fest, HBO series Entourage. “I’m a rah, rah guy’s guy. I like to talk about sports and put people in headlocks,” he told me today. But the unintentional bent towards working wth women could be a product of a decade of the testosterone-fueled Entourage, he allows. By the time that the Entourage movie starts principal photography on February 19, it will have been just about 10 years since the seminal series began. Or “maybe I’m preparing for marriage,” Connolly joked.
He’s been meeting with international buyers on The Wright Girls over the past two days and says he’s learned a thing or two. Preconceived notions about what will fly in certain territories have flown out the window. The film itself is selling “through the roof” says Green. The start date is set for May, and Atlas is committed to the movie regardless of strong pre-sales. “I can see why filmmakers want to work with (Roven)” says Connolly, because he provides such a freeing envornment.
Speaking of freedom, Connolly told me he feels that his experience as both an actor and a director has given him certain key knowledge points. Notably, he knows now how to schedule shooting dates — especially if it means he’ll be undressed. Apparently, in the Entourage movie, his E has three sex scenes and he spends a lot of the movie shirtless. “I’m the Taylor Lautner” of the movie, he says. So, to make sure he’ll be shown in his best light, the actor used his experience directing films to contact the AD early and suggest all of those scenes be shot within the first week.
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