Tom Sizemore has taken to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise funds for his passion project An Honest Thief, a noir-ish thriller that the Heat and Saving Private Ryan actor is putting together as a starring vehicle. It’s his first film as a producer and a step toward rebuilding his up-and-down career following a public relapse in January, but Sizemore says he has refocused his sights on sobriety and is optimistic. “I want to get back,” he said over the phone Wednesday. “I want to make something I look forward to.”
An Honest Thief is written by the actor’s younger brother Aaron Sizemore and tracks three outcasts who plot to steal a prized baseball card collection from a local pawnbroker. Belgian helmer Giorgio Serafini (Gente Di Mare) is attached to direct the pic, which is set in Sizemore’s hometown of Detroit and will film on location. Sizemore will play Danny St. Louis, one of two characters inspired by his own charismatic uncles. “I found out they were thieves in my early teens, and I was shocked,” he said. “It didn’t jibe with who I knew and their charming intelligence.”
The character was tailored for the Golden Globe-nominated Sizemore, who with the producers also have attached Danny Trejo (Machete), Sally Kellerman (MASH), and David Proval (The Sopranos, Mean Streets) to the project. He envisions An Honest Thief as the first in a line of film projects he’d like to produce as he rebuilds his brand. “I want to do mainstream movies again, and with the best people — or get a TV show that’s mine where I’m the principal character,” he said. “I want to produce movies I find from talented young writers or that my brother writes, and I want to make that part of what I do.”
The filmmakers are seeking $500,000 on Indiegogo to supplement private funds already raised toward a $2 million-plus budget, with perks on offer such as signed posters, walk-on roles or lunch with Sizemore himself. Polimedia Films’ Charles Lago and Chris Johnson will produce An Honest Thief with Daniel Zirilli for PopArt Films. Sizemore has got a ton of indie projects in post or preproduction, including Millennium’s Reach Me with Sylvester Stallone and the crime bio Durant’s Never Closes. The Detroit shoot likely will take place this fall or early winter. Before then, Sizemore will reprise his role on the second season of Sundance Channel’s original drama The Red Road, playing Jason Momoa’s drug-dealer father.
Sizemore admits he’s burned a lot of bridges during his long and highly publicized struggle with substance abuse. Getting a movie made this way in his hometown, working with close collaborators, certainly makes for a personal project: Producer Lago is Sizemore’s manager, and Trejo supports him offscreen in daily sobriety meetings. “Accepting what happened with me was very difficult,” said Sizemore. “I felt a lot of shame. I didn’t start doing drugs until I was 33. I kept it secret for number of years. Once it was public, oddly enough I did more. I was so devastated and ashamed of what people knew. Time went on, and it got harder and harder to stop because my life was just a mess. Finally I had to come to terms that if I didn’t get it together, I had no future. Not just as an actor — no future, period.”
Watch Sizemore’s Indiegogo campaign video above.