UPDATED, 9:37 AM: Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Alfre Woodard has joined the cast of Viral, a thriller from Blair Underwood, who stars along with Sarah Silverman. Woodard will play Dr. Johnetta, a psychiatrist specializing in deep trauma.
PREVIOUSLY, MAY 4: Comic and two-time Emmy winner Sarah Silverman has been cast as a lead opposite Blair Underwood in Viral, an indie drama from York Films.
The film centers on Underwood’s Andrew, who falls into paranoia after his wife goes missing. The only way out of the self-destructive cycle seems to be through his new girlfriend Emilia (Silverman), a victims advocate and self-help blogger he meets in group therapy, who is dealing with her own demons from her past. The drama will explore whether they are strong enough to get past their own nightmares and mental illnesses to find true happiness together.
Joe McClean wrote the script and produces alongside director-star Underwood, Daniel Cypress and York Films’ John Kalafatis, Joanna Kalafatis and Andreas Ignatiou. The film originally was set to shoot last year but was postponed due to Covid. Production now will begin this summer in New York.
Silverman recently finished production on the feature Marry Me, opposite Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson. She earned a SAG Award nomination for her dramatic lead role as Laney Brooks in I Smile Back, and her 2017-18 Hulu series I Love You, America earned back-to-back Emmy noms for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. She has done lots of voice-over work lately for the likes of Crank Yankers, Bob’s Burgers, the upcoming Santa Inc. and feature Ralph Breaks the Internet.
“A true artist thrives in all genres,” Underwood said. “Most people know of Sarah Silverman‘s brilliant comedic performances, but she’s a devastatingly raw and authentic dramatic actress as well. I was introduced to this dimension of her artistry in the film I Smile Back. Wait until you see her in Viral. She’s going to be an absolute revelation.”
Silverman is repped by UTA, Thruline and Ziffren Brittenham.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.