EXCLUSIVE: The Help’s Ahna O’Reilly and The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage are in the midst of filming Sleepwalker, a psychological thriller from writer Jack Olsen and director Elliott Lester (Nightingale). O’Reilly leads the cast as a grad student who goes to a campus sleep clinic to treat her insomnia and nightmares, but instead starts experiencing unsettling changes in her waking reality every time she wakes up. With the help of a doctor, she attempts to find her way back to normalcy by unraveling the tangled knot of her dreams, reality, and shockingly tragic past.
English actor Armitage is hot off of ruling Middle Earth under heavy beard and armor in Peter Jackson’s nearly-completed Hobbit trilogy. He stars in Sleepwalker as the handsome sleep researcher who develops a unique relationship with O’Reilly. After leading New Line’s summer disaster actioner Into The Storm, Armitage returns to theaters this December as the dwarf king Thorin in finale The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies.
Also starring in Sleepwalker, in a supporting role described to me as “like nothing you’ve seen him do,” is Oscar-nominated Haley Joel Osment. The Sixth Sense thesp was seen recently in Kevin Smith’s Tusk and will also appear in Smith’s Canadian caper of a follow-up, Yoga Hosers.
Waitress producer Michael Roiff is producing Sleepwalker for Night & Day Pictures with Jennifer Glynn (Sound Of My Voice), while MarVista Entertainment’s Fernando Szew and Sharon Bordas serve as executive producers. Armed with the script by Olsen, producers tapped Lester to helm after he directed Selma’s David Oyelowo in the psychological drama Nightingale, which debuted at the LA Film Festival. The Clio, Telly, and Cannes Lions award-winning music video and commercials director also helmed digital series Chop Shop for Paramount Insurge and Machinima. Filming is underway in Los Angeles.
O’Reilly, also recently seen in last year’s awards pic Fruitvale Station and James Franco’s As I Lay Dying and The Sound And The Fury, is repped by WME. Armitage is repped by WME, United Agents in the UK, and Management 360. Osment is repped by Coast to Coast Talent Group and The Schiff Company. Lester is repped by WME and manager Jeremy Platt.