Frances McDormand (Elaine) earned numerous acting honors, including an Academy Award for Best Actress, for her performance as Detective Marge Gunderson in the Coen Brothers’ dark comedy hit “Fargo.” She had previously been Oscar-nominated for her work in Alan Parker’s “Mississippi Burning.”
McDormand more recently starred with Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire in WONDER BOYS, and portrayed Miss Clavel in the screen version of the classic children’s book “Madeline.” Her many other film credits include Bruce Beresford’s PARADISE ROAD, the courtroom thriller PRIMAL FEAR, John Sayles’ LONE STAR, Alan Taylor’s PALOOKAVILLE, John Boorman’s BEYOND RANGOON, Robert Altman’s SHORT CUTS, PASSED AWAY, CHATTAHOOCHEE, HIDDEN AGENDA, DARKMAN, and the Coen Brothers’ films RAISING ARIZONA and BLOOD SIMPLE. She is currently collaborating with the Coen Brothers on a new film in which she stars with Billy Bob Thornton.
On television, McDormand received an Emmy nomination for her role in the telefilm HIDDEN IN AMERICA, opposite Jeff Bridges. She also starred in such longform projects as Tommy Lee Jones’ THE GOOD OLD BOYS, Kathy Bates’ TALKING WITH… and Martha Coolidge’s CRAZY IN LOVE.
McDormand attended the prestigious Yale School of Drama and has worked extensively on the New York stage. Her roles on Broadway include her Tony-nominated performance as Stella in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She also starred as Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire” in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, she starred in “The Sisters Rosensweig” at Lincoln Center, “The Swan” at the Public Theater, and in the off-Broadway production of “Oedipus,” opposite Billy Crudup.
Patrick Fugit (William Miller) makes his motion picture debut in the central role of the young rock and roll reporter in “Almost Famous.” He was initially seen by Cameron Crowe in an audition tape and flown to Los Angeles to meet with the writer/director, where he won the coveted part over hundreds of other young actors.
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Fugit began to take an interest in acting at age 11, and attended a theater program for young people at the University of Utah. He performed in several local stage productions, but it was his work in a school play that ultimately caught the attention of a local casting director who got him signed with a talent agency.
Prior to landing the role in ALMOST FAMOUS, Fugit co-starred in the television movie LEGION OF FIRE: KILLER ANTS. He has also appeared on three episodes of the hit CBS series TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, as well as on two episodes of PROMISED LAND.
Jason Lee (Jeff Bebe) was honored with an Independent Spirit Award for his work in Kevin Smith’s widely praised comedy CHASING AMY, with Ben Affleck. He had earlier made his feature film debut in Smith’s MALLRATS, and more recently reunited with both Smith and Affleck to star in the controversial comedy/drama DOGMA, which first screened at the 1999 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.
Before embarking on his acting career, Lee was a professional skateboarder. He recently had an opportunity to combine his acting and skateboarding talents in writer/director Lawrence Kasdan’s comedy MUMFORD. He played the skateboarding billionaire Skip, a role Kasdan had written with Lee in mind. His additional film credits include the thriller ENEMY OF THE STATE, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman; the romantic comedy KISSING A FOOL, with David Schwimmer; and the independent feature AMERICAN CUISINE. Lee also appeared in the HBO original movie WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
Lee will next be seen in the comedy BREAKERS, in which he stars with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt. He is presently filming Barry Sonnenfeld’s comedy BIG TROUBLE, with Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore, Katie Holmes and his castmate from ALMOST FAMOUS, Zooey Deschanel.
Anna Paquin (Polexia) became one of the youngest Oscar’ winners in cinema history when she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award at the age of 11 for her feature film debut performance in Jane Campion’s acclaimed movie THE PIANO.
She most recently starred as Rogue, one of the title characters in the summer blockbuster X-MEN, which enjoyed a record-breaking opening weekend at the box office. Her additional film work includes a broad range of roles in such films as Tony Goldwyn’s A WALK ON THE MOON, the romantic comedy SHE’S ALL THAT, the ensemble drama IT’S THE RAGE, the contemporary comedy/drama HURLYBURLY, Steven Spielberg’s historical courtroom drama AMISTAD, Carroll Ballard’s adventure FLY AWAY HOME, and Franco Zeffirelli’s JANE EYRE, based on Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. Paquin next stars in Gus Van Sant’s FINDING FORESTER, with Sean Connery and F Murray Abraham.
Fairuza Balk (Sapphire) starred last year in two very different films: the outrageous comedy THE WATERBOY, opposite Adam Sandier; and the provocative drama AMERICAN HISTORY X, with Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. Previously, Balk won an Independent Spirit Award for her work in Allison Anders’ GAS FOOD LODGING.
Balk next stars in DEUCES WILD, with Matt Dillon and James Gandolfini. Her earlier film credits include THE CRAFT, THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, IMAGINARY CRIMES, VALMONT and RETURN TO OZ, in which she made her film debut at age nine as Dorothy.
On the small screen, Balk won a CableACE Award for her performance as a young rape victim in SHAME. She also starred in the longform project MURDER IN HEARTLAND, opposite Tim Roth.
Noah Taylor (Dick Roswell), a native of Australia, is probably best known to American audiences for his role in the award-winning biopic SHINE. For his portrayal of the young piano prodigy David Helfgott, Taylor was named Best Supporting Actor by the Australian Film Critics Circle and was nominated for a SAG Award.
He has also won Best Actor Awards from the Sydney Film Critics Circle for his work in the Australian films THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE and its sequel FLIRTING, as well as for THE NOSTRADAMUS KID. His other film credits include TRUE LOVE AND CHAOS, WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP, THE ROAD TO ALICE, SECRETS, THE LAST CROP, LOVER BOY, PRISONER OF ST PETERSBURG and DEAD TO THE WORLD.
Zooey Deschanel (Anita Miller) made her feature film debut in Lawrence Kasdan’s comedy MUMFORD, playing a troubled teenager. Following ALMOST FAMOUS, she will be seen in the independent features MANIC, in which she stars with Don Cheadle and Joseph Gordon Levitt, and HUMAN NATURE, starring Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette. She is currently in production on Barry Sonnenfeld’s BIG TROUBLE, starring Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Janeane Garofalo and Jason Lee.
The daughter of Academy Award -nominated cinematographer Caleb (THE PATRIOT, THE RIGHT STUFF) and actress Mary Jo, Deschanel grew up in the film industry, but started acting on the stage. She starred as Little Red Riding Hood in the Interact Theater Company’s production of the musical “Into the Woods,” for which she was praised by critics.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Lester Bangs) will next be seen in STATE AND MAIN, written and directed by David Mamet.
Hoffman previously spent six months on Broadway in the latest production of Sam Shepard’s “True West,” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award in dual roles. Last winter, he was seen in three films: starring opposite Robert De Niro in Joel Schumacher’s FLAWLESS, for which he received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role; alongside Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow in Anthony Minghella’s THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, and with Tom Cruise in Paul Thomas Anderson’s MAGNOLIA. He received the National Board of Review’s Best Supporting Actor Award for his work in the latter two. He previously appeared in both of Paul Thomas Anderson’s earlier films BOOGIE NIGHTS and HARD EIGHT.
His other film credits include Todd Solondz’s HAPPINESS, for which was nominated for an IFP/West Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, PATCH ADAMS, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, NEXT STOP WONDERLAND, TWISTER, SCENT OF A WOMAN, NOBODY’S FOOL, THE GETAWAY and WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN.
His stage work includes “Defying Gravity” at the American Place Theatre; “The Merchant of Venice,” directed by Peter Sellars; and the off-Broadway production of Mark Ravenhill’s “Shopping and F**king.” This summer, Hoffman directed the play “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” written by Stephen Adly Guiregis, for his New York-based theatre company LABryrinth. Last summer, Guiregis and Hoffman collaborated on “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” which Hoffman also directed for the company.