Abril tapped for Levinson pic

Victoria Abril, the Spanish actress who starred in “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!,” has been cast to star opposite Joe Pesci and Christian Slater in Barry Levinson’s project for Paramount.

Principal photography for the still-untitled comedy is due to get under way very soon.

The story concerns a down-on-his-luck actor who goes to extremes in order to get work. It’s being produced by Mark Johnson and Peter Guiliano.

Abril, a leading star in Spain, is probably best known to American audiences through her work in Pedro Almodovar’s controversial “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!,” which made its way to the New York Supreme Court in 1990 in a ratings fight between Miramax Films and the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

The court decided that the film would be released with MPAA’s designation of an X rating but the fight over the film started a controversy over the rating system.

Abril has worked extensively with Almodovar, starring in “High Heels” and in Vicente Aranda’s “Lovers.”

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