Rapaport gets ‘Naked’ role

NEW YORK — Michael Rapaport, who has been a fixture on the New York independent film scene since his 1993 debut in “Zebrahead,” has been cast as the lead in the indie feature “The Naked Man.”

Longtime Coen brothers associate J. Todd Anderson will helm from a script — about a man’s search for identity through chiropractic medicine and professional wrestling — that Anderson wrote along with Ethan Coen.

“Naked Man” will be executive produced by Ben Barenholtz, who helped launch such filmmakers as David Lynch, John Sayles and Joel and Ethan Coen. It is skedded to lens in September.

Rounding out the cast in “Naked Man” are Arija Bareikis, Joe Grifasi and John Slattery.

Rapaport is currently filming Volker Schlondorff’s “Palmetto” opposite Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue. Later this year he will be seen with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in Miramax’s “Cop Land” and with James Woods and Linda Fiorentino in October Films’ “Kicked in the Head,” which was selected for the Directors Fortnight in Cannes.

Rapaport’s talents will soon be seen on HBO in director Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s segment of “Subway Stories.” In the seg, he stars opposite Lili Taylor, with whom he also shared the screen in Nick Gomez’s “illtown,” a Shooting Gallery production that has not found a domestic distributor.

Other Rapaport film credits include John Singleton’s “Higher Learning,” Barbet Schroeder’s “Kiss of Death,” Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” and Ted Demme’s “Beautiful Girls.”

His “Naked Man” deal was brokered by Steven Levy and Craig Shapiro of Innovative Artists.

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