Rockwell locks up inmate role in Hanks starrer

NEW YORK — Sam Rockwell, who starred in three pics that unspooled at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has joined the cast of Frank Darabont’s “The Green Mile,” a Castle Rock production starring Tom Hanks.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, “Green Mile” tells the story of a slightly retarded man (Hanks) who is on death row for murdering two children. Rockwell will play Billy the Kid, a fellow inmate of Hanks’.

‘Dream’ role

Rockwell recently wrapped “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Fox Searchlight starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline. He also appears in Woody Allen’s upcoming “Celebrity,” which Miramax Films is releasing.

At Sundance, Rockwell starred in John Duigan’s “Lawn Dogs,” John Hamburg’s “Safe Men” and Saul Rubinek’s “Jerry and Tom.”

Actor accolades

Strand Releasing opened “Lawn Dogs,” for which Rockwell won best actor awards at both the Montreal and Barcelona film festivals, on May 15. October Films will release “Safe Men,” in which Rockwell and Steve Zahn play a pair of untalented singers who get mixed up with the mob, on July 31.

Miramax will release “Jerry and Tom,” which also stars Ted Danson, Joe Mantegna, Charles Durning and William H. Macy, in early 1999.

Rockwell’s other screen credits include Tom DiCillo’s “Box of Moonlight,” Peter Cohen’s “Drunks” and Paul Schrader’s “Light Sleepers.”

Rockwell’s deal was brokered by his manager Andrew Freedman along with his agents at the Gersh Agency.

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