×

Maggie Gyllenhaal to Star in 3 Short Films Sponsored by Jameson Whiskey

Films to be produced in L.A. by Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti's Trigger Street

Maggie Gyllenhaal will star in three short films by aspiring auteurs, produced by Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street Productions in a competition sponsored by Jameson Whiskey.

The three finalists in the 2016 Jameson First Shot contest — Cameron Thrower (California), Kat Wood (Sheffield, England) and Jason Perini (Sydney, Australia) — were announced Tuesday. Pernod Ricard’s Jameson brand surprised each winner with billboards in their hometowns featuring their names alongside Gyllenhaal’s.

Gyllenhaal and Trigger Street Productions led the judging of 20 shortlisted candidates’ short scenes and treatments from 2,700 submitted scripts. From those, the final three were selected: Thrower’s “Beauty Mark,” Wood’s “Home” and Perini’s “The New Empress.”

“I so rarely find a script that speaks to me, but all 20 spoke to me,” Gyllenhaal said in an interview. “Out of those, I picked the three I thought I could act best with.”

The thesp, whose credits include HBO’s “The Deuce,” “The Honorable Woman,” “The Dark Knight,” “Donnie Darko” and “Secretary,” said she’s drawn to stories with unusual themes. “I’m just approaching this the way I’d make any movie,” she said. “I definitely want to defer to (the filmmakers) but I also want them to know what it’s like to work with an actor.”

Popular on Variety

Kevin Spacey, Willem Dafoe, Uma Thurman and Adrien Brody have previously taken starring roles in the Jameson First Shot competition.

This week, Gyllenhaal is heading to L.A., where the three contest winners are preparing to shoot their films with guidance from Spacey and Brunetti.

“There are many competitions out there, but few if any that offer the chance to direct award-winning talent,” Brunetti said in a statement. “Year after year we’ve managed to meet and exceed expectation when it comes to who signs on — Maggie’s participation this year is a testament to that. I’m looking forward to seeing what these finalists can do with such an amazing actress.”

“The world of film can sometimes be a hard one to break in to and it is our privilege to be able to open the door to some genuinely exciting new talents through Jameson First Shot,” Spacey said in a prepared statement.

Watch a video of the three Jameson First Shot winners being surprised:

https://vimeo.com/channels/jamesonfirstshot/159628020

More info on the competition, now in its fifth year, is available at jamesonfirstshot.com and on its Vimeo channel.

More Digital

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

  • The Witcher - Netflix

    'The Witcher' Season 2 Production Starts in U.K., Adds Seven to Cast Including 'Game of Thrones' Star Kristofer Hivju

    Production on fantasy epic “The Witcher” Season 2 has commenced in the U.K., with a planned launch in 2021, Netflix announced. The show also announced seven new cast members joining “The Witcher” for S2, including Kristofer Hivju, the Norwegian actor who played the red-bearded wilding leader Tormund Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones.” Netflix last month [...]

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

  • Best Picture Black Panther

    'Black Panther' Is Leaving Netflix to Come to Disney Plus

    Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” is rolling off Netflix in the U.S. on March 3, 2020 — after which Wakanda fans will be able to stream the movie the next day on Disney Plus. The migration of “Black Panther,” one of the top-grossing superhero films to date, from Netflix to Disney Plus comes as Disney winds [...]

  • GoNoodle I Used a Comma

    Can GoNoodle Climb to the Kid-Media Big Leagues?

    If you’re a parent of grade-school kids in America, the odds are good your tykes know about GoNoodle’s upbeat music and exercise videos, designed to get them up on their feet and moving around. But GoNoodle doesn’t have the same brand recognition as, say, Disney or Nickelodeon — and KC Estenson wants to change that. [...]

  • Friends TV Series

    'Friends' DVD, Digital Sales Soar as It Takes a Break From Streaming

    They’re on a streaming break — but “Friends” will still be there for you. WarnerMedia’s home entertainment division is aiming to capitalize on the brief disappearance of the hit sitcom from streaming video on demand, as fans look for other ways to get their “Friends” fix. Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content