"Freedom Writers" Movie Production Notes
ABOUT FREEDOM WRITERS | THE PRODUCTION | THE CAST | THE FILMMAKERS
HILARY SWANK (Erin)
Photo by: Jaimie Trueblood. Hilary Swank (pictured) as Erin Gruwell in “Freedom Writers.” Paramount Pictures Presents In Association with MTV Films, a Jersey Films/Double Feature Films Production, “Freedom Writers.” Directed by Richard LaGravenese from a screenplay from Richard LaGravenese, based on the book “The Freedom Writers Diary” by the Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell, the film is produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher. Executive producers are Hilary Swank, Tracey Durning, Nan Morales, and Dan Levine. The film is rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material, and language. © 2006 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
HILARY SWANK (Erin) is the third youngest woman in history to win two Academy Awards® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
In addition to the Oscar for her performance as ‘Brandon Teena’ in “Boys Don’t Cry,” Hilary won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and Best Actress prizes from The New York Film Critics, The Los Angeles Film Critics, The Chicago Film Critics and The Broadcast Film Critics Association. She also won the Breakthrough Performance prize from The National Board of Review.
Swank was most recently seen starring opposite Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman as the title character in Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby,” the story of a young woman’s quest to realize her dream of becoming a professional boxer. For this performance, she was honored with her second Academy Award® for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role” and has garnered “Best Actress” prizes from the National Society of Film Critics, the Screen Actors Guild, The Broadcast Film Critics, and a Golden Globe for “Best Lead Actress in a Drama.”
She had a supporting role opposite Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett in Brian De Palma’s “Black Dahlia,” and starred in “The Reaping.”.
In a year that is proving to be very busy and exciting, Dempsey has signed onto two feature film projects. Having recently wrapped “Freedom Writers,”he will next star opposite Amy Adams in the Disney film “Enchanted.”
Dempsey became well known as the unlikely love object of such classic ’80s nostalgia films as, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Loverboy.”
His other theatrical credits include, “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Scream 3,” “With Honors,” “Outbreak,” Hugo Pool,” “The Treat,” “The Palace,” “Thief,” “Heaven Help Us,” “Happy Together,” Some Girls,” Coupe De Ville,” and “In The Mood.”
In television, Dempsey garnered an Emmy nomination in 2001 for his portrayal of Aaron Brooks, Sela Ward’s psychologically unbalanced brother in the critically acclaimed television program, “Once & Again.” In 2003, Dempsey made a memorable guest appearance on NBC’s hit show, “Will & Grace,” as Will’s love interest. In 2004, Dempsey co-starred in the acclaimed HBO production, “Iron Jawed Angels,” opposite Hilary Swank and Anjelica Huston.
Dempsey also starred in the NBC movie based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” opposite Ben Kingsley. He also appeared in the television miniseries, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with Michael Caine. He co-starred with Oliver Reed in the biblical epic, “Jeremiah.” Other television movies and miniseries include “JFK: Reckless Youth,” “A Season in Purgatory,” “Blood Knot,” “The Right to Remain Silent,” “Shallow Grave,” and “Blonde.”
Dempsey was born and raised in Lewiston, Maine. He first appeared onstage as David in the San Francisco production of “Torch Song Trilogy.” Other early stage work included “On Golden Pond” for the Maine Acting Company, the international touring production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” which was directed by Gene Saks and “The Subject Was Roses” at the Roundabout Theatre in New York. He recently took the stage in The Pasadena Playhouse run of “The Importance of Being Earnest” as Algernon Moncrieff.
As a freshman at Hunter College, April quickly became enthralled with the art of improvisation and immediately changed majors. She also began auditioning for various independent projects and eventually landed spots as a stand-up in New York Comedy Club and Stand-Up New York. Shortly thereafter, April landed her first major project in 2003 as the “Yo Girl” in Visa’s Super Bowl commercial next to NBA All-Star Yao Ming and Yankee legend Yogi Berra.
Other roles followed, including “Shayna Rosario” in the award-winning drama series “Law and Order,” and playing a bicycle messenger for the winning commercial in 2004’s Coca-Cola Filmmaker’s Contest.
Most recently, April appeared in the nascent ABC-TV series “6 Degrees.” She had a six-episode arc as Nurse Inez on the NBC stalwart “ER,” and she guest-starred as Sal, an urban juvenile aspiring to be a professional boxer in “Jonny Zero” on Fox TV. She also appeared on ABC’s “Blind Justice,” and as a guest host on Mundos’ popular variety show, “The Roof.”
Currently before the cameras in the film version of Puerto Vallarta Squeeze, the latest novel by Robert James Waller, Glenn tackles the role of a dangerous man on the run, with romance complicating the zigzagging escape. Shot on Mexican locations, the thriller pairs Glenn with Harvey Keitel.
Glenn has been regarded as an actor of unique reality and power since director James Bridges’ "Urban Cowboy” first brought him to attention, and he has since been his highly regarded in such films as Philip Kaufman’s “The Right Stuff,” Lawrence Kasdan’s “Silverado,” Robert Towne's “Personal Best,” Ron Howard’s “Backdraft,” Francis Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” Jonathon Demme’s “Silence of the Lambs,” John Frankenheimer’s “The Challenge,” John McTiernan’s “The Hunt for Red October,” and Ed Zwick’s “Courage Under Fire.”
A very grounded man for whom values of family and relationship to nature precede considerations of career opportunity, Glenn celebrated the success of “Urban Cowboy” by locating both life and family in Ketchum, Idaho, far from the offers and the hum of the movie indutry. He had determined to turn down those roles that would take him away from his wife Carol and daughters Dakota Anne and Rio Elizabeth during the girls’ formative school years. With his daughters’ primary education complete, Scott Glenn has returned to full-time acting pursuits.
Born and raised in Baltimore and now living in New Jersey, he was signed to the New York label 3rd Street/J Records, working with producer Davis. After contributing to the soundtrack of 2001’s “Dr. Dolittle 2,” Mario released his eponymous debut album in July, 2002.
After touring America with other young artists, Mario returned with the “Turning Point” album in December, 2004. The first single, "Let Me Love You", became Mario’s first US number one and an international hit, and the album’s fresh sounds and often surprising lyrics introduced him to a wider audience.
With a range of creative music videos, plans of attending college and a part in the coming-of-age drama “Destination Fame,” Mario is an already well-established star even before the end of his teens.
After staying in the house for what seemed like an eternity he decided to vent his anger in an interview for a video production class. It was this interview that intrigued a student filmmaker to invite Jason to audition for the independent film “Mercy Street.” Finn was cast in the lead role. He helped with the script by adding insight and personal real-life situations, and even writing out scenes for the script. This new found environment inspired a profound shift in Jason’s outlook, informed with the belief that he still had a chance to make it without selling drugs or living the street life.
Film Entertainment Magazine
The Freedom Writers Diary : How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Paperback)