January 11, 2012

"If I Were You" premieres at Palm Springs Film Festival

Mark Paladini
Regent Theater Professor Mark Paladini is in Palm Springs, CA this week, attending the world premiere of If I Were You, of which he is the co-executive producer. Mark teaches in both the Department of Theatre Arts and Department of Cinema-Television, specializing in screen acting, auditioning, actor coaching and the Uta Hagen approach to acting. A renowned film and television casting director, he is currently the co-executive producer of several internationally produced independent feature films.

Mark began his professional training as an actor in New York, studying with the highly influential acting teacher Uta Hagen and appearing in the world premiere of Ain Gordon's End Over End. His entry into the casting world involved directing hundreds of commercial auditions for a group of innovative New York commercial casting directors in the 1980s. His casting credits include major motion pictures such as The Mask, Spy Hard and Mortal Kombat. Television credits include Babylon 5 and Beverly Hills, 90210.

If I Were You is getting lots of buzz at the 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival which, according to Richard Chang of the Orange County Register, signals the start of the yearlong film festival circuit and – as a precursor to the Golden Globes and Academy Awards – the unofficial beginning of movie awards season. Chang also writes, “Because of its proximity to Hollywood, Palm Springs attracts celebrities of all stripes, as well as a bevy of film industry insiders. This year's guest list includes Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Gary Oldman, Charlize Theron, Glenn Close, Michelle Williams, James Franco, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Marcia Gay Harden, Aidan Quinn and Octavia Spencer. About 187 films from 73 countries are scheduled, including two world premieres, 22 North American premieres and 36 U.S. premieres.”

The film was written by Joan Carr-Wiggin and stars Marcia Gay Harden, Aidan Quinn and Spanish actress Leonor Watling. In an interview with Bruce Fessier of The Desert Sun, Harden commented, “The theme of the movie is that people switch places…Do we always do what's best for us when we're only looking from our own perspective? She's looking for something different but she's not seeing the reality of what's in front of her. Through this young girl, beautifully played by Leonor, she's able to break out of this betrayal that's there in the marriage and find something in herself.”

Leonor Watling (left) and Marcia Gay Harden in “If I Were You.” Courtesy Photo
If I Were You is about a woman who sees her husband having a romantic dinner with a pretty young actress, Lucy. Harden, as Madelyn, follows Lucy out of the restaurant to a liquor store, where she watches her order a rope. She follows Lucy to her apartment and then prevents her from hanging herself, which prompts Madelyn to befriend her husband's lover without revealing her true identity.

The film takes its name from a deal Lucy and Madelyn make in which each woman must follow the other's advice. That allows Madelyn to surreptitiously advise her rival on how not to pursue a relationship with her husband.

Congratulations, Mark!

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