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Hallmark Cards Inc. : Julia Stiles Stars in The Makeover

09/12/2012 | 12:23pm EDT
Julia Stiles Stars in The Makeover Production starts on new Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 12, 2012) - Production begins this week in Boston on a new Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, The Makeover. The film - which will premiere on ABC in 2013 - stars Julia Stiles (The Bourne Identity, Dexter) and David Walton (Perfect Couples, Heist), directed by John Gray (Ghost Whisperer, Hallmark Hall of Fame's The Seventh Stream). The teleplay is by C. Jay Cox (Sweet Home Alabama, Latter Days), based on George Bernard Shaw's classic Pygmalion tale, first performed 100 years ago.

The Makeover gives Pygmalion several contemporary twists; most notably, changing the genders of all the main characters.

Hannah Higgins (Julia Stiles) is a smart, driven Harvard-educated professor. She is so driven that she decides to run for Congress to advance the cause of education reform. Unfortunately, Hannah's a disaster of a candidate; her considerable smarts translate to voters as "uppity." She's somebody the average Boston voter just can't identify with (or, as she would say, "with whom many Boston voters simply cannot identify").

For the next election, Hannah and her business partner, Colleen Pickering, played by Camryn Manheim (The Practice, The Ghost Whisperer), decide to recruit somebody to run who is definitely not uppity. Elliot Doolittle (David Walton) delivers beer to local drinking establishments. He's a take-me-for-what-I-am character, speaks with a broad South Boston accent, and is definitely not "polished." But his sincerity and friendliness allow him to connect instantly with anybody and everybody.

Hannah takes on Elliot as a "project." If she can just teach him to speak like a gentleman, dress like a gentleman, comport himself like a gentleman ... why, he will become a gentleman ... a gentleman who can run for Congress and win ... and then help implement the causes that Hannah holds dear.

Elliot and Hannah are about as oil-and-water as any two people can be. But as Elliot becomes a little more "proper" and Hannah becomes a little less "pompous," could this be a match made - maybe not in Heaven, but - in South Boston?

Julia Stiles has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most fearless and talented actresses in Hollywood." She has made her mark on the big screen starring in the "Bourne" trilogy, opposite Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Her many other features include Hamlet, O, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Business of Strangers, Save the Last Dance and State and Main. She received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her work on Showtime's acclaimed Dexter series.

Julia Stiles has three features which will be released later this year and in 2013: David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook (opposite Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence), Todd Berger's It's A Disaster (with America Ferrera, David Cross) and John Crowley's Closed (with Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds).

David Walton is a Boston native, and a 2001 graduate of Brown University. He's been featured in several television series, including Bent (2012), Happy Endings (2011), Perfect Couples (2011), 100 Questions (2010), Quarterlife (2008), Heist (2006) and Cracking Up (2004). He stars as Zooey Deschanel's love interest in the second season of Fox's New Girl. Features credits include Fired Up! and Burlesque.

John Gray is the creator of the TV series Ghost Whisperer, and has written and directed several episodes. He directed the ABC miniseries Empire (2005). He wrote and directed previous Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations The Seventh Stream (Scott Glenn, Saffron Burrows) and An American Story (Brad Johnson, Kathleen Quinlan), and directed A Place For Annie (Sissy Spacek, Mary-Louise Parker).

C. Jay Cox wrote the screenplay for Sweet Home Alabama (Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey) and New in Town (Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick, Jr). He wrote and directed the award-winning Latter Days (2003).

The Makeover is from Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc. Brent Shields (Firelight, A Smile as Big as the Moon) is the executive producer.

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© Publicnow 2012
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