Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein‘s Linda Lovelace biopic (which is titled Lovelace for some reason) has been experiencing casting problems for almost this entire year. Kate Hudson was at one point lined up to play the legendary porn star, and James Franco was going to join her as Lovelace’s ex-husband, Chuck Traynor. The actress was forced to depart on account of pregnancy, and the role was soon rumored for Olivia Wilde; it never went past that initial stage, however.
We’re now hearing from Variety that Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard are currently in talks to star, after Franco dropped out of the latter’s possible role. The two of them signing on, something that seems like a real possibility, would be the first big movement on the project in months. But, despite any complications, Friedman and Epstein are lucky enough to get leads who are a) talented and b) actually bear some resemblance to the people they’re supposed to portray.
W. Merritt Johnson and Andy Bellin‘s script tells the true story of the Deep Throat actress’ problematic life, from her entrance into the porn industry to her tumultuous marriage with Traynor that spawned allegations of abuse, prostitution, and hypnotism. I know that some might assume the story of a porn star would be fairly one-note and heavily reliant upon sex and sleaze, but this looks to break expectations. And hypnosis! We don’t see that nearly enough these days.
A similar film, Matthew Wilder‘s Inferno, is getting ready to shoot in January, about the same time this goes before cameras. That film stars Malin Akerman and Matt Dillon as the former husband and wife, in addition to Paz de la Huerta — you know she’s getting naked. While it has a certain advantage over Lovelace — as it’s based on her autobiography, Ordeal — the roster of folks working on the film at hand already gives me further interest.
It’s hard to find a real downside to this casting — other than Franco being born to play Traynor — so I think it’s safe to say that things are finally coming into focus (avoid the joke, avoid the joke) for Lovelace.
Do Seyfried and Sarsgaard strike you as good Lovelace leads? Would you have preferred to see any of the other previously-involved actors star?