- VANESSA HUDGENS (Agnes "Apple" Bailey)
- JAMES EARL JONES (Frank McCarthy)
- ROSARIO DAWSON (June Bailey)
- BRENDAN FRASER (Tom Fitzpatrick)
- STEPHANIE SZOSTAK (Joanna Fitzpatrick)
- ANN DOWD (Kathy DiFiore)
- EMILY MEADE (Cassandra)
- RONALD KRAUSS (Writer, Producer and Director)
- KATHY DiFIORE (Inspired By)
- JEFF RICE (Producer)
- JOSHUA AMIR (Co-Producer)
- SCOTT STEINDORFF (Executive Producer)
- WILLIAM LADD SKINNER (Production Designer)
RONALD KRAUSS (Writer, Producer and Director) is a filmmaker on the rise. He recently wrote, produced and directed Amexica, an unforgettable story set in the underworld of human trafficking, starring AnnaLynne McCord and Joseph Ferrante. Krauss worked very closely with several anti-human trafficking organizations to create an accurate, honest portrayal and raise awareness in the fight against this global issue. Since its debut in 2010, Amexica has played to audiences worldwide as an official selection in more than 20 film festivals, with several “Best of Fest” awards under its belt.
Previously, Krauss wrote and produced the short film Saving Angelo (2007), starring Kevin Bacon; the feature Alien Hunter (2003), with James Spader; and Rave (2000), his first feature film. Rave received critical acclaim and earned “Best Picture” and “Audience Choice” awards at several major film festivals.
For television, Krauss wrote, produced and directed “Chicken Soup for the Soul” (1999), a series based on the bestselling books. This distinguished drama starred Martin Sheen, Julie Hagerty, Ed Asner, Charles Durning and many other notable actors. It aired for two seasons on the NBC/PAX Television Network.
After getting his degree in architecture and design, Krauss moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking. His first serious brush with Hollywood was meeting Roger Corman and being hired to work in the art department of Corman’s legendary Venice Beach studios. For two years, Krauss worked his way through each department of the Corman studios to learn every aspect of moviemaking.
Krauss went on to direct countless music video and commercial productions but it was Puppies for Sale (1998), his first short film, which drew critical and international acclaim. The film, starring Academy Award®-winner Jack Lemmon, won “Best Short Film” at more than 20 film festivals worldwide, including Giffoni Film Festival, Berlin International, Rimouski International, Aspen Film Festival, Palm Springs and the Heartland Film Festival. Puppies also received the honor of being exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
KATHY DiFIORE (Inspired By) founded Several Sources Shelters with the idea of the “haves” helping the “have nots.” Several Sources Foundation helps the poor, the ill and the lonely, concentrating its efforts on inner-city children and their impoverished families in Newark, New Jersey. Several Sources achieves this with monthly “care packages” and frequent outings to parks, the circus and a summer golf clinic.
In 1999 the U.N. certified Several Sources as a Non-Governmental Organization. In 2010 Several Sources launched its “Gift of Hope” programs in Ukraine, Kenya and Uganda to help pregnant women in need. DiFiore’s work at Several Sources has long been intertwined with the efforts of the United Nations Women’s Guild. In 2013 that organization honored her with a lifetime achievement award.
In 1988 DiFiore was honored by an invitation to the White House to meet then-President Ronald Reagan. In 2011 the New Jersey state assembly and state senate passed a resolution to recognize DiFiore’s 30 years of work with needy mothers and infants.
From 1970 to 1978 DiFiore was a member of the New York state advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Her business career included holding the position of personnel director at both American Express and Degussa Chemicals Corporation. In 1981 she decided to turn her own home into a shelter for homeless mothers and their babies.
As the demand for help for impoverished women grew, DiFiore made the decision to leave the corporate world and work full time for mothers and babies in need. In a short time the demand became so overwhelming she sought the help of other volunteers and more space. By 1995 Several Sources had opened its fifth shelter, Ladies Rest, to help homeless women and at-risk children achieve permanent housing, education and jobs.
DiFiore was named a Dame of Malta and received the Gaudete Medal at St. Bonaventure University for her continuing work on behalf of more than 15,000 mothers and babies. Other acknowledgments include the New Jersey State Council’s 1989 Humanitarian of the Year Award, St. Elizabeth’s College Catholic Woman of Achievement Award in 1995, the Pax Christi New Jersey Dorothy Day Peacemaker Award in 2001, the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award and an honorary doctorate from Felician College.
A native of Rochester, New York, DiFiore received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1969. In 1979 she received her M.B.A. from NYU. She is currently studying for her doctorate at the University of Phoenix and is scheduled to graduate in 2014.
ROSARIO DAWSON (June Bailey) has garnered praise for her numerous leading roles alongside today’s hottest film actors and directors, making her one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading ladies. In 2007 she was named “Supporting Actress of the Year” at ShoWest. Dawson won the Best Actress in a Motion Picture prize at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards for her performance in Gabriele Muccino’s drama Seven Pounds, opposite Will Smith. She also received the Half-Life Award at the 2008 CineVegas International Film Festival.
Dawson was last seen in the Danny Boyle thriller Trance, alongside James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel. The film revolves around a failed art heist that pits two men against one another as both men develop unusual relationships with the same woman.
Dawson has a number of films set for release in the New Year. She reprises her role as Gail in the crime-thriller Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, alongside Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. She co-starred in the original Sin City alongside Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen and Brittany Murphy.
Dawson also stars in Atom Egoyan’s forthcoming thriller The Captive, with Ryan Reynolds and Scott Speedman, and Diego Luna’s Chavez, a biopic about the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez. Dawson will play Dolores Huerta and stars alongside Michael Peña and America Ferrera.
Dawson recently wrapped filming Finally Famous, directed by Chris Rock. Dawson plays the role of a New York journalist tasked with profiling a famous stand-up comedian turned serious actor (played by Rock).
Dawson made her small-screen debut in the 2011 Lifetime original movie “Five,” which sewed together five personal narratives depicting the effects of breast cancer through survivor stories. Dawson received a 2012 NAACP Image Award nomination for her role as Lili in an episode directed by Alicia Keys.
Previously, Dawson starred in Frank Coraci’s romantic comedy Zookeeper, opposite Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Jon Favreau; Tony Scott’s action thriller Unstoppable, alongside Denzel Washington and Chris Pine; Eagle Eye, opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Shia LaBeouf; Mark Webber’s political drama Explicit Ills, an Audience Award winner at SXSW; Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s tribute to exploitation films, Grindhouse, with Kurt Russell and Stacy Ferguson; Talia Lugacy’s Descent, which Dawson also produced; Dito Montiel’s A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, opposite Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Chazz Palminteri and Channing Tatum; Chris Columbus’ Rent, based on Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical.
Dawson made her film debut at the age of 14 in Larry Clark’s shocking, critically acclaimed drama Kids, in the memorable role of Ruby. Written by Harmony Korine, Kids depicted 24 chaotic hours in the life of a group of New York skaters. Receiving a surprise midnight screening at Sundance and a spot in the main competition at Cannes, the film launched Dawson’s career.
Additional film credits include Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2, Peter Berg’s The Rundown, Oliver Stone’s Alexander, Spike Lee’s He Got Game and The 25th Hour, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black II, Ethan Hawke’s Chelsea Walls, Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass and Ed Burns’ Sidewalks of New York.
Beyond her numerous leading roles, Dawson also lends her time to a range of influential organizations including Voto Latino (which she co-founded in 2004), V-Day, The Lower Eastside Girls Club and the Environmental Media Association, among others. Dawson was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her contributions to the community and efforts to get others involved.
Dawson currently resides in Los Angeles.
STEPHANIE SZOSTAK (Joanna Fitzpatrick) is well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most enchanting leading ladies. A natural talent with an international appeal, the French-born Szostak was most recently seen opposite Robert Downey Jr. as Extremis soldier Ellen Brandt in Iron Man 3. She also starred alongside Matt Damon in Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo, appeared in R.I.P.D. alongside Ryan Reynolds, and played the female lead in Jay Roach’s Dinner for Schmucks, opposite Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis.
Szostak recently wrapped production on the Ricky Blitt/Peter Farrelly indie comedy Hit by Lightning, co-starring Jon Cryer, and indie drama Half the Perfect World, with Heather Lind and Ryan O’Nan.
In 2006 Szostak starred as French Vogue Editor Jacqueline Follet in David Frankel’s comedy The Devil Wears Prada, opposite Meryl Streep. The previous year, she received the Best Actress Award at the BendFilm Festival for her performance in Jeff Winner’s indie film Satellite.
Additional film credits include Une aventure New Yorkaise (A New York Thing), with Jonathan Zaccai; The Rebound, directed by Bart Freundlich and starring Catherine Zeta-Jones; the Italian comedy Four Single Fathers, with Allesandro Gassman; Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman; and The Good Heart, opposite Brian Cox.
Her television credits include guest-starring roles on “The Sopranos” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
Szostak has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from The College of William and Mary and is an avid golfer. She lives outside of New York City with her family.
VANESSA HUDGENS (Agnes “Apple” Bailey) became a star in “High School Musical” but has branched out since then to play surprising and challenging roles in such films as Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, co-starring James Franco and Selena Gomez, and Scott Walker’s The Frozen Ground, alongside Nicolas Cage and John Cusack.
Most recently, Hudgens was seen in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Sucker Punch, Beastly and Machete Kills. Up next are the animated feature The Great Migration and the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink, with Ed Westwick, Bob Odenkirk and Joan Cusack.
Hudgens began her career in the world of musical theater at the tender age of 8. Immediately realizing the incredible future that lay before her, she tirelessly pursued her dream with much success. Early roles in such productions as “Evita,” “Carousel,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The King & I,” “The Music Man,” “Cinderella” and “Damn Yankees” gave Hudgens the opportunity to showcase her impressive singing and acting skills. In 2010 Hudgens won the ShoWest Award for Female Star of Tomorrow.
The actress made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen, starring Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood. Soon thereafter, she co-starred in the action-adventure film Thunderbirds and was a recurring guest star on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zach & Cody.” Her other television credits include appearances on “Quintuplets,” “Brothers Garcia,” “Still Standing” and “Robbery Homicide Division.”
It was Disney Channel’s breakaway sensation “High School Musical” that truly launched Hudgens’ career. She played Gabriella Montez, the sweet girl torn between her attraction to basketball jock Troy Bolton and desire to audition for the school musical. With critics and fans clamoring for more, the highly successful follow-ups “High School Musical 2” and feature film High School Musical 3: Senior Year again showcased Hudgens’ talents.
Hudgens continued her momentum from these hits by starring in Bandslam, which revolved around a high-school misfit and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond through their love for music.
Hudgens resides in Los Angeles.
EMILY MEADE (Cassandra) is a talented young actress best known for her recurring role as Pearl in the first season of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and her small but memorable turns in Diablo Cody’s Young Adult, alongside Charlize Theron, and Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman.
Meade was recently seen in the indie drama Thanks for Sharing, opposite Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. She just finished production as the lead in the independent film Me Him Her, directed by Max Landis. Up next is the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, with Zac Efron, Imogen Poots and Miles Teller.
Previously, Meade appeared in Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me, starring Lauren Ambrose; Billy Federighi’s Adventures in the Sin Bin, with Bo Burnham; Lance Edmands’ Bluebird, opposite Amy Morton; Joel Schumacher’s Twelve, alongside Chase Crawford and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson; Burning Palms, with Dylan McDermott and Rosamund Pike; and Wes Craven’s horror film My Soul to Take, with Max Thieriot.
Other film credits include Silver Tongues, Assassination of a High School President and The House is Burning.
On the small screen, Meade has guest-starred on “Fringe” and numerous episodes of the various “Law & Order” series.
Meade is currently in rehearsals for “Domesticated” at Lincoln Center. Other stage credits include “The Puberty Club,” “Waiting for the Light to Change” and “Sleep Away,” all for the 24*7 Theatre Company at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York.
Meade was born and raised in Manhattan and is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts
ANN DOWD (Kathy DiFiore) has built an acting career spanning film, television and theater. For her role in Craig Zobel’s hard-hitting drama Compliance, Dowd won the National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress in a Film. She also earned nominations for Independent Spirit and Critics’ Choice awards.
Dowd will next be seen in the forthcoming features WildLike, Indelible, X/Y and St. Vincent De Van Nuys.
Additional film credits include Marley & Me, The Informant, Garden State, Lorenzo’s Oil, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, The Forgotten, Side Effects and Bachelorette.
Dowd is currently playing a recurring role on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.” She will soon be seen on HBO’s new series “True Detective” and the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.” She has signed on as a series regular in “The Leftovers,” from Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta.
Previously, Dowd appeared as a series regular on “Nothing Sacred” and played recurring roles on “Freaks and Geeks,” “The Education of Max Bickford” and “Third Watch.” She has appeared multiple times on all of the various “Law & Order” series and guest-starred on “House,” “NYPD Blue” and “Louie.”
As a stage performer, Dowd has drawn plaudits for her work in several Broadway shows including “Candida,” as Prossy, a role for which she received the Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Broadway Debut. She was also seen in British director Ian Rickson’s production of “The Seagull.”
In New York, Dowd appeared in “Blood from a Stone” with the New Group. She played Mrs. Gibbs in David Cromer’s production of “Our Town” at Barrow Street Theatre, and was St. Joan in “The Lark.” Dowd has also performed extensively on the regional theater circuit.
BRENDAN FRASER (Tom Fitzpatrick) transitions seamlessly from smart independent films to action-packed blockbusters, garnering widespread critical acclaim for his versatile, inspired performances as well as his eye for thought-provoking material. Fraser starred in and executive produced Journey to the Center of the Earth, which grossed more than $100 million domestically, and Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which netted more than $400 million worldwide.
Fraser recently completed work on the animated feature The Nut Job, with voice acting by Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl; HairBrained, opposite Alex Wolff; and Seconds of Pleasure, alongside Christina Hendricks and Julia Stiles.
Previously, Fraser voiced Scorch Supernova in the animated film Escape from Planet Earth and starred in the Terry George heist comedy Stand Off, on which he also served as executive producer. In 2010 Fraser was seen in the family comedy Furry Vengeance and the drama Extraordinary Measures, a true story based on a couple’s efforts to find a researcher who may have a cure for their children’s rare genetic disorder.
The film that cemented Fraser as a major box-office draw was Stephen Sommers’ 1999 action-horror adventure The Mummy, an ambitious retooling of the 1932 horror classic. In 2001 Fraser re-teamed with Sommers and co-star Rachel Weisz on sequel The Mummy Returns. Together the films grossed more than $800 million worldwide.
Fraser played memorable roles in such films as Iain Softley’s Inkheart, opposite Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent and Andy Serkis; Jieho Lee’s The Air I Breathe, alongside Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kevin Bacon; Paul Haggis’ Best Picture winner Crash, as a member of an esteemed ensemble cast; Phillip Noyce’s The Quiet American, based on Graham Greene’s 1955 thriller of the same name; and Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters, opposite Sir Ian McKellen and Lynn Redgrave.
Additional film credits include George of the Jungle, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Bedazzled, Monkey Bone, Blast from the Past, Dudley Do-Right, Mrs. Winterbourne, Encino Man, School Ties, With Honors, Airheads and The Scout.
On the small screen, Fraser turned heads with his critically acclaimed performance in Showtime’s “The Twilight of the Golds,” opposite Garry Marshall and Faye Dunaway.
Fraser’s diverse theater roster includes a 2001 appearance at London’s Lyric Theatre in the West End production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Directed by Tony winner Anthony Page, Fraser played the role of Brick opposite Frances O’Connor as Maggie Pollitt. The actor received high praise for his work as the anxious writer in John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone” at the Geffen Playhouse, co-starring Martin Short, Parker Posey and Elizabeth Perkins.
Born in Indianapolis and raised in Europe and Canada, Fraser has been dedicated to honing his craft since the age of 12. He began attending theater when his family lived in London. After completing high school at Toronto’s Upper Canada College, Fraser received a B.F.A. in acting from the Actors Conservatory at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
JAMES EARL JONES (Frank McCarthy) has a voice known by people of all ages and walks of life, from the Star Wars fans who know him as Darth Vader to children who think of him as Mufasa in The Lion King. Jones received an Oscar® nomination for The Great White Hope (1971) and in 2011 he was honored with one of the Academy’s prestigious Governors Awards for that year. Additionally, Jones was awarded the National Medal of Arts and is a Kennedy Center honoree.
The actor recently completed work on Phil Alden Robinson’s dramedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, starring Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage and Robin Williams.
Other film credits include Dr. Strangelove, Claudine, The Comedians, The River Niger, The Greatest, A Piece of the Action, Gardens of Stone, Conan the Barbarian, Coming to America, The Sandlot, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Matewan, Cry, the Beloved Country, Field of Dreams, A Family Thing, Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Jones’ wide-ranging TV career includes two primetime Emmy Awards® (for “Gabriel’s Fire” and “Heat Wave”) and an additional six nominations. He starred in “Roots: The Next Generation” and has amassed a great number of guest appearances on series ranging from “The Defenders” and “Dr. Kildare” to, more recently, “Two and a Half Men” and “House.”
Jones made his Broadway debut in 1957 and had his first breakthrough in 1960 when Joseph Papp cast him in “Henry V,” marking the beginning of Jones’ long affiliation with the New York Shakespeare Festival. Among his many distinguished performances for the company were the title roles in “Othello,” “Macbeth” and “King Lear.”
Jones won Tony Awards® for the Broadway productions of “The Great White Hope” and “Fences” (also a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). He received a Tony nomination for “On Golden Pond” and won Drama Desk Awards for “Othello,” “Les Blancs,” “Hamlet,” “The Cherry Orchard” and “Fences.” He won Obie Awards for “Clandestine on the Morning Line,” “The Apple,” “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl” (also a Theatre World Award) and “Baal.”
Most recently, Jones starred in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Old Vic alongside Vanessa Redgrave, directed by Mark Rylance. In 2012 Jones and Angela Lansbury completed a six-month Australian tour of Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy.” The previous year, Jones and Vanessa Redgrave starred in “Driving Miss Daisy” in both the West End and on Broadway.
Additional theater credits include “Paul Robeson,” “The Iceman Cometh,” “Of Mice and Men” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor).
The actor’s memoir, reissued by Limelight Editions in 2004, is called Voices and Silences.