•• Finding a person who powerfully fuels your creativity and passion can be a thought-provoking and intriguing challenge. That desire to find someone who undoubtedly accepts who you are is relatably presented through the life of the title character in writer-director Howard Goldberg’s new independent comedy-drama, ‘Four Squared.’ The film not only chronicles Jake’s determination to find a meaningful relationship and the purpose in his life, as portrayed by lead star Elias Koteas; it also also highlights supporting actress Virginia Madsen’s gripping working relationships with the actor and filmmaker, both of whom she has long-standing personal connections with off-screen.
‘Jake Squared’ follows the title character (Koteas), a 50-year-old film director who decides to evaluate his past troubled relationships with women. He embarks on his journey into his past mistakes by shooting an autobiographical film in his own home, and casts a handsome actor (Mike Vogel) to play a younger version of himself. But Jake’s plan spirals out of control when he discovers unexpected guests are surprisingly showing up to the party, including his dead father, a younger version of his mother, his kids and his ex-wife. The party’s attendees also somehow include Jake’s 17-year-old self (Kevin Railsback), as well as his 30- and 40-year-old incarnations (both also played by Koteas).
In the process, Jake is also looking to settle down, and tries to find the woman who he perceives to be the one. He explores past relationships, including a distant cousin, Joanne (played Liana Liberato as a teenager, and Jane Seymour as an adult); a girlfriend in Chicago, Sheryl (Jennifer Jason Leigh); and his smitten best friend, Beth (Virginia Madsen). Jake also struggles to find a reasonable explanation of what he perceives to either be a mystical experience, a nervous breakdown or both.
Virginia Madsen generously took the time to talk about portraying Beth in ‘Jake Squared’ over the phone. Among other things, the actress discussed how her long-standing personal relationships with Goldberg and Koteas, who she has co-starred with in several previous films, convinced her to take on the role of Beth; how it’s a challenge to film a movie on a shorter shooting schedule, but how independent movies offer the cast and crew opportunities to be more creative; and how she’s drawn to films that are about complicated relationships, as it’s more interesting as an actor to showcase tension between people, as opposed to uninspired connections. Continue Reading
•• The film is about a young man who reads on Facebook that his best friend from high school is dead and he reluctantly comes home to New Mexico to confront his troublesome parents, his heartbroken first girlfriend and a ton of regrets.
“This film is about your first dead friend. It’s about grief and laughter, and celebrating life, about growing up; whatever that means,” says Matthew McDuffie, writer and director of the film.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, production will take place in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County mid-July through the beginning of August.
Nick Maniatis, film office director, said the project has a strong New Mexico connection. “We are always excited to announce projects that involve local talent,” Maniatis said. “In this case, both the writer and producer make Albuquerque their home. Nothing is better than when we have New Mexicans creating jobs for New Mexicans.”
The production will also employ at least 30 New Mexico crew members and three New Mexico actors.
Ann Lerner, film liaison for the city of Albuquerque, said having a project written and produced by New Mexico residents is what New Mexico film is all about. “This project represents the independent spirit of Albuquerque filmmaking,” Lerner said. “Matt is a great writer and brings his talents to many students.”
The drama also stars Cody Horn, Landon Liboiron, Sasha Peiterse, Meghann Fahy, Eli Varga and Virginia Madsen. Madsen was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 and was seen recently in “Witches of East End.” She also starred in the short-lived TV series “Scoundrels,” which was filmed in New Mexico.
Liboiron has been seen in TV shows such as “Hemlock Grove,” “Terra Nova,” “Life Unexpected” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Peiterse stars as Alison in ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” Horn was last seen in “Magic Mike” and Fahy stars in “One Life to Live.”