GA Voice - - 2015 At­lanta Pride Event Guide -

The most star-stud­ded en­try in this year’s Out On Film fes­ti­val lineup is with­out a doubt “Free­held,” a drama based on the true story of Lau­rel Hester, a vet­eran New Jersey po­lice of­fi­cer at the cen­ter of a well-pub­li­cized fight with her county gov­ern­ment to get her pen­sion ben­e­fits trans­ferred to her part­ner af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal can­cer.

Ju­lianne Moore, who fi­nally took home an Os­car last year for “Still Alice,” stars as Hester, while out ac­tress Ellen Page plays her younger part­ner, Sta­cie An­dree. Both are re­ceiv­ing Os­car buzz for their roles, es­pe­cially Page, who the Hol­ly­wood Re­porter re­cently noted was a “ma­jor threat” for a Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress nom­i­na­tion.

For Os­car-nom­i­nated ac­tor Michael Shan­non (“Revo­lu­tion­ary Road”), it was one per-


son’s in­volve­ment in the pro­duc­tion in par­tic­u­lar that sold him on join­ing the cast as Dane Wells, Hester’s sup­port­ive po­lice part­ner.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Julie’s [ Ju­lianne Moore] for a long time. And boy would it be silly not to want to work with her,” Shan­non tells Ge­or­gia Voice. “She’s one of the best ones out there.”

Per­sonal rea­sons also played into Shan­non’s ea­ger­ness to take the part.

“My el­dest sis­ter is gay and she’s mar­ried and adopted a cou­ple of kids and they have a won­der­ful fam­ily,” he says. “I got some­thing out of be­ing able to honor her in some way. It’s not of­ten that you get to work on some­thing that can have some rel­e­vance for your fam­ily.”

And while “Free­held” is def­i­nitely a drama, con­sid­er­ing the heavy sub­ject mat­ter, there are also solid bits of hu­mor, usu­ally


Ju­lianne Moore (l) and out ac­tress Ellen Page (r) fight both can­cer and their county gov­ern­ment in the drama ‘Free­held,’ play­ing at Out On Film on Oct. 4. (Photo by Phil Caruso) cour­tesy of Steve Carell, who plays Steven Gold­stein, the founder and then-chair of Gar­den State Equal­ity. Most of the hu­mor lies in the in­ter­ac­tions be­tween Carell’s char­ac­ter and Shan­non’s gruff, straight cop.

“I was so ex­cited to work with Steve. I re­mem­ber when I saw ‘An­chor­man’ for the first time and he was one of the fun­ni­est peo­ple I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” Shan­non says, but adds, “I think he took the part pretty se­ri­ously. I don’t think it’s hu­mor just for hu­mor’s sake. It’s the awk­ward­ness of their re­la­tion­ship. They both cared about Lau­rel and Sta­cie but were two dif­fer­ent peo­ple.”

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