Irish director Gerard Barrett has secured some of Hollywood’s top stars to appear in his new film. The Kerryman will spend the summer shooting his next film, Brain on Fire, in New York with Charlize Theron and Dakota Fanning.
Barrett has had a successful year after getting universal praise for his film Glassland, which starred Jack Reynor and Toni Colette. However, his next film will be a major step up.
“We’re in pre-production now, and the plan is to shoot early in the summer. Dakota Fanning, Charlize Theron, Will Poulter and a few more people as well who haven’t been announced yet will be starring in it,” he told the Herald.
“We’re filming it in New York. It’s based on a New York Times bestseller about a girl who gets this mystery illness and they can’t diagnose it.
“It’s a true story, it’s a memoir. It’s sold millions of copies. It’s crazy over there, so it’s a really performance driven, human-in-crisis piece that I like and it suits me perfectly. I’m terribly looking forward to it”
DakotaFanning (21) will play the lead role of Susannah Cahalan. She first appeared on the big screen when she was only seven and has gone on to star in the Twilight saga, Charlotte’s Web and Effie Gray.
It’s not yet known what role Oscar-winner Theron – who’s known for her roles in Monster and Snow White and the Huntsman – will take on in the psychological thriller.
The film has a big budget, but Barrett (26) says that doesn’t matter to him.
“We made Glassland on I think about €250,000 but the one in America is millions. It’s double digit-millions stuff, which is fine, but it still comes down to the same thing – you do the same job, you get great performances and tell a story and hopefully people like it,” he said.
With Hollywood heavyweights starring in his next project, Barrett is going to see his profile soar, but he says he isn’t focused on fame.
“There’s no map and I don’t want to be put on any map – I’m going to do my own thing and if people like it they like it and if they don’t they don’t,” he said.
“And you know, I write my own projects as well. If someone sends me a book and if I like it, I’ll consider it – that’s what happened with Brain on Fire. But after that film is done the next few projects I’m working on are very much my own ones that I created myself.
“We’ll see what happens. It’s good fun and, sure, if it all goes I’ll just go home to Kerry and do farming, so it’s grand.”
Barrett is still on the promotional tour for Glassland, which tells the story of a young taxi driver called John who, in an effort to save his mother from addiction, is forced to take a job that drives him further into the crime underworld.
Jack Reynor (23), who plays John in the film, has become a huge star in his own right thanks to roles in Transformers 4 and the new Jungle Book remake.
However, Barrett said there’s a misconception about the young actor, adding that much of Reynor ’s success is down to his mother, Tara O’Grady.
“Jack has got everything he has from hard work and from his mother putting her-self out there for him to go to a really good school in Dublin,” he said.
“What I think was fantastic about this film, and why Jack won his Best Acting Award at Sundance – and Special Jury Prize and all that stuff – was because he tapped into something, and that’s special when you’re watching it.”
The UK premiere of Glassland will take place tonight at the The Picturehouse Ritzy in Brixton.