Shooting has already begun in Dallas, Texas, on “The Playroom,” an independent drama about a dysfunctional family. Veteran Canadian actress Molly Parker and “Winter’s Bone” star John Hawkes — who also appeared together in “Deadwood” — will star as the parents of four children in the ’70s including their volatile teenage daughter (Olivia Harris) who “acts as a surrogate mother to the younger children, who have created a make-believe world in their attic hideaway while the parents act out a sordid story below.”
The film is written by Gretchen Dyer and directed by her sister Julie Dyer. The sisters’ first film, “Late Bloomers,” premiered at Sundance in 1996 to mostly positive reviews and focused on a lesbian relationship that rocks each woman’s family and the Bible Belt town in which they live.
This news comes on the tail of a very interesting year for Hawkes. He’s gained much attention as a rising star after his supporting role in Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone” and has two movies premiering this month at Sundance: “Higher Ground,” Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut, and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” the much-anticipated feature debut of T. Sean Durkin about the aftermath of a young woman fleeing from a cult. Hawkes has also shot a small part in the star-studded “Contagion,” one of two Steven Soderbergh films set to hit this year and is in the process of shooting a lead role in a television pilot for FX, “Outlaw Country.”
As for Parker, she continues to appear in a number of indie projects with higher profile work here and there, her most recent efforts including John Hillcoat‘s “The Road,” Bruce MacDonald‘s “Trigger” and the television series “Shattered.”
We like the talent involved and will be keeping an eye on this one. “The Playroom” is produced by Stephen Dyer and Angie Meyer of Ten96 and it seems a likely contender for Sundance 2012. – Catherine Scott