Actor and filmmaker Pat Healy seems to pop up everywhere, but a corporate office ceiling is a new surprise — even for him. Hot off a bit reporter part in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” Healy lends his oddball comedic talents to “Man in Ceiling,” a short film that turns office mundanity into the loopy stuff of surreal comedy. Healy stars as a disgruntled office worker shirking his responsibilities by hiding in the ceiling above his desk.
It’s the kind of role Healy excels in; that ubiquitous face practically screams disheveled corporate renegade. A filmmaker in his own right, Healy recently brought his madcap sensibilities to “Take Me,” which he directed and starred in opposite Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”).
“Man in Ceiling” also stars Olivia Sandoval (“Fargo”) and comedian Matt Porter, who made his feature directing debut at the Austin Film Festival with “5 Doctors.” Porter plays Ryan, a flailing 20-something who takes a temp data entry job and discovers Healy’s character living in he rafters above his head.
Filmmaker Joshua Fu based the film on an experience hiding from his manager in the bathroom at his post-college temp job. “From that moment of cowardice, I was inspired to make this movie,” he said. “In my early 20s, I would’ve given anything to have a vision of my older self, to have some sense of clarity about whether corporate America was a place I could thrive.”
“Man in Ceiling” premiered at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, a showcase for first and second-time filmmakers in Vermont. It’s a confident and witty debut from Fu, who worked with professional actors for the first time. “It really meant a lot to me to be treated as a peer by [Healy] and the rest of the cast and crew, despite being a total newbie,” he said.
Check out our exclusive premiere of “Man in Ceiling” below.