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Exclusive: Matthias Schoenaerts Joins ‘Animal Rescue’ With Tom Hardy & Noomi Rapace

Exclusive: Matthias Schoenaerts Joins 'Animal Rescue' With Tom Hardy & Noomi Rapace

While he stars in the Oscar-nominated short film “Death Of A Shadow,” Matthias Schoenaerts got to celebrate early last night, as he took home the César Award for Best Newcomer for his fantastic performance in Jacques Audiard‘s “Rust And Bone.” No doubt, the actor will have his fingers crossed for up-and-coming filmmaker Tom Van Avermaet on Sunday night where ‘Death’ will be hoping to take home a statue. But once the festivities are over, it will be back to work, and first up will be a reunion with his “Bullhead” director who first helped him break out on the international scene.

We chatted with Schoenaerts yesterday afternoon, just before the Césars, and he shared with us what his plans for the New Year will be. “I’ll be shooting in New York with Michael Roskam, we’re shooting his first American feature film,” Schoenaerts said. “I have a supporting role in that, and I really look forward to it.” The movie in question is “Animal Rescue,” which locked up Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace in the lead roles last month, with the Fox Searchlight production gearing up for a spring shoot.

Based on a short story by Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone“), the story follows a lonely New York bartender, caught in the midst of a bad heist and a killing, who rescues a puppy from a garbage can and becomes the target of the dog’s abusive and mentally unstable former owner. Rapace will play Nadia, who has a scar across her neck, who crosses paths with the bartender. There’s no word just yet on Schoenaerts’ part, but with the actor already making an impression on arthouse screens, this will undoubtedly bring his immense skills to a more mainstream crowd.

It’s an exciting development, and it’s not the only project he has on his slate with Roskam. Late last year, it was reported that the duo would also be reteaming on “The Faithful,” a Brussels-set film noir, but that’s not expected to lens until 2014 as the script is still being written. So in short: Hardy + Rapace + Schoenaerts…which is reason enough to be excited for “Animal Rescue.”

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