EXCLUSIVE: Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Vondie Curtis-Hall (Harriet), Lilli Cooper (Broadway’s Tootsie), Dominic Fumusa (13 Hours) and Matt Dallas (Kyle XY) have signed on to star alongside Steven Grayhm in the indie drama Sheepdog, which Grayhm is directing from his own script.
The film going into production later this month in western Massachusetts tells the story of a therapy-averse combat veteran (Grayhm) who is court ordered into treatment after his plan to unite an ex-con and his daughter shows him that he must put himself back together first.
Exec produced by Joe Newcomb (Dallas Buyers Club) of Truth Entertainment, Sheepdog is a co-production with Grayhm’s Team House Studios, which two years ago premiered its indie thriller The Secret of Sinchanee at the UK’s Raindance Film Festival. Joining Grayhm as producers are Lynn d’Angona and Ric Smith.
Grayhm’s Team House will look, during the course of the shoot, to empower and train military vets both in front of and behind the camera, under its Veteran Initiative. The production has also partnered with Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, a veteran service organization out of Boston.
As one of the original architects of the 22 Push Up Challenge, a global movement that brought awareness to the veteran suicide epidemic, Grayhm shares: “I have spent the last 12 years researching and developing the screenplay for Sheepdog: travelling the US, Canada, and UK, interviewing hundreds of military veterans of all generations and conflicts. This film aims to transcend the social stigma of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, with a focus on Post Traumatic Growth.”
The filmmaker adds that Sheepdog “is a story about ordinary people in the most extraordinary circumstances; how they cope, and how they overcome. It is also a story about recovery, redemption, and healing; themes that mirror our post-pandemic zeitgeist. It’s my generation’s The Deer Hunter.”
Newcomb adds that “Dallas Buyers Club was rejected by Hollywood 137 times over 20 years, before it landed on my desk, and we got it made. Sheepdog shares a similar journey. Steven’s script is one of the best I’ve read and has attracted an all-star cast that we’re thrilled about.”
Best known for her Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated performance in Alexander Payne’s Sideways, Madsen has more recently been seen in films including the Lionsgate horror-thriller Prey for the Devil, Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell with Elisabeth Moss, Yen Tan’s SXSW-premiering 1985 and David O. Russell’s Joy. Recent TV credits include Swamp Thing, Elementary and The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. Among her upcoming projects are the Lionsgate crime thriller One Day as a Lion, the Netflix special forces series Obliterated, and the horror feature Sarah led by Ginny & Georgia‘s Nikki Roumel.
Curtis-Hall is an Emmy nominee who can be seen in Netflix’s recently renewed series The Recruit. He’s previously appeared in series including For the People, Daredevil and ER, among many others, most recently appearing on the film side in titles like Raymond & Ray, Blue Bayou, The Night House and Harriet. He’ll next be seen in the Searchlight dramedy The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, as well as FX’s Justified: City Primeval.
Best known thus far for her work onstage, Cooper landed a Best Actress Tony nom for Broadway’s Tootsie, originated the Spring Awakening role of Martha Bessell, and has also been seen in productions of Tick, Tick… Boom! and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical among other notable shows. She’s also previously appeared in TV series including Dynasty, The Good Fight and Elementary, along with films like Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
Best known for starring opposite Edie Falco on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Fumusa has also been seen on Godfather of Harlem, Echo 3, The Equalizer, Divorce, Goliath, Homeland and other series. Notable film credits include Amazon Studios’ The Report, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours for Paramount, and Warner Bros’ Focus with Will Smith and Margot Robbie.
Notable credits for Dallas include the ABC series Eastwick and Kyle XY.
Grayhm is repped by The Characters Talent Agency; Madsen by Buchwald, Untitled Entertainment and Weintraub Tobin Chediak; Curtis-Hall by Gersh; Cooper by Artists & Representatives and Ivy Rock Management; Fumusa by Gersh and Industry Entertainment; and Dallas by Untitled and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.