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synopsisIn THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS, Payton (Gaelan Connell) is a pathetic dork, a comic book geek whose high school career is one hopeless faux pas after another. Yet he’s a dreamer and madly in love with the head cheerleader Carrie (Riley Voelkel), who he is determined to win over. But she is wise to his desperate advances, so to get off his radar she creates a plan to push him into the arms of a dorkette at the school, Samantha (Vanessa Marano). In this high school equation: Peyton wants Carrie; Carrie wants Peyton to instead hook up with Samantha; Samantha wants Peyton. But even the simplest formula can equal disaster when a cheerleader tries to play matchmaker to a dork and a dorkette. After a chance encounter with Carrie’s football player boyfriend Clark (Beau Mirchoff), Payton is brought into their social circle and doesn’t really care about their motives; he’s just happy to be near Carrie. She tries to improve his social skills in order to ask Samantha out and her plan just might work, but this is Payton we’re talking about. With adult wisdom imparted by the likes of Payton’s dad (Jim Belushi), his teacher (Jennifer Tilly), and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who offers his own brand of "Ditka On…" self-help lessons, Payton’s life shifts into high gear from lonely misery to utter disaster
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director of animation
music supervisor
SALOMÉ BREZINER (Director) Salomé Breziner was born in Brussels, Belgium and grew up in Florida. She began her career as a script supervisor on movies and television shows when she was in her late teens. She wrote and directed several award winning short films before writing and directing her first feature film Tollbooth, starring Fairuza Balk, Will Patton, and Seymour Cassell at age 23. She has written numerous scripts and tv pilots/shows and has gone on to direct An Occasional Hell, starring Tom Berenger and Stephen Lang, Fast Sofa, starring Jennifer Tilly, Crispin Glover, Eric Roberts and Jake Busey.  After taking a 5 year directing break to concentrate on writing and raising her two sons, Salomé re-teamed with her longtime producer Steven J Wolfe to direct The Secret Life of Dorks starring Gaelan Connel, Jim Belushi, Beau Mirchoff, Vanessa Marano and Jennifer Tilly. She is also currently producing the feature documentary Butch Walker: Out of Focus, and The Ganzfeld Experiment starring Rumer Willis, Billy Zane, and Dominic Purcell and is currently in production directing the comedy Helicopter Mom starring Nia Vardalos, Jason Dolley, Skyler Samuels, Mark Boone Jr and Kate Flannery. 
production designer
DOMINIC IANNO (Producer) Recently named one of Variety's Top 40 Dealmakers, Dominic Ianno is the CEO and founder of Indomitable Entertainment, a film financing, branded entertainment, and media strategy/consulting firm. The company’s executive production credits include highly successful inspirational family film Soul Surfer (Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Anna Sophia Robb), The Whistleblower (Rachel Weisz and Monica Belluci), and the Broadway debut of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones). Current projects include the elevated action thriller Grizzly (James Marsden and Billy Bob Thornton), Two-A-Days (a broad family sports drama inspired by a true story featuring the Dallas Cowboys), and broad teen comedy The Secret Lives of Dorks. Other legacy films include Tenure, Spin, and I Hate Valentine's Day. Ianno sits on the board of digital entertainment companies Ology and Virurl and is the CEO of the public charity TrueSpark. His early career included roles as Head of Strategy for Outlaw Productions, where he worked alongside the late Bobby Newmeyer, and as Senior Vice President for Artisan Digital Media. Ianno is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Carnegie Mellon’s management program, and a member of the Producers Guild of America.  STEPHEN ISRAEL (Producer) Stephen is probably best known for exec‐producing the savagely funny Swimming with Sharks, starring Kevin Spacey. More recently Stephen produced I Do (David W. Ross, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt), which earned multiple awards on the festival circuit and opened in theaters nationally in summer 2013. G.B.F. (Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Evanna Lynch, Megan Mullally), a new high school comedy, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2013 and was recently acquired by Vertical Entertainment. Other production credits include: Boy Culture (Tribeca Film Festival premiere); Happiness Runs; Death & Texas (Charles Durning); and Open House, the Musical.  Stephen is currently in production with the comedy Helicopter Mom, starring Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  Stephen is an active member of the film festival community, having served as a board member at Slamdance and a producer for Outfest; and on juries from the SF Gay and Lesbian Film Festival to Festroia in Portugal.  Stephen is also a trained rocket scientist. Seriously. (He designed semiconductors for satellites.)   STEVEN J. WOLFE (Producer) Steven J. Wolfe is a seasoned film producer and president of Sneak Preview Entertainment, the Production and Talent Management company currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. He has produced a diverse range of films throughout his career including Fox Searchlight’s sleeper hit 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Searchlight’s, OUR FAMILY WEDDING with Forest Whitaker and America Ferrara, MISS MARCH for Fox Atomic; PHAT GIRLZ (also for Searchlight) with Mo’Nique; A DENNIS THE MENACE CHRISTMAS for Warner Premiere; Sony Classic’s, TWIN FALLS IDAHO, the debut feature of the Polish Brothers and the Sundance Film Festival hit, RELAX IT’S JUST SEX! with Jennifer Tilly, Lori Petty and Mitchell Anderson.  Along with, THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS, he just completed producing a screen adaptation of David E. Talbert's best-selling novel, BAGGAGE CLAIM, starring Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Adam Brody, Taye Diggs and Trey Songz, for Fox Searchlight Pictures. THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS marks Wolfe's third film with director Salomé Breziner and his sixth film with Academy Award® nominated actress Jennifer Tilly. Previously Wolfe and Breziner did the off-beat romance TOLLBOOTH, which world premiered at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival as well as FAST SOFA. with Jake Busey, Jennifer Tilly, Crispin Glover, Natasha Lyonne and Eric Roberts.  He also produced, BEAUTIFUL LOSER , the award winning CIVILIZAITON OF MAXWELL BRIGHT; HELLBENT;CIRCUIT; THE CLEAN & NARROW; BIRD OF PREY; ONLY YOU, starring Andrew McCarthy, Kelly Preston and Helen Hunt; David Beaird's SCORCHERS, starring Faye Dunaway, James Earl Jones, Emily Lloyd, Denholm Elliott, Jennifer Tilly and James Wilder; and MY MOM'S A WEREWOLF. Other producing credits include supervising producer on NIGHT CLUB and DEATH ROW GAME SHOW, Associate Producer on HUNK, Production Manager on TOMBOY and the critically acclaimed MY CHAUFFEUR during his seven year tenure at Crown International Pictures.  His vast production background includes diverse credits on such films as MISS LONELYHEARTS, CREATURE, CHATTERLY II, OCTAVIA, EXTERMINATOR II, THE LOST EMPIRE, WEEKEND PASS, MY TUTOR, THE PATRIOT, LIES, SPACE RAIDERS, as well as numerous short films and commercials. Wolfe is currently developing THREE FACES OF EVE with Lesley Ann Warren, written by Jack Plotnick, HICKEY, by Alex Grossman, H.Y.D.E., HOSTILE ELEMENT and MADAME PSYCHOSIS, as well as a sequel to RELAX IT’S JUST SEX! with the original cast of the Sundance Film Festival favorite. 
NICHOLAS DAVID BRANDT (Co-writer)  Nicholas David Brandt, a writer/director who lives in Los Angeles, originally hails from Tonawanda, NY. Hollywood Kills was Nicholas's produced screenwriting debut and additionally he acted as a co-producer on the project. He co-wrote and co-directed the teen thriller Bad Behavior with Lisa Hamil. He has directed episodes of award-winning web series Bathroomies and Love-Stupid. In addition to his film work, Nicholas acts as editor on the Image Comics series The Li'l Depressed Boy from S. Steven Struble and Sina Grace. He regularly contributes the backup feature Little LDB with art by Scott Arnold. Nicholas and Scott have a graphic novel collaboration of their own in the pipeline. Nicholas also co-wrote a children's book with Blake Leibel called Gold Medal Rabbit to be published in late 2013 and just finished his first science fiction novel.   JOHNNY SEVERIN (co-writer) Johnny Severin, a writer/director for the past 15 years in Los Angeles, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. He graduated from John Burroughs School in Saint Louis 1984 and Kenyon College in 1989. The Secret Lives of Dorks is partly based on Johnny’s experience as a dork at JBS. Johnny has written and directed numerous features, including Killing The Vision and Most recently he wrote and directed the successful Funny or Die web-series, Boys Are Stupid, Girls Are Mean, based on his published book, Men Are Stupid, Women Are Mean. Originally a teacher, Johnny is currently finishing up his Masters in Special Education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. 
ANDREA VON FOERSTER (Music Supervisor) Andrea has done music supervision for film, television and online projects for over ten years. Credits include music documentaries such as The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights and Butch Walker: Out Of Focus. Independent films such as (500) Days Of Summer, It’s Kind of A Funny Story, From Prada To Nada, Bellflower and Excision. And studio films such as Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Chronicleand Chasing Mavericks. Television work includes The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy, Dollhouse and Stargate Universe and numerous MTV shows such as Run’s House and Life Of Ryan. She is currently working on the independent films Can A Song Save Your Life?, There's Always Woodstock and A Girl And A Gun in addition to the studio film Devil's Due.
jeff cardoni (composer) JEFF CARDONI (Composer) With 2013 upon us, Jeff Cardoni continues to grow as a film and television composer to be heard. With over 30 feature film scores and several major network series to his credit, his music can be heard worldwide every day. His scores range from traditional orchestral to intimate and unique, drawing on new and unique sounds and textures.  Jeff originally studied classical piano, while playing percussion in school orchestra. But it would be rock and roll that would lead him to Los Angeles in 1997. After a brief stint as lead guitarist for the Warner Bros. band "Alien Crime Syndicate", Jeff left to pursue film scoring full time. He worked under several Hollywood composers including John Murphy (Snatch, 28 Days Later) and Christopher Tyng (Futurama, The O.C.) while studying conducting and orchestration at UCLA. He has received several Ascap film and television awards for his work on the worldwide hit CSI:Miami and was nominated for an Ariel award for his score to the 2005 feature “7 Dias”.  His body of work ranges from studio features films such as Just Friends for New Line, Open Season 3 for Sony, Firehouse Dog for Fox, Miss March,and the latest in the American Pie franchise, to television scores such as the CBS drama “The Defenders” with James Belushi, “Wilfred” starring Elijah Wood, “The League” on FX, and the worldwide Jerry Bruckheimer produced hit “CSI:Miami”. He has also worked extensively in independent film, including the Sundance hit “The Vicious Kind”, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and produced by Neil Labute and Oscar nominated director Roland Joffe’s “You and I”. Other highlights including creating a new live score for the 2011 Super Bowl on Fox, recorded with an 80 piece orchestra in the world famous Dvorak Concert Hall in Prague.  Jeff is also an active songwriter, penning the theme songs to MTV’s hit “Pimp My Ride”, MadTV on Fox, and FX’s “The League”, with songs appearing countless films, including "Hard Knock Life" with Mike Myers in Austin Powers: Goldmember, Harold & Kumar 2, Eurotrip. The Sweetest Thing with Cameron Diaz, A Walk To Remember, New York Minute, National Lampoon's Senior Trip and many others. He also produced several songs with Jon Lajoie for the upcoming soundtrack album to “The League”, and recent albums by indie pop artist Jules Larson, which have appeared recently on the soundtrack to “The Lucky One”.  Recent television scores include the Oscar-winning Davis Guggenheim directed documentary “Teach”, the new drama series “Full Circle” for Directv written by Neil Labute, and the upcoming “The Michael J Fox” show for NBC. Films slated for release later this fall include drama “A Perfect Man” starring Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) and Jean Tripplehorn (Basic Instinct),“TheSecret Lives Of Dorks”, produced by Steven J. Wolfe (500 Days Of Summer), and “Authors Anonymous” starring Kaley Cuocco, Teri Polo, Tricia Helfer, and the late Dennis Farina. 
JACOB CHASE (Editor) Jacob Chase has been working both in front of and behind the camera since the age of seven, originally starring in musical theater, film, and television. He earned his degree in film from Brooks Institute of Photography, where he received “The First Year Award,” “The Departmental Award” and “The Achievement Award” (The highest honors) for his directorial work. Chase’s first feature film The Four-Faced Liar premiered at the prestigious Slamdance Film Festival and went on to win the HBO Audience Award for “Best First Feature” at Outfest 2010. Jacob recently directed legendary playwright Neil LaBute’s (The Shape of Things, Fat Pig, Some Girls) short film, After-School Special starring Sarah Paulson and Wes Bentley. After-School Special has played at 40+ film festivals including Palm Springs International Shortfest and Hollyshorts where Chase won the “Future Filmmaker Award.” His long list of short films include: The Lifting (Winner, Best Short and Best Director, La Canada Film Festival), Detention (Winner, Best Dramatic Short Film, The DaVinci FIlm Festival - Official Selection, Rhode Island International Film Festival), Patient Zero(Official Selection, Newport Beach Film Festival), The Faithful, Hideaway, and Fantastic Feelings. DAVID HEINZ (Editor)For the past 10 years David Heinz has been working in post-production on both studio and independent pictures alike. Most recently he edited Scott Coffey's ADULT WORLD (which IFC is releasing later this year) and in 2012 he served as additional editor on McG's THIS MEANS WAR for Fox. In addition to comedies, David has worked as a VFX Editor on a number of notable action films including recent installments in the DIE HARD, X-MEN and PLANET OF THE APES franchises. THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS marks his first collaboration with Salome Breziner though hopefully not his last as she seems to laugh at most of his jokes and this makes him feel good about himself. 
MICHAEL FITZGERALD (Production Designer) Michael Fitzgerald is production designer who uses his visual heart and his theatrical background to make compelling stories come alive. Most recently Fitzgerald helped bring to screen Richard La Gravenese’s adaptation of the musical “The Last 5 Years” with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. “The Last 5 Years” is an intimate two character musical in which Michael used his skills to create sets that mirror and accentuate the ups and down of love and creativity in NYC over a five year period of time. Previously, Michael was the designer for a modern day Western, Swelter, which involved taking over an entire small town - complete with brothels, diners and exploding churches. Director Keith Parmer’s “Swelter” starred Jean Claude Van Damme, Lennie James, Alfred Molina and Catalina Sandino Moreno. In the past he created the magic realist town of Mariquita for “Without Men” with Evan Longoria and Christian Slater; Blayne Weaver’s romantic comedies “6 Month Rule” and “Weather Girl”, and Jordan Robert’s wacky and irreverent “1.2.3. Frankie Go Boom” with Ron Pearlman, Charlie Hunnam, Lizzy Caplan, and Chris O’Dowd. His other credits include "Jawbreaker" creator Darren Stein’s glossy most recent film: a queer “Mean Girls”, called “GBF”.  Fitzgerald's talents have also contributed to Deon Taylor’s somber true tale “Supremacy” with Danny Glover and Joe Anderson, and Life as King, the true and dark story written and directed by Jake Goldberg, with Cuba Gooding Jr. Most recently, Michael contributed his talents to Sarah Spillane’s “Around the Block”, which involved making Sydney, Australia a central character in both a street and theatrical version of Hamlet. This film stars Jack Thompson, Hunter Page-Lochard and Christina Ricci. Look out for its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this coming September 2013.
  BEN BJELAJAC (Director of Animation)  Ben Bjelajac is a freelance animator from Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Emerson College's film program and has animated, designed and produced content for both television and feature films, including shows for Comedy Central, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, FOX, and Disney.
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Gaelan Connell (Payton)Gaelan Connell (Payton) took a hiatus from his television series LEVEL UP (Cartoon Network) to star in THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS. As a 10-year-old, Connell appeared in Lasse Hallström’s CHOCOLAT, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Connell’s other credits include director John Waters’ A DIRTY SHAME, LAW AND ORDER and the lead character Will Burton in Summit Entertainment’s BANDSLAM. In 2008, Connell started his own film company, Optimal Entertainment Inc., for which he directed the independent feature “WORDBANKS” (formerly titled I AM BEN). His next directing project will be an independent action-mystery that begins filming March 2014 in Morocco and Hong Kong. Growing up in Maryland, Connell has worked steadily in theater in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, done voiceover work and is an accomplished cellist. Connell speaks French and his interests include motorcycling, chess, horseback riding, sailing and traveling.
vanessa marano (samantha)Vanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She began her professional career with several national commercials and modeling in magazines. Currently, Vanessa portrays Bay Kennish, the artistic and edgy daughter in the Television Critics Award winning show, switched at birth she also stars in lifetime’s upcoming film, “restless virgins,” based on the true story of a sex scandal renowned new england boarding school which airs march. Marano is most recognized for her roles as April, the daughter of Luke, in the highly popular “Gilmore Girls,” and as Francesca, the daughter of the Emmy® Award-winning Lisa Kudrow, in the HBO Original series “The Comeback.” Recently she starred in “Scoundrels” as the daughter of Virginia Madsen. She has had recurring roles in shows including “Dexter,” “Without a Trace,” "Medium,” “Trust Me” and “The Young and The Restless.” Guest-starring credits include "Grey's Anatomy", "Private Practice", “Parenthood,” “CSI”, “Medium,” “Love Bites,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Past Lives,” “Six Feet Under,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Grounded for Life.” Marano starred as a young girl who becomes a quadriplegic in the critically acclaimed TV movie “The Brooke Ellison Story,” directed by Christopher Reeve, and worked with Lucy Liu on a miniseries playing a troubled foster teenager in “Marry Me.” Her first film was the animated hit “Finding Nemo,” followed by the independent films “Easy,” “The Clique,” “Stopping Power,” “Dear Lemon Lima.” Marano speaks Italian and is enrolled in her sophomore year in college. She loves to travel and to write plays. She is proud to be an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which seeks a cure for spinal paralysis.
vanessa marano (samantha)Vanessa Marano started acting in the theater when she was seven years old, performing in numerous plays at A.C.T. in Agoura Hills, California. She began her professional career with several national commercials and modeling in magazines. Currently, Vanessa portrays Bay Kennish, the artistic and edgy daughter in the Television Critics Award winning show, switched at birth she also stars in lifetime’s upcoming film, “restless virgins,” based on the true story of a sex scandal renowned new england boarding school which airs march. Marano is most recognized for her roles as April, the daughter of Luke, in the highly popular “Gilmore Girls,” and as Francesca, the daughter of the Emmy® Award-winning Lisa Kudrow, in the HBO Original series “The Comeback.” Recently she starred in “Scoundrels” as the daughter of Virginia Madsen. She has had recurring roles in shows including “Dexter,” “Without a Trace,” "Medium,” “Trust Me” and “The Young and The Restless.” Guest-starring credits include "Grey's Anatomy", "Private Practice", “Parenthood,” “CSI”, “Medium,” “Love Bites,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Past Lives,” “Six Feet Under,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Grounded for Life.” Marano starred as a young girl who becomes a quadriplegic in the critically acclaimed TV movie “The Brooke Ellison Story,” directed by Christopher Reeve, and worked with Lucy Liu on a miniseries playing a troubled foster teenager in “Marry Me.” Her first film was the animated hit “Finding Nemo,” followed by the independent films “Easy,” “The Clique,” “Stopping Power,” “Dear Lemon Lima.” Marano speaks Italian and is enrolled in her sophomore year in college. She loves to travel and to write plays. She is proud to be an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which seeks a cure for spinal paralysis.
RILEY VOELKEL (Carrie)RILEY VOELKEL (“Carrie”) Riley Voelkel was born in Calary, Canada, and grew up in Sacramento California. Riley was heavily involved in athletics and schoolwork. After being discovered at a modeling audition, she moved to Los Angeles where she branched out into the acting world. With her natural talent for the arts, it didn’t take long before she was doing commercials and acting full time. Her big break came when she landed the role of a club girl in the Oscar award winning film The Social Network. Shortly after that, she booked a lead role in the upcoming independent film The Secret Lives of Dorks, co starring Jim Belushi. Riley is currently working on the HBO series The Newsroom, playing Jenna Johnson. Originally the role was written for just the pilot, but she was later called back for the first season finale and the second season. Riley couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity and will continue to be a role model for family, friends, and fans.
BEAU MIRCHOFF (Clark)Viewers can currently see Beau Mirchoff in the People’s Choice Award-winning scripted series “Awkward” on MTV. The series tells the story of outcast teen Jenna and the problems she encounters in high school after a major misunderstanding leaves her with an unwanted stigma. Mirchoff plays “Matty McKibben,” the most popular guy in school, conflicted by a secret love affair with the show’s protagonist. The show has become a critical darling, with the New York Times calling it “the smartest, freshest, most moving new sitcom of 2011” in an article that also named Beau’s character as “the most interesting in the show.” Beau also recently won the 2012 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Breakout Star and was named one of the “100 Cutest Guys” by Us Weekly magazine and one of the “Sexiest Men Alive” by People Magazine. Before his role on “Awkward,” Mirchoff turned heads during season six of the hit ABC series “Desperate Housewives” as “Danny Bolen,” son of Drea de Matteo’s character and boyfriend to Eva Longoria’s wayward niece Ana. Born in Seattle, Washington and raised on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, Mirchoff began acting at age 16 when he auditioned for a role in the film Scary Movie 4, which happened to be filming in his hometown. After a stint on Canadian series “Heartland,” and a role in the film ˆThe Grudge 3,” Mirchoff decided to pursue acting full-time and made the move to Los Angeles. Mirchoff’s other film work includes roles in I Am Number Four alongside Alex Pettyfer and the upcoming independent films The Secret Lives of Dorks, Poker Night and Grass Stains. When not working, Mirchoff likes to stay active through outdoor activities such as football, lacrosse, competitive running, SCUBA diving and going on hikes with his Labradoodle named Cali.
JIM BELUSHI (Bronko)The first thing you need to know about Jim Belushi is that he’s a performer. Not an actor, not a comedian, not a singer, but a performer. Which is pretty much all those things put together and multiplied by two or five or something. The second thing you need to know—and this is, in some way, more important than the first thing—is that he has absolutely no shame. None. Zip. Zero. Jim has been a favorite of film, television and stage audiences for more than 30 years, one of the great leading character actors equally at home in drama and comedy, and a gifted performer who can also hold a room as front man of a rhythm and blues band. A proud Chicagoan, Belushi graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Speech, Education and Theatre before moving on to become a resident member of Chicago's famed Second City from 1976-1980. In 1979 he left for Hollywood, where writer-producer Garry Marshall cast him in the Paramount Television series "Who's Watching the Kids" and later in "Working Stiffs" with Michael Keaton. In 2010, Belushi starred in CBS’s one-hour drama “The Defenders,” playing a colorful defense attorney in Las Vegas who would do anything to win for his clients. Following “The Defenders” in 2011, he made his way to Broadway and earned rave reviews as the star of Garson Kanin’s “Born Yesterday.” This revival, directed by Tony Award-winning director Doug Hughes, was first staged in 1946 and was later made into a film starring Judy Holliday, William Holden and Broderick Crawford. Belushi is no freshman to television. In 1983 he wrote and appeared in Saturday Night Live for two seasons. Among his other television credits as an actor are the Oliver Stone/ABC miniseries "Wild Palms," the movie "Sahara" for Showtime and the critically acclaimed series "Beggars and Choosers." Belushi starred on the ABC hit comedy "According to Jim,” in which he played the husband in a marriage that actually works and the father of five young children. He also served as executive producer, music composer and director. After wrapping 182 episodes for its eighth and final season, the family favorite series also hit a milestone when it launched into off-net syndication in 2007. Belushi’s first film was Michael Mann’s “Thief” in which he played James Caan’s partner in crime, but it was his work in Edward Zwick's "About Last Night" with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore that brought Belushi his first serious attention as a film star. In the 1986 feature, he reprised the role that he had played on stage in David Mamet's Obie Award-winning "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," from which the film was adapted. His feature credits since then show an extraordinary range: He was James Woods' spacey DJ buddy, Dr. Rock, in Oliver Stone's "Salvador;" the mentally handicapped dishwasher befriended by Whoopi Goldberg in the Andrei Konchalovsky film, "Homer and Eddie;" and the defiant high school principal standing up to drug dealers in "The Principal." Most recently, Belushi traveled to Berlin to shoot the part of a hard-talking publisher in Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost.” In 2000, Belushi co-starred in MGM's "Return to Me," directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver, and he received rave reviews for his work with Gregory Hines in Showtime's "Who Killed Atlanta's Children?" Other starring roles include "Joe Somebody," the "K-9" franchise for Universal Studios, "Red Heat” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Hughes’ "Curly Sue," "Taking Care of Business," "Once Upon a Crime," "Mr. Destiny," "Only the Lonely," "The Man with One Red Shoe," "Real Men," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Jingle All the Way," "Retroactive" and "Gang Related" with Tupac Shakur. Belushi was recently cast in the Disney live-action feature film version of the cartoon “Underdog.” Additionally, he voices the Squirrel in the animated feature “The Wild” and the Woodsman in the animated feature “Hoodwinked.” He has leant his voice to hundreds of animated television shows from “The Mighty Ducks” to “The Tick” and “AAAHH! Real Monsters;” “Scooby Doo” to “Superman.” You will also see him in the upcoming independent features “The Secret Lives of Dorks” and “Cougars, Inc.” Belushi has also stayed close to his stage background, starring on Broadway in Herb Gardner's acclaimed "Conversations with My Father" at the Royal Theatre and for Joseph Papp as the Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance." He starred off-Broadway in "True West" at the Cherry Lane Theatre, in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of John Guare's "Moon Over Miami,” and in Richard Nelson’s “Baal” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Besides acting, Belushi loves music. His band, The Sacred Hearts, is the Official House Band for the House of Blues chain. They are a rhythm and blues band that have been together for 14 years, performing 40 nights a year at clubs, casinos and corporate events all over the country. With his harmonica in hand, Belushi and the band have entertained President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Senators and other politicians. “Big Men Big Music” is a project that Belushi started with his friend, Dan Aykroyd after spending ten years together performing as The Blues Brothers. In September 2005, they opened for The Rolling Stones at Soldier Field in Chicago and performed at the SARS benefit in Toronto for over 400,000 people, which the Rolling Stones also headlined. Their CD entitled “Have Love, Will Travel” was number one on the blues chart. Belushi currently has four CDs out: "Blues Brothers Live from Chicago," The Sacred Hearts' "36 x 22 x 36," the Big Men Big Music CD, "Have Love Will Travel," and the recently-released “According to Jim” soundtrack. Belushi has also added authorship to his repertoire as he released his first book in May of 2006 entitled “Real Men Don’t Apologize.” Jim explains how to do just about everything- from picking up women and choosing your friends to sticking up for yourself and how NOT to apologize. Most recently, Belushi has teamed up with his son, Robert, and four other Second City alumni to create “Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy.” The group brings an improvised comedy sketch show to stages at colleges, comedy clubs and casinos nationwide. In conjunction with The Chicago Board of Comedy, Jim has also recently opened The Comedy Bar, a stand-up club in his hometown of Chicago in River North. A dedicated husband and father, Belushi has little time outside career and family. In his spare time he participates with many charities in the community and beyond.
JENNIFER TILLY (Ms. Stewart)Jennifer Tilly received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” for her memorable portrayal of the terribly untalented Olive, actress wannabe, and gangster’s moll. Her performance in “Liar Liar” as Jim Carrey’s gold digging client earned her an American Comedy Award nomination, as well as a Blockbuster award nomination as Favorite Supporting Actress. But she is perhaps best known from the indie noir film “Bound”, which has earned her a cult following. “Bound,” directed by the Wachowski’s follows two lesbian con artists trying to rip off the mob ,and garnered many accolades including a GLAAD media award, and a Saturn award nomination (Best Actress) for Tilly. Other film credits include “the Getaway,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Let It Ride,” “The Cat’s Meow,” “Intervention,”(Winner-Best Actress-San Diego Film Festival) “Dancing at the Blue Iguana,” “Made in America,” “Bride of Chucky,” (Saturn Award nominee-Best Actress) “Seed of Chucky,” “The Crew,” “The Wrong Guy,” “Inconceivable,” (Winner-Best Actress-WIFT) “An American Girl,” “Edie and Penn,” “Hide and Seek,” “Saint Ralph,” “The Doors,” ”Relative Evil” (Winner-Best Actress-DVD Exclusive Awards) “Second Best,” “Tidelands,” and many more. She recently guested on “Modern Family,” “Drop Dead Diva,” and “CSI.” Other notable appearances include “Moonlighting,” “Cheers,” and “Frasier.” She had recurring roles on “Hill Street Blues,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s show (Ace award nomination-Best Actress) and “Out of Practice” (CBS). She was a series regular on “Key West”(Fox) and “Shaping Up.” (NBC) She starred in the miniseries “Bella Mafia,” with Vanessa Redgrave (CBS) and “Sister Mary Explains It All,” with Diane Keaton, for Showtime. She also appeared in a remake of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” with Madeleine Stowe. (A&E) For her performance in the Showtime movie “Heads” she received a Gemini Award nomination. (Best Actress). Tilly is also in great demand as a voice over actor. For the last eleven years she has delighted audiences as the perpetually pregnant Bonnie on “Family Guy.” She played the snaky haired Celia in Pixel’s classic movie “Monster’s Inc.,” Grace, the new age cow in Disney’s “Home on the Range,” a con mouse in “Stuart Little,” and Madame Leota in “The Haunted Mansion.” Upcoming cartoon series include lead roles in “Coffin Dodgers”(Adult Swim) and Matt Maiellaro’s “Spring Break”(Fox). Equally at home on stage as well as film, she has many theatre credits under her belt including "Tartuffe," (LA Public Theatre) "Boy's Life" (LAAT) and "Baby With The Bathwater," (LAPT) and “Vanities,” (Dramalogue Award-Best Actress) She received a “TheatreWorld Award” (Best Newcomer) for her performance in Second Stage's "One Shoe Off" at the Joseph Papp Theatre. In 2001 she starred in the Roundabout’s revival of "The Women" with Cynthia Nixon, and Kristen Johnson at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway. In 2012, she returned to the Roundabout to star in another revival ; “Don’t Dress for Dinner, which garnered her a nomination as “Favorite Funny Performance” in the Audience Choice Awards. She is also a regular performer in the smash hit comedy revue, “Celebrity Autobiography.” Recently she appeared with Miranda Richardson in the critically acclaimed production of Wallace Shawn's new play "Grasses of a Thousand Colors" at the Royal Court Theatre in London. This fall (2013) the play will have its first American premiere at the Joseph Papp theatre. The play will be directed again by the legendary Andre Gregory, and will also star Wallace Shawn, and Julie Hagerty. Besides DORKS, another upcoming film is “Amelia’s 25th” with Danny Trejo. These days Jennifer is dividing her career between acting and poker. In 2005 she astounded the Poker world when she bested a field of over 600 women to win the coveted gold bracelet at The World Series of Poker. She followed that up by capturing a WPT title, winning Ladies Night 3. Since then her career winnings have totaled over eight hundred thousand dollars. She has had deep finishes in numerous tournaments, including a first place win in three open events; the 1k NLHE at the Fifth Annual Five Diamond Poker Tournament, the Paul Hannum 1k Charity Event, and the WPT 5k Bellagio Cup VI. She has appeared on many poker television shows, included Poker Superstars, Party Poker Women’s World Open, Poker After Dark, The PokerStars Big Game, NBC Heads Up tournament, Poker Royale, The Party Poker Big Game, The Poker Lounge, Live at The Bike, The Full Tilt Poker Million, The Party Poker World Open, Poker Nations Cup, and the 25k Invitational High Roller Bounty Shootout. Most recently she made the final table at the prestigious PartyPoker Premier League VI. Readers of Bluff magazine know her for her monthly poker column that she had been writing for almost seven years. Her longtime boyfriend Phil Laak is also a professional poker player. His poker nickname “The Unabomber,” garnered Jennifer the soubriquet of “The Unabombshell.”
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