The Understudy (2008)

The Understudy 2008tt1014808.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Understudy (2008)
  • Rate: 4.4/10 total 45 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama
  • Filming Location: New York, USA
  • Stars: Marin Ireland, Paul Sparks and Aasif Mandvi
  • Original Music By: Carl Davis   

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • David Conolly  writer
  • Hannah Davis  writer

Known Trivia

    Plot: A perennial understudy takes matters into her own hands to achieve fame at any price.  »

    Story: A perennial understudy takes matters into her own hands to achieve fame at any price.


    Synopsis: REBECCA (Marin Ireland) is a terminally unemployed actress rooming with an equally unsuccessful screenwriter, SARFRAS (Aasif Mandvi). Much to the derision of her WASP family, comprising of senators (Amy Redford), judges (Peter McRobbie) and lawyers (Kerri Bishe), Rebecca ekes out a living by caring for a blind diabetic woman whilst careering from one disastrous relationship to the next.

    When invited to understudy the movie star, SIMONE, star of the "Drive By" trilogy, HARWIN (Kelli Giddish), in Electra, Rebeccas unfulfillment is compounded. Despite outshining the "Queen of action movies" with her talent, Rebecca finds herself bullied or ignored by the cast and crew, including IAN, the neurotic director (Richard Kind) and the duplicitous stage manager (Marcia Debonis). Her salvation appears to be in a relationship with the seemingly perfect NY Firefighter, BOBBY (Paul Sparks).

    A bout of flu for one actress leads to a life changing opportunity for another. Rebecca is thrust into the lead role on the first preview, winning the hearts of her colleagues, the audience, the critics and her formerly disapproving family.

    Success breeds success. Sarfras sells his script to a Hollywood studio with Rebecca attached to play the lead. A star is born. It all hinges on a triumphant performance of Rebecca as Electra. Opening night and the world is watching as… Simone miraculously recovers to reprise the role. Rebecca is distraught and evades the cast party hiding in the balcony, only to be discovered by the patronizing star. An argument leads to a tussle and Simone tumbling into the orchestra seats and into a coma. Rebecca, not knowing where to turn, finds herself thrust back into the title role at the price of sleepless nights and living with her fire fighter boyfriend who is becoming increasingly possessive and possibly psychotic. Rebecca struggles to hold onto her sanity as the spotlight is cruelly taken away from her once more and she finds herself replaced by the petulant pop diva, GRETA (Gloria Reuben). The maligned understudy is humiliated once too often. On finding that the arrogant celebrity suffers from a nut allergy, Rebecca decides to create an anaphylactic gateau which kills the unfortunate "Princess of Soul" during intermission.

    Two lose one star is unfortunate, to lose two brings the attention of the police to the doomed production, in the form of sardonic DETECTIVE JONES (Tom Wopat) and the ambitious CHIEF KINSKY (Reiko Aylesworth). Can Rebecca hold onto the leading role and her freedom?

    {tab=FullCast & Crew}

    Produced By:

    • Nicky Arezu Akmal known as associate producer
    • Jean Boht known as executive producer
    • Brian David Cange known as co-producer
    • David Conolly known as producer
    • Carl Davis known as executive producer
    • Hannah Davis known as producer
    • Ben Feldman known as associate producer
    • Cerise Hallam Larkin known as executive producer
    • Fredrick Helm known as co-producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Marin Ireland known as Rebecca
    • Paul Sparks known as Bobby
    • Aasif Mandvi known as Sarfras
    • Richard Kind known as Ian
    • Tom Wopat known as Detective Jones
    • Gloria Reuben known as Greta
    • Reiko Aylesworth known as Kinsky
    • Nicky Arezu Akmal known as Autograpth Hunter #1
    • Ashley Adler known as Waitress
    • Emanuele Ancorini known as Jesus
    • Stephen Anoroso known as Producer 1
    • Pun Bandhu known as Producer 2
    • Kerry Bishé known as April
    • Jean Boht known as Mrs. Davidovitz
    • Louise Brown known as Nurse's Colleague
    • Matt Brown known as Poseidon
    • Scott Cohen known as Jonny – Greta's dealer
    • David Conolly known as Hollywood Producer
    • Carl Davis known as Mr. Davidovitz
    • Hannah Davis known as Casting Assistant
    • Marcia DeBonis known as Alison
    • Kelli Giddish known as Simone
    • Carole Healey known as Pru
    • Fredrick Helm known as Janitor
    • Charlie Hewson known as Douglas
    • Calista Hill known as BBQ Kid
    • Gabriella Hill known as BBQ Kid
    • Madeline Hill known as BBQ Kid
    • Dee Hoty known as Diane Kinsman
    • Birgit Huppuch known as Nurse's Colleague
    • Sakina Jaffrey known as Nurse
    • Timothy Karcher known as Chris
    • Barbara Lindorme known as Celebrity
    • Jennifer Loryn known as Aphrodite – Greek Chorus
    • Adam Ludwig known as Hermes – Greek Chorus
    • Frank Lukacs known as Background
    • Melanie Angelina Maras known as Simone's Agent
    • Adrian Martinez known as Guard
    • Justin Maruri known as Cronos – Greek Chorus
    • Emily Cass McDonnell known as Jackie
    • Peter McRobbie known as Edward
    • David Melville known as Oscar
    • Daya Mendez known as Gaia – Greek Chorus
    • Billy Merritt known as Dennis
    • Torri Newman known as Persephone – Greek Chorus
    • Neko Parham known as Detective Smith
    • Amy Redford known as Helen
    • Amanda Ronconi known as Customer
    • John Rothman
    • Johnny Sanchez known as Bill
    • Brooklyn Scalzo known as Medusa – Greek Chorus
    • Mike Silverman known as Producer 3
    • James P. Stephens known as Atlas – Greek Chorus
    • Myra Lucretia Taylor known as Lara
    • Sarah Yahr Tucker known as Athena – Greek Chorus
    • Judy Unger known as Georgia
    • J.T. Waite known as Thaddeus Battersby
    • Charlotte Walker McClimens known as Young Dresser
    • Max Woertendyke known as Delivery Boy
    • Michael Ciesla known as Autograph Hunter (uncredited)
    • Flavia Masson known as Autograph Hunter #2 (uncredited)

    ..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

    • Rebecca Hickey known as assistant hair stylist
    • Rebecca Hickey known as assistant makeup artist
    • Cassi Hurd known as makeup intern
    • Linda Kaufman known as key hair stylist
    • Linda Kaufman known as key makeup artist
    • Linda Kaufman known as special makeup effects artist
    • Joanna Simkin known as assistant makeup artist
    • Susie Sobol known as assistant makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • Michele Catalano known as scenic artist
    • Thorstein Foss known as assistant art director
    • Trinidy McMahon known as property master
    • Jonathan Kells Phillips known as assistant art director


    Production Companies:

    • Mansion Pictures
    • Safehouse Pictures (in association with)
    • Understudy, The
    • Untold Pictures

    Other Companies:

    • Hollywood-DI  HD screening services
    • Ovasen Post Production  post-production services and facilities
    • Ovasen  post-production services and facilities
    • Wave Machine  post-production services


    • Camelot Entertainment Group (2008) (worldwide) (all media)
    • Indican Pictures (2011) (worldwide) (all media)

    ..{tab=Other Stuff}Visual Effects by:

    • Brandie Knox-Kirkman known as graphic designer

    Release Date:

    • France 25 June 2008 (Avignon Film Festival)
    • UK 19 September 2008 (Cambridge Film Festival)
    • Brazil October 2008 (Mostra BR de São Paulo)
    • USA 18 October 2008 (Film Columbia)
    • Bahamas 7 December 2008 (Bahamas International Film Festival)
    • USA 25 October 2009 (Gotham Screen Film Festival)
    • USA 16 March 2012 (limited)


    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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