By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist April 12, 2011 at 1:06AM
The following is a missive from The Department Of Obvious Casting -- a branch of the Department of Labor.
Hi! This is Ken Andrews, I'm a mid-level bureaucrat at the Department of Obvious Casting. If a movie was to be made about my life, Stephen Root would probably play me. Now, you might be asking at this point, "I've never heard of the Department of Obvious Casting." Good question! Was that a question? I'm so tired. Well, in a nutshell, we're responsible for making sure that actors who might be passed over for certain roles, for fear that it's seen as a 'safe' move, get a fair shot at finding work.
Every time Andre Braugher or Delroy Lindo play a police chief? That's our efforts, and your tax dollars, at work. You say you could have predicted Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard's participation in Swedish thriller "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" a mile away? That's because the system is working. We even have a small sub-department dedicated entirely to making sure that Judy Greer and Krysten Ritter are the only actresses who'll ever play quirky best-friends in romantic comedies, while before my recent nervous breakdown, I myself won 'Employee of the Month' for the recent string of villainous roles for Mark Strong. Now, we're pleased to announce our latest success, involving one of our pet projects.
Having successfully cast Jesse Eisenberg as a neurotic teenager in "Roger Dodger," a neurotic apocalypse-survivor in "Zombieland," a neurotic billionaire in "The Social Network" and a neurotic parrot in this Friday's "Rio," we're delighted to reveal that we're close to landing the motherload -- we've leaked to Deadline that neurotic filmmaker Woody Allen is courting Eisenberg for one of the lead, presumably neurotic, roles in his new, as-yet-untitled film.
While details on the plot are scarce (we knew that Eisenberg and Allen would be such a perfect fit, we didn't even ask to read the script! Although that didn't turn out so well when we put Jason Biggs in "Anything Else," to be fair), the new film will be set in Rome, the fourth European city that Allen will shoot, following London, Barcelona and Paris, and Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin are both already on board. We don't want to give too much away, but rest assured that we've engineered that Baldwin will be playing a slick, wisecracking silverback with a much younger wife. Assuming the deal closes with Eisenberg (and it had better! I'm not joking, they've told me I'll lose my job if it doesn't), filming will get underway in Italy in the summer, for a 2012 release.
Department Of Obvious Casting