In casting his previous films, director Jared Hess has shown an impeccable ability to choose leading men who can really bring the funny: Jon Heder in "Napoleon Dynamite" and Jack Black in "Nacho Libre."
For the next film he co-wrote with wife Jerusha to direct, curiously entitled "Gentlemen Broncos," Hess has cast boyish Michael Angarano as an aspiring author who attends a writing camp, where he discovers his idea for a story has been stolen by an acclaimed novelist.
"I think that, more so than 'Napoleon Dynamite' and 'Nacho Libre,' this is a more realistic story," Angarano mused, speculating about how "Broncos" might differ from the unconventional filmmaker's previous projects. So should we expect the "quirk factor" to be toned down this time around? "These characters are pretty out there," Angarano assured, "but the story is what drives the movie."
In "Broncos," Angarano's young Benjamin Purvis gets his sci-fi tale ripped off by "Flight of the Conchords" star Jemaine Clement. In both writers' imaginations, the main character is played by Sam Rockwell, giving the veteran actor a unique opportunity to pull a Peter Sellers and do some double-duty heavy lifting. Rockwell reteams with Angarano after appearing with him recently in "Snow Angels." Rounding out the cast is Jennifer Coolidge, who is hilarious in any and every role. No wonder Angarano gushed, "[The film] has got a really great cast of actors."
Though only 20 years old, Angarano has become accustomed to working in fine company; he's fresh off filming the recent box office hit "The Forbidden Kingdom" with action icons Jet Li and Jackie Chan. The kid has come a long way since appearing on "Will & Grace" as Jack's precocious—and unexpected—son. As for "Broncos," which is slated for a 2009 release, Angarano's parting words are open to interpretation: "There's a lot of stink, there's a lot of thunder—as Mr. Hess likes to say." Vague, much? Gosh!