Benny Safdie, who co-directed Uncut Gems and Good Time and played Robert Pattinson‘s brother in the latter film, has been cast as a gay politician in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new movie, which remains untitled for now.
Set in the San Fernando Valley of the 1970s where Anderson grew up, the film follows a high school student who is also a successful child actor. It’s unclear who is playing the lead, but Bradley Cooper has a key role, and judging from photos of him in character that have leaked from the set, he’s playing a Jon Peters-like industry figure.
Safdie is playing a politician named Wachs, and the character is reportedly inspired by L.A. City Council member Joel Wachs, who was a “closeted gay man until he was preparing to run for mayor in 1999 at the age of sixty,” according to the New York Times.
Anderson is said to be casting the film with fresh faces rather than recognizable movie stars, and many up-and-comers have been vying for roles, particularly those with comedy backgrounds. Having said that, Haim band member Alana Haim also has a role in the film, which makes sense, seeing how Anderson directed the band’s 2017 short film Valentine.
Safdie is a major fan of Anderson who once professed his love for Punch-Drunk Love on an episode of A24’s podcast that saw the Safdies interviewing the eight-time Oscar nominee. Speaking of which, all due respect to Amy Adams, but the fact that Anderson has never won an Oscar is an awards travesty. He’s one of our most vital filmmakers, and I can’t wait to find out who else he’ll be working with on this project.
The Safdie brothers recently teamed with Nathan Fielder on a Showtime pilot called The Curse, and for what it’s worth, I’ve heard that Benny will also play an onscreen role on that series.