Let’s call it the Smart-aissance. Jean Smart, absolute acting queen, has been cast in yet another major project. After winning a Critic’s Choice Award for her turn in Watchmen and her recent Emmy nominations for the hilarious Hacks and the chilling Mare of Easttown, everything is coming up Smart. Now, she’s the latest to join the absolutely stacked cast of Paramount’s 1920’s movie, Babylon.
Damien Chazelle wrote and is directing the flick, an ode to Hollywood’s golden age that has been described as “The Great Gatsby on steroids”.
An Homage to Old Hollywood with All the Stars
Smart is only the latest addition to a cast that’s beyond impressive. Per The Hollywood Reporter, she will play a Hollywood journalist and critic who can make or break careers. Smart is brilliant at snark, so the role sounds absolutely perfect for her talents.
Smart will be joined by an all-star cast that includes Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, Katherine Waterson, Olivia Wilde, Spike Jonze, Phoebe Tonkin, Tobey Maguire, Max Minghella, Lukas Haas, Rory Scovel, Samara Weaving, Eric Roberts, P.J. Byrne, Damon Gupton, and Flea. I told you it a was a stacked cast!
The film is set in the late 1920s during the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies. It will follow the rise and fall of multiple characters, which tracks given the absolutely massive cast. Shooting began in Los Angeles last week.
Smart is one of the only cast members whose role has been revealed. The only other reveal (so far!) has been Minghella’s role, playing the real-life producer who was MGM’s head of production in the 1920s and 1930s.
Casting Smart is Smart
Smart is being discovered by younger fans and rediscovered by older ones, which absolutely rules. After catching everyone’s attention with her big blue friend as the Silk Spectre on HBO’s Watchmen, she started showing up all over the small screen. She’s nominated for both a Best Actress and a Best Supporting Actress Emmy this year, for two different shows! She’s won three Emmys previously, with 9 additional nominations over the years.
There are few actors working today who can hold space like Smart. She has a commanding presence and a voice that cuts to the bone. She’s absolutely brilliant in everything she’s in, from Designing Women in the 1980s to Frasier in the ’90s, all the way up to the third season of FX’s Fargo just a few years ago. If she isn’t already being asked to be in just about every new project, she should be.
To catch Smart (and the rest of that cast!) in Babylon, you’ll have to wait until it hits theaters in about a year and a half. Paramount plans for a platformed release, opening limitedly on December 25, 2022, before going wide on January 6, 2023.
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