For those who are keeping score…this year Channing Tatum has already promoted and released the romantic drama ‘Dear John‘, wrapped on two new films (Steven Soderbergh’s action-revenge spy thriller ‘Knockout‘ and Dito Montiel’s crime thriller ‘Son of No One‘ with Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, and Katie Holmes), shot reshoots for Kevin MacDonald’s Roman drama ‘Eagle of the Ninth‘, executive produced and premiered the political documentary ‘Earth Made of Glass‘ at the Tribeca Film Festival and is prepping to take a long-awaited comedic turn in Ron Howard and Vince Vaughn’s ‘Cheaters‘, which he films next month. Not too bad, considering we’ve barely made it through the month of May.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the busy actor’s dance card just got a little more crowded…
Earlier this week, the newly formed, London-based Berkeley Square Films announced at the Cannes Film Festival that Chan will star in Richie Farrell’s inspirational detox drama ‘What’s Left of Us’, a hard-hitting chronicle of seven excruciating days in detox for a heroin addict.
Boston.com interviewed Farrell last year. In the article we learn how the author managed to fight his way back from a deep drug addiction to land on both bookstore shelves and the silver screen. You can read a snippet of the story below to get an idea of what kind of character Chan will be portraying…
Richard Farrell looks uneasy, gripping the steering wheel with both hands as he pulls up to St. Patrick’s Church. “This street was all dealers,’’ he says, stopping the car in the shadow of the granite steeple. “I scored two [expletive] bags of dope right here before giving the eulogy at my father’s funeral.’’ Farrell is well acquainted with the dark corners of the Mill City, where he was born and, more than once, almost died of an overdose. A former heroin addict, Farrell has put his grim experiences to good use, directing an award-winning documentary, “High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell,’’ and writing a gritty new memoir.
The book – whose title, “What’s Left of Us,’’ is tattooed in tiny script on the author’s left bicep – is Farrell’s story of getting straight with other rogues at a dreary state-run detox. It’s already drawn interest from filmmakers attracted to the book’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’’-like quality. “I had no ambition when I was growing up here, none,’’ says Farrell, driving past his childhood home in the working-class neighborhood known as The Acre. “It’s amazing I’m still here.’’ Life didn’t figure to be easy for Farrell, who barely survived his own birth 52 years ago. He came out feet first and, deprived of oxygen for several minutes, suffered brain damage that weakened the right side of his body.
Farrell’s domineering and abusive father, an English teacher at Lowell High School, was embarrassed by his son’s limp. “No kid of his was going to be a cripple,’’ says Farrell, who was forced to lift weights, run, and stretch everyday. The terrifying relationship with his father is the centerpiece of Farrell’s memoir, and it was one of the reasons he became an addict. He tried heroin for the first time the day his dad died in 1984. (He was already hooked on painkillers after a series of knee surgeries.) Three years later, at the age of 31, Farrell and a couple of his junkie friends huddled in an abandoned mill building and tried to kill themselves by overdosing.
Farrell’s heroin addiction nearly killed him. Luckily, he lived to write about it, and now Chan has been given this incredible opportunity to bring his story to life. Knowing how well Chan portrayed the troubled and violent Antonio in 2006′s critically-acclaimed and award-winning drama ‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints‘, I have no doubt that this film has amazing potential.
BIG CONGRATS to Chan on landing yet another awesome new role!!!
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