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After casting two males for his HBO pilot Open, Ryan Murphy has secured two very familiar female faces for the project. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Fringe's Anna Torv have reportedly signed on for the cast of the relationship-driven pilot, joining previously cast Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley.
We've known since April that Murphy was taking his talent to premium cable with a drama pilot described as "a multi-characters exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy and intimacy in relationships." Murphy is working on the project with Dexter's Lauren Gussis. Today EW reports that Fringe star Anna Torv and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who recently appeared in Weeds and Revenge, have joined the cast.
Torv will play the role of Windsor, a yoga instructor in a long-term relationship with Leigh's character Holly. But Windsor meets a woman named Grace and feels an instant connection. So this fills in at least one blank in the previously described roles, one of which mentions a female yoga professional in her 40's, though Torv is actually only mid-thirties. Unless Leigh's also a yoga instructor. She could easily pass for forties. Either way, their casting solidifies two very talented actors in the pilot. While Leigh's more recently known for her recurring roles in Weeds and Revenge, many of us remember her best for her role as Stacy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
On the feature side, Jennifer Jason Leigh also has The Spectacular Now and Kill Your Darlings coming up. Torv has one upcoming feature credit post-Fringe, but if things go well for Open, that'll put her back on the small screen, which will likely please fans of the Australian actress.
As mentioned, the Leigh and Torv join Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) and Scott Speedman in the pilot. Bentley's on board to play the role of Evan Foster, described as a "blowhard." And after seeing him as the overly polished Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games, I'm already picturing someone who looks just as refined (minus the intricately sculpted beard) but also loves to hear himself talk. Speedman, meanwhile, is signed on to play the role of Jonathan, a sports-marketing executive.
So far, it feels like we're only getting bits and pieces of the plot for this project, but with the mentioned emphasis on relationships and sexuality, it sounds like this is a pilot that's going to need to be seen to be understood and hopefully appreciated. Whether or not it's actually seen depends on whether or not HBO's willing to move forward with this pilot. If Open doesn't go to series, it certainly won't be for lack of a solid cast, factoring in these latest additions.