The Humbling tells the story of aging, suicidal stage actor Simon Axler (Al Pacino) and his struggles to find passion for life again. Near his breaking point, he finds motivation in the form of a young and lustful lesbian, Pegeen Stapleford (Greta Gerwig), who has had a crush on Simon since childhood. As their relationship heats up, Simon has a hard time keeping up with the youthful and exuberant Pegeen. He feels more alive than ever before but with many disapproving people protesting their relationship, Simon must decide where his true passion lies. The Humbling is directed by Barry Levinson and also stars Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Dianne Wiest, Dan Hedaya and Nina Arianda.
AL PACINO (SIMON AXLER) is a unique and enduring figure in the world of American stage and film. He was born in East Harlem and grew up in New York City’s South Bronx. He attended the famed School of Performing Arts until the age of 17 when he moved on to study acting first at the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio) with teacher and coach Charles Laughton, and later, at the legendary Actors Studio with mentor Lee Strasberg.
Between 1963 and 1969 he honed his craft working in numerous theatrical productions including William Saroyan’s Hello Out There for his off-Broadway debut in 1963; Why is a Crooked Letter in 1966, for which he won an off-Broadway Obie Award; The Indian Wants the Bronx, that earned him another Obie Award as best actor of the 1967-68 season; and Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? for his Broadway debut and first Tony Award in 1969. Pacino continued appearing onstage in the 1970s, receiving a second Tony Award for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and performing the title role in Shakespeare’s Richard III. In the1980s he again achieved critical success on the stage while appearing in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. Since 1990 Pacino’s stage work has included revivals of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie, Oscar Wilde’s Salome and Lyle Kessler’s Orphans. In 2011 he portrayed Shylock in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Play and in 2013 appeared on Broadway playing Shelley Levine in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
His first leading part in a feature film was in the 1971 drama Panic in Needle Park, and the following year Francis Ford Coppola selected him to take on the breakthrough role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Godfather and within the next 6 years he received another four Academy Award nominations for the films Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and …And Justice For All. A long and rich film career has followed with over 45 titles including Scarface, Sea of Love, The Insider, Donnie Brasco, Heat (where he shared the screen for the first time with fellow film icon Robert DeNiro) and Any Given Sunday. He garnered additional Academy award nominations for his performances in Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross. His role as Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. He played Shylock in Michael Radford’s film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. He directed and stars in the films Looking For Richard and Chinese Coffee. He has recently completed shooting three films, which will be coming out in the future: The Humbling, Manglehorn and Danny Collins.
Television work includes a rich relationship with HBO first as Roy Cohn in the 2003 miniseries Angels in America and as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in You Don't Know Jack in 2010 both of which garnered Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for Mr. Pacino’s performances. In 2013 he won Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for the title role in David Mamet’s film Phil Spector.
Al Pacino recently directed the films Salome and Wilde Salome in which he stars as King Herod, with Jessica Chastain as Salome. Wilde Salome received its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
He has been awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award and in 2011 he was received the National Merit of Arts from President Obama.
GRETA GERWIG (PEGEEN) has rapidly emerged as one of Hollywood’s most engaging actresses. Gerwig is currently starring in the MCC theater production of Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike. She is also set to star in Maggie’s Plan, a romantic comedy of manners, which is written and will be directed by Rebecca Miller.
Gerwig was last seen in Frances Ha, a comedy she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach about an aspiring dancer who moves to New York City and becomes caught up in a whirlwind of flighty fair-weather friends, diminishing fortunes and career setbacks. For her performance, she earned a Golden Globe and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award nomination in the category of “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.” The film, which also earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Feature,” premiered at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and New York Film Festival and was released by IFC in May 2013.
The actress also co-starred in Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love opposite Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page. Other credits include Whit Stillman’s comedy Damsels In Distress and the title character of “Lola” in Fox Searchlight’s Lola Versus.
Gerwig first received critical acclaim for her breakout role as “Florence” in Greenberg, which marked her first collaboration with writer/director, Noah Baumbach. In the film, she starred opposite Ben Stiller and her performance earned her several nominations including a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Performance and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. Gerwig then went on to star alongside Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in the comedy Arthur, which she followed with a supporting role in the romantic comedy No Strings Attached with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.
A darling of the independent film scene, Gerwig’s prior credits include Ti West’s “art-house horror film” House Of The Devil; the Duplass brothers’ genre-bender Baghead. She has twice collaborated with director and actor Joe Swanberg, first on Hannah Takes The Stairs as a writer and actress, and then for Nights And Weekends, which she also co-wrote and co-directed. Gerwig graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, and currently resides in New York City.
NINA ARIANDA (SYBIL) made her breakout debut in the 2010 off-Broadway production of Venus in Fur just months after graduating from NYU’s Tisch graduate acting program. Her performance garnered the attention of the entire New York theater community. Following her off-Broadway acclaim, Nina procured roles in Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning film Midnight in Paris, Tom McCarthy’s Win Win, and Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground. Venus in Fur transferred to Broadway in 2011 where Nina’s performance went on to become the most critically acclaimed of the 2011-2012 season resulting in her winning the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. This recognition followed her 2011 nod for her Broadway debut performance as “Billie Dawn” in Born Yesterday.
In 2011, Nina appeared in Universal’s Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy and made her network television debut on the Emmy-winning series “The Good Wife.” In addition to the Tony Award, Nina has been honored with numerous accolades for her work in the theater including recognition from The Drama League, an Outer Critics Circle Award, the Actors’ Equity Association Clarence Derwent Award, the Theater World Award and the Clive Barnes Award. Nina was named 2011 Stage Star of the Year by New York Magazine, and topped Forbes Magazine’s 2011 Top 30 Under 30 in entertainment list. She was also honored by Marie Claire Magazine with their 2012 Women on Top Award for top performer.
Nina can be seen in the upcoming films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, Lucky Them starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church and Oliver Platt and Rob the Mob where she stars alongside Michael Pitt, Andy Garcia and Ray Romano. Nina most recently wrapped filming The Humbling directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino.
While CHARLES GRODIN (JERRY) is best known for his work in the films The Heartbreak Kid, Midnight Run and the classic Beethoven movies, for the last eighteen years he’s served as commentator on CNBC, MSNBC, 60 Minutes and CBS News where he is currently heard daily across the country.
He currently writes a weekly online, op-ed piece for the New York Daily News and serves as an activist on behalf of people unjustly in prison and the recipient of the William Kunstler Award for Racial Justice. Governor Pataki of New York cited Grodin for being responsible in helping reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
Grodin is a best selling author, having authored eight books and contributed op-ed pieces to the New York Times, Newsweek and Esquire magazines among other publications. His autobiography It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here: My Journey through Show Business, in which he dispenses invaluable advice about the art of surviving in the celluloid jungle is required reading in many universities. He is also an Emmy Award winning writer of the Paul Simon Special. Earlier this year he was given the Mark Twain Award for humor by the Connecticut Press Club.
For his charitable efforts and advocacy, he has been honored by Help USA and Mentoring USA, Habitat for Humanity, The Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation and has donated the proceeds from his recent books went to Help U.S.A. and Mentoring USA, where has been a long time board member. He serves as a mentor to an autistic teenager.
Oscar and Emmy Award-Winning actress, DIANNE WIEST (CAROL) has given memorable performances in films such as Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Hannah and Her Sisters (Oscar), The Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio Days, September, Bullets Over Broadway (Oscar), Parenthood (Oscar nomination), Rabbit Hole, Footloose, Edward Scissorhands and The Birdcage.
Ms. Wiest also received Emmys for her performances in “The Road to Avonlea” and in the HBO series “In Treatment.”
On the stage, Ms. Wiest was most recently seen in “The Cherry Orchard” at Classic Stage Company, and before that, Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” on Broadway. Other New York theater appearances include “The Seagull” at Classic Stage Company, “Third,” “Memory House,” “Salome” and “Oedipus” with Al Pacino, “The Shawl,” “Hunting Cockroaches,” “After the Fall,” “Beyond Therapy,” and “The Art of Dining.”
Ms. Wiest will next start filming Universal’s The Nest directed by Jason Moore and starring Tina Fay and Amy Poehler.
BILLY PORTER (PRINCE) is a Broadway performer, singer, film and television actor and vocal coach. He achieved fame performing on Broadway before going off on a solo career as a singer.
Porter won the 2013 Tony® Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots at the 67th Tony Awards. For the role, Porter also won Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.
Porter has also appeared in a number of films. He landed a major role as Shiniqua, a drag queen who befriends Angel (David Norona) and Lee (Keivyn McNeill Graves) in Seth Michael Donsky's Twisted, an adaptation of Oliver Twist. He has also appeared on an episode of the The RuPaul Show.
BARRY LEVINSON (DIRECTOR) is an Academy Award® winning director, screenwriter and producer who was awarded the 1988 Best Director Oscar for the multiple Oscar® winning “Rain Man,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In 1991 Bugsy, directed and produced by Levinson, was nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. As a screenwriter, Levinson has received three Oscar nominations for And Justice for All, Diner and Avalon. More recently, Levinson executive produced and directed the HBO Film, You Don’t Know Jack, which received 15 Emmy® nominations, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Best Director. Other iconic films include The Natural, Good Morning Vietnam, Wag the Dog and Sleepers. In 1998 Levinson became one of Variety’s “Billion Dollar Directors,” as well as ShoWest’s “Director of the Year.”
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Levinson has used his hometown as the setting for four widely praised features: Diner; Tin Men; Avalon; and Liberty Heights. Levinson also returned to his home town to film the television series “Homicide: Life on the Street.” His work on this critically acclaimed drama earned him an Emmy® for Best Individual Director of a Drama Series, along with a Peabody Award.
Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, under the banner of the Levinson/Fontana Company, also executive produced the critically acclaimed HBO television series, Oz, which aired for six seasons from 1998 through 2003. His latest television show “Copper” for BBC-America, was the highest-rated cable premiere in its time slot since 2009.
Levinson now produces films through his production company Baltimore Pictures, including critically acclaimed releases such as “Quiz Show,” “Donnie Brasco,” and “Bandits.” His most recent film, The Bay, was released by Lionsgate in 2012.
In 2010, Levinson was the recipient of the WGA’s Laurel Award for Screen, honoring a lifetime achievement in outstanding writing for motion pictures.
JASON SOSNOFF (PRODUCER) began working for Academy-Award winning director Barry Levinson on What Just Happened? He currently serves as Director of Production of Mr. Levinson’s Baltimore Pictures and has now produced 4 films with Levinson. He spent his formative years under the tutelage of Robert De Niro as Mr. De Niro's executive research advisor on the Cold War epic, The Good Shepherd.
His 2014 Magic Men, a documentary about inner city kids from New York who use magic to get off the streets and onto the stage, will be released with Think Common, the hip hop artist Common’s production company.
BUCK HENRY’S (SCREENPLAY) meek and mild, ordinary guy demeanor belies a razor-sharp dry, wry wit that he aptly applies to his screenplays, the roles he portrays, and the projects he directs.
His many feature film writing credits include Candy, The Owl and the Pussycat, What's Up, Doc?, Catch-22, The Day of the Dolphin, Protocol, and To Die For. He shared an Oscar nomination for his screenplay, The Graduate, a film in which he made a cameo appearance and has been seen in more than 40 films including Catch-22, Taking Off, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Gloria, Eating Raoul, Aria, The Graduate, Tune in Tomorrow, Defending Your Life, The Player, and Grumpy Old Men. He co-directed Heaven Can Wait, the 1978 remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and appeared in the film as an officious angel, reprising the character originally played by Edward Everett Horton.
Born Buck Henry Zuckerman to a successful Wall Street broker (who was once an Air Force general) and actress Ruth Taylor, Henry launched his career as an actor at age 16, plying a small role in the Broadway version of Life With Father.
During the Korean War, Henry served with the Seventh Army Repertory Company touring Germany performing in a musical comedy that he wrote and directed. During the '50s, Henry became somewhat famous for perpetrating the famous SINA hoax -- the acronym stands for the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals -- that made Henry a popular figure on talk shows where he would claim that naked animals were the cause of humanity's moral decay.
In 1960, Henry worked briefly in an improvisational troupe before moving to the West Coast to write for the popular television satire That Was the Week That Was with hosts Steve Allen and Garry Moore. He and fellow comic Mel Brooks collaborated in 1964 to create the pilot for the successful spy spoof Get Smart. That year Henry also collaborated on the screenplay and starred in The Troublemaker, but it was not until Henry's second collaborative screenplay for The Graduate (1967) -- he also played a small role -- that he became one of Hollywood's most in-demand screenwriters.
In 1973, he and Warren Beatty were Oscar nominated for their joint effort Heaven Can Wait, a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). In the film, Henry played the small but crucial role of the heavenly escort who goofs and brings a football player to heaven too soon. Henry was a periodic host on the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live during the '70s.
MICHAL ZEBEDE (SCREENPLAY) is a first generation American writer with Costa Rican and Panamanian roots. She made her screenwriting debut with the The Humbling.
Most recently, she wrote for Marc Cherry's newest television series, Devious Maids. Before moving to Los Angeles, Zebede worked as an investigative journalist for Ha'aretz, Israel's oldest newspaper, where the topics of her front-page articles ranged from fatally ill refugees to child sex trafficking. Zebede grew up in Miami and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University with degrees in Cognitive Science and Narrative Arts.
PHILIP ROTH (BASED ON THE NOVEL BY…) received recognition as a writer since his 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, which was adapted into a film in 1969, THE HUMBLING marks Philip Roth’s thirtieth book and his fourth novel adapted for the screen. The others being Portnoy's Complaint in 1972, The Human Stain in 2003 and The Dying Animal, retitled Elegy in 2008. He is one of the most awarded novelists in America having received the National Book Award in 1995 and again 1960, the PEN/Faulkner award in 1994, 2001 and 2007 as well as the Pulitzer Prize in 1997.”
ADAM JANDRUP (CINEMATOGRAPHER) was born in Copenhagen. Denmark and is currently based in Brooklyn NY. During high school he started studying photography and graphic design and soon afterwards worked as a best boy gaffer on a large number of features and commercials before committing his creativity and visual acumen entirely on his life long passion… the camera.
Adam served as director of photography on Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, which won a Grand Jury prize at Tribeca Film Festival, 2013. Directed by Sam Fleischner and shot in Rockaway, Queens and the subways of New York, the drama depicted a seldom-seen community on the city's edge with an eye-opening view of life on the autism spectrum, received a Grand Jury prize at Tribeca film festival 2013.
In 2013, Adam shot the documentary Magic Men, a documentary about inner city kids from New York who use magic to get off the streets and onto the stage.
Adam has filmed commercials for GE, CITI. HTC. Discovery, Tribeca, among others; fine art films for Joachim Koester, Soren Thilo Funder, as well as music videos, short fiction and television series in the US and Denmark.
SAM LISENCO’S (PRODUCTION DESIGNER) recent credits as production designer include Hits, directed by David Cross; Official Selection, 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Mistress America and Independent Spirit Award Best Feature nominated Frances Ha Gimme The Loot, Grand Jury Prize Winner Best Narrative Feature SXSW Film Festival, Someone to Watch Award (2012), Independent Spirit Awards (2012), Official Selection, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival (2012).
Lisenco was both designer and producer for filmmakers Joshua and Benny Safdie on their work since 2003 including feature Go Get Some Rosemary (Breakthrough Award, Gotham Awards (2009), Cassavettes Award, Independent Spirit Awards (2010), Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival (2009), Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival (2010), International Critics Prize (2010). Additionally, Lisenco designed many of Lena Dunham's early short films, as well as her first narrative feature, CREATIVE NONFICTION (Official Selection, SXSW Film Festival (2009).
New York born and raised, Sam Lisenco received his BS in Film at Boston University in 2005.
Two-time Emmy Award-nominated MARCELO ZARVOS (COMPOSER) began his film scoring career with independent features including Kissing Jessica Stein and The Door In The Floor starring Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. Equally versed in classical orchestral music, as well as in electronic, rock and various ethnic styles, Zarvos has composed the music for films in numerous genres, including such titles as Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, the period drama Hollywoodland starring Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver starring Mel Gibson, Antoine Fuqua’s thriller Brooklyn’s Finest starring Richard Gere and Don Cheadle, the romantic drama Remember Me starring Robert Pattinson and last year’s THE WORDS starring Bradley Cooper and Won’t Back Down starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.
The composer has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for HBO’s critically acclaimed original movies You Don’t Know Jack directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino and Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon.
Among his other television credits are Showtime’s hit show The Big C, David Mamet’s recent biopic Phil Spector starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren and his most recent project, Showtime’s critically acclaimed original series Ray Donovan starring Liev Schreiber.
In addition to his work on film and TV, Zarvos has released three albums for MA Recordings: Dualism, Music Journal and Labyrinths, which mix various world music styles with modern classical and jazz instruments. The Brazilian composer and pianist began his undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music as well as at California Institute of the Arts where he received his BFA, and Hunter College where he received his Master’s Degree in Music. Zarvos most recently completed the scores for Nicole Holofcener’s comedy Enough Said and Arie Posin’s romantic drama The Face Of Love.