Me and Orson Welles

November 25th 2009
  • Drama/Historical,
  • PG-13,
  • 114 min,
  • Freestyle Releasing
  • Cast: Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Ben Chaplin, Claire Danes, Zoe Kazan, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, James Tupper, Thomas Arnold, Leo Bill, Shane James Bordas, Michael Brandon, Janie Dee, Alessandro Giuggioli, Garrick Hagon, Patrick Kennedy, Lexie Lambert, Harry Macqueen, Megan Maczko, Aidan McArdle, Michael J. McEvoy, Jo McInnes, Iain McKee, Simon Nehan, Travis Oliver, Rhodri Neil Orders, Simon Lee Phillips, Imogen Poots, Saskia Reeves, Marlene Sidaway, Daniel Tuite, Al Weaver
  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • Writers: Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr.
  • Producers: Ann Carli, Richard Linklater, Marc Samuelson
  • Co Producers: Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr.
  • Associate Producers: Sara Greene, Jessica Parker
  • Executive Producers: Steve Christian, Steve Norris, John Sloss
  • Art Directions: Bill Crutcher, David Doran, Stuart Rose
  • Casting: Lucy Bevan
  • Costume Design: Nic Ede
  • D.O.P.: Dick Pope
  • Editor: Sandra Adair
  • Makeup: Fae Hammond
  • Music: Michael J. McEvoy
  • Production Design: Laurence Dorman
  • Set Decoration: Richard Roberts


The screenplay by Holly Gent Palmo and Vincent Palmo Jr. is based on the novel by Robert Kaplow, a coming-of-age story set in the heady world of New York theatre. Efron plays a teenage student who lucks his way into a minor role in the 1937 Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar," directed by 22-year-old genius Orson Welles. In the words of Kaplow's protagonist: "This is the story of one week in my life. I was seventeen. It was the week I slept in Orson Welles's pajamas. It was the week I fell in love. It was the week I fell out of love."

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Isle of Man, UK; London, UK; New York City, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Sexual references and smoking
  • Production Companies: CinemaNX, Cinetic Media, Detour Filmproduction, Framestore, Fuzzy Bunny Films, Hart-Lunsford Pictures, Isle of Man Film Commission
  • Production Schedule: 24 February 2008 - April 2008

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Before he was cast, Christian McKay had experience playing Welles in a one-man show in a small New York theatre.

The production crew only briefly visited New York; photographs were taken and footage shot to be added into the film as digital effects.

Every exterior shot was filmed on a single street built at Pinewood Studios with a greenscreen at one end; different angles and slightly altered set designs were used between shots to make the street appear different each time.

Actor James Tupper claimed that the best replica of an old New York theatre they could find was in England, while many of the actors who filled the company were from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 4 December 2009: UK