Stage Vets Judd, O'Byrne, Connick, Jr. Star in Screen Version of Bug May 25
By Ernio Hernandez
Ashley Judd; Harry Connick, Jr.; Brian F. O'Byrne; Lynn Collins; and original Off-Broadway star Michael Shannon appear in the film version of Tracy Letts' acclaimed play Bug, which hits theatres May 25.
Letts penned the screenplay, which was filmed in California and New Orleans. William Friedkin directed.
The screen stars have all enjoyed stage time: Judd (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Connick, Jr. (The Pajama Game), O'Byrne (Doubt, Shining City) and Collins (As You Like It).
Shannon won an Obie Award for his turn as the paranoid, unhinged, military veteran Peter who sees insects everywhere in the stage version of Bug. Judd plays Agnes, the lonely woman with whom Shannon holes up in an Oklahoma motel room. Collins plays Agnes' lesbian friend, O'Byrne takes on Dr. Sweet and Connick, Jr. plays Jerry Goss.
The drama had its American premiere in 2000 at Washington, D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Wilson Milam, who staged the London premiere of Bug, directed the D.C. run. The work reached Off-Broadway's Barrow Street Theatre in February 2004. Dexter Bullard staged the work with an ensemble that featured Reed Birney, Shannon Cochran, Michael Cullen, Amy Landecker and Shannon. The play ran through January 2005.
Friedkin is the director of the classic early '70s films "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist." Other credits include "To Live and Die in L.A.," "Blue Chips," "Rules of Engagement" and the Showtime television version of "Twelve Angry Men."
The official film site is on the web at bugthemovie.com.
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