Thursday, August 2, 2012

Keep an eye out for Benicio Del Toro in western Montana

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro has spent the last few days in western Montana filming a new movie. The star of Traffic, The Usual Suspects, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and, most recently, Savages was on the set of French director Arnaud Desplechin's latest project, titled Jimmy Picard. According to Deadline, the film is about a member of the Blackfeet tribe who met French psychoanalyst Georges Devereux while recovering from trauma suffered during World War II. It's based on Devereux's book, Reality and Dream: Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian, with Del Toro in the title role.

Filming took place in and around Browning. According to various social media reports, Del Toro took part in local events during breaks in the filming, and some behind-the-scenes images from the set appeared on Facebook. Deny Staggs, location coordinator for the Montana Film Office, confirms the project brought in 150 crew, with about 30 percent from Montana. One-hundred-twenty enrolled members or descendants of the Blackfeet tribe were used in the production, as well as 10 to 20 day actors. University of Montana professors Michael Murphy, from the Media Arts Program, and Greg Johnson, from the School of Theatre and Dance and the Montana Repertory Theatre, were among the locals cast.

Staggs says the state's tax incentives program helped lure Jimmy Picard to Montana. He believes shooting wrapped Wednesday, and the crew would be on location for another day.

Desplechin, the director, is best known for his last feature film, 2008's A Christmas Tale. In addition to Del Toro, Jimmy Picard stars Mathieu Amalric (acclaimed lead in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Gina McKee (Atonement). Deadline describes the new film's story like this:

Del Toro plays the title character, a Plains Indian member of the Blackfeet nation who returns from the WWII battlefield and experiences various medical symptoms, none of which can be explained physically. He travels to the famed Winter Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, where he encounters Georges Devereux (Amalric), a French ethno-psychiatrist considered to have a strong understanding of the modern Native American. Through their sessions, the two men, foreign to themselves and to their country, become friends.

For the record, Del Toro is not an American Indian, he's Puerto Rican. notes the actor has previously portrayed "a Mexican (Traffic), an Argentinian (Che), and a British werewolf (The Wolfman)."

Jimmy Picard is currently slated for release in 2013.

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