ABOUT THE CAST
JASON LEE (Voice of Shoeshine/Underdog) is in the midst of a flourishing career that includes an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy." He has received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Television Series and two SAG nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for his starring role as Earl Hickey on NBC's hit comedy series “My Name Is Earl.” Lee not only stars, but also serves as a producer on the show about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery.
Over his recent summer hiatus from "Earl," Lee starred in the CG/live-action hybrid feature film "Alvin and the Chipmunks." He plays Dave Seville, the songwriter/father-figure to singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore. A December 14, 2007 release is anticipated.
Lee previously voiced the role of Syndrome in Walt Disney Pictures' and Pixar's Academy Award-winning animated feature "The Incredibles." He also did voice work on the motion-capture feature "Monster House," about three teenagers who discover their neighbor's house is a monster.
Born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, Lee turned a childhood pastime of skateboarding into a professional career. However, once moving to Los Angeles during his early 20s, he began developing an interest in acting. "After watching Steve Buscemi as the bellboy in ‘Barton Fink,' I knew I wanted to be in movies," says Lee.
Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead role in writer-director Smith's comedy "Mallrats," in which he deftly portrayed the inconsiderate slacker Brodie. Lee then went on to star in Smith's "Chasing Amy" (for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role as Banky) and as the demonic Azrael in Smith's supernatural comedy "Dogma." He reunited with Smith in the Dimension Films comedy, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and most recently, he had a cameo role in Smith's "Clerks II."
Lee co-starred in Cameron Crowe's Golden Globe-winning ensemble feature, "Almost Famous," in the role of Jeff Bebe, the lead singer of a 1970s rock band called Stillwater. He then re-teamed with Crowe on the writer-director's film "Vanilla Sky."
After working with director Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble comedy "Mumford," Lee reunited with Kasdan for the director's suspense thriller, "Dreamcatcher."
Lee's additional film credits include writer-director Rebecca Miller's feature, "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" (with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener), director Barry Sonnenfeld's ensemble comedy "Big Trouble," "Enemy of the State," and "Kissing a Fool."
In Summer 2006, Lee wrote and directed the short film, "The White Door," which stars Giovanni Ribisi and Beth Riesgraf. The film will have a future DVD release.
Lee is also a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. He is currently shooting 20"x24" Polaroid portraits for an upcoming gallery and book series. When not working on personal projects, Lee photographs for Los Angeles-based Anthem magazine. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, Stereo Skateboards, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.
LEO (Shoeshine/Underdog) is a talented little Lemon Beagle, a light yellow variation on the friendly, outgoing hound dog breed, of which numerous famous dogs, including Snoopy is a member. It’s hard to believe now, but Leo was down-and-out just a short time ago, having been taken in by Beagle Buddies, a rescue organization in Orange County that helps to find homes for wayward hounds. Beagle Buddies sent UNDERDOG’s animal coordinator Boone Narr photographs of Leo that won him over – but when Boone met Leo he wasn’t exactly ready for his close-up. He was overweight, out of shape and beyond all human control! Yet, just like Underdog himself, Leo was about to discover the extraordinary potential within. After just a few weeks of training, exercise and affection, he was a new dog, ready to tackle all the comical expressions, challenging emotions and even the flying stunts – which Leo adored -- that bring his character to life.
Academy Award® nominated actress AMY ADAMS (Voice of Polly Purebred) has built an impressive list of credits in a remarkably short period of time, challenging herself with each new role. In Phil Morrison's "Junebug,” Adams earned nominations for an Academy Award ®and a SAG Award. She won an Independent Spirit Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, National Society of Film Critics Award, a San Francisco Film Critics Society Award, as well as the Breakthrough Gotham Award. Adams also won the Special Jury Prize for Acting at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival for her role as the pregnant, childlike 'Ashley,' who is awe-struck by the arrival of her glamorous sister-in-law.
Adams recently starred with Will Ferrell in the comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and will next be seen in the Disney romantic fable "Enchanted" opposite Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Idina Menzel, and Susan Sarandon. Adams will also star opposite Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the screen adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winning play “Doubt” for Miramax Films.
Adams' other film credits include Clare Kilner's "The Wedding Date" with Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can," Reginald Hudlin's "Serving Sara," Anthony Abrams' "Pumpkin," "Drop Dead Gorgeous," and "Psycho Beach Party." Adams has also guest-starred on several television series including "The Office" and "The West Wing."
GINGER (Polly Purebred) is a knockout Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who hails from San Diego. Though she might be described as a “toy” Spaniel and weighs in at just over ten pounds, Ginger makes a big impression with her beauty and personality. Her ancestry goes all the way back to 11th Century England and to Spaniels who were the house pets of the royal families of Europe. With her large, expressive eyes and lovely feathered coat, Ginger had the looks but it was when she ran joyously up to Boone Narr at their first meeting – defying the breed’s sometimes shy personality – that Narr suspected that Ginger was the perfect romantic foil for Underdog. Then, he put her next to Leo and the chemistry was clear. Despite their breed and size differences, it was love at first sniff.
JIM BELUSHI (Dan Unger) is heading into his seventh season as the star and executive producer of the ABC hit comedy, “According to Jim,” in which he plays the husband in a marriage that actually works, and the father of three young children. The show co-stars Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Larry Joe Campbell.
(L-R) UNDERDOG, JAMES BELUSHI
A native of Chicago, Belushi began his career as a resident member of the famed Second City, from 1976-80. In 1979 he left for Hollywood, when writer-producer Garry Marshall cast him in the Paramount Television series “Who’s Watching the Kids,” and later in “Working Stiffs” with Michael Keaton. Among Belushi’s other television credits as an actor and writer are “Saturday Night Live,” “Parallel Lives,” the Oliver Stone/ABC miniseries “Wild Palms,” the movie “Sahara” for Showtime and the critically acclaimed series “Beggars and Choosers.”
In 2000 Belushi co-starred in MGM’s “Return to Me,” directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver, and he received rave reviews for his work with Gregory Hines in Showtime’s “Who Killed Atlanta’s Children?” It was his work in Edward Zwick’s “About Last Night,” with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, that brought Belushi his first serious attention as a film star. In the 1986 feature, he reprised the role he had played on stage in David Mamet’s Obie Award-winning “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” from which the film was adapted. His feature credits since then show an extraordinary range: he was James Woods’ spacey DJ buddy, Dr. Rock, in Oliver Stone’s “Salvador”; the mentally handicapped dishwasher befriended by Whoopi Goldberg in the Andrei Konchalovsky film, “Homer and Eddie”; and the defiant high school principal standing up to drug dealers in “The Principal.”
Other starring roles include “Joe Somebody,” the“K-9” franchise, “Red Heat,” “Curly Sue,” “Taking Care of Business,” “Once Upon a Crime,” “Mr. Destiny,” “Only the Lonely,” Michael Mann’s “Thief,” “The Man with One Red Shoe,” “Real Men,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Jingle All the Way,” “Retroactive” and “Gang Related.” Belushi has performed on Broadway in Herb Gardner’s acclaimed “Conversations with My Father” at the Royal Theatre, off-Broadway in “True West,” at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of John Guare’s “Moon Over Miami,” and for Joseph Papp as the Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance.” In addition he does numerous voiceovers for film, television and for commercials.
Besides acting, Belushi loves music. The Sacred Hearts are a rhythm-and-blues band who have been together for years, performing 40 nights a year at clubs, casinos and corporate events all over the country. They are the “official house band” for The House of Blues, in which Belushi is a partner, and have entertained former President Clinton and Vice President Gore. Big Men Big Music is a project that Belushi is doing with his friend, Dan Aykroyd. They performed at the SARS benefit in Toronto for over 400,000 people with the Rolling Stones, and their CD was number one on the blues chart last summer. Belushi currently has three CD’s out: “Blues Brothers Live from Chicago,” The Sacred Hearts’ “36 x 22 x 36,” and the recently released Big Men Big Music CD, “Have Love Will Travel.”
At fourteen years old, Minnesotan, ALEX NEUBERGER (Jack Unger), is making an imprint in Hollywood as a leading young man. He will steal the hearts of audiences as the lead role of Jack in UNDERDOG. His performance as Paul Walker’s son in “Running Scared” for New Line has received much attention. Buzzine.com referred to his performance as “excellent” stating, “this is Neuberger’s very first acting role – and he nails it.” His performance in “Running Scared” has earned him a Young Artist Awards Nomination as Best Performance by a Leading Young Male in a Feature Film.
Neuberger is an actor to keep your eye on as he solidifies his place in Hollywood as a leading young man.
An actress whose poise and range reaches well beyond her years, TAYLOR MOMSEN (Molly) is making her mark in Hollywood. Working with directors ranging from Ron Howard to Gus Van Sant, she is one of the industry's most respected and sought after young actors.
This Fall, Momsen will star in the highly anticipated new CW show "Gossip Girl." Momsen stars as Jenny Humphrey, the freshman from Downtown Soho, who tries to fit in with the wealthy kids from New York's Upper East side. Shot on location in New York, "Gossip Girl" is premiering in September on Wednesday's at 9PM following "America's Next Top Model."
Momsen will next be seen in Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park" for IFC Films. The film revolves around a teenage skateboarder who's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard. The film premiered to rave reviews and won the 60th Anniversary Award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2000, Momsen starred in her breakthrough performance in Ron Howard's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as Cindy Loo Who opposite Jim Carrey for Imagine Entertainment and Universal Studios. The film grossed over $340 million worldwide.
Additional film credits include: Robert Rodriquez's "Spy Kids 2," and Randall Wallace's "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson.
Momsen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and currently resides in Maryland.
PETER DINKLAGE (Dr. Simon Barsinister) first came to fore as Tito, the dwarf actor in Tom Decillo’s “Living In Oblivion,” in which he delivered an open rant to an entire generation of would-be filmmakers, refusing to be used as a gag or a prop – while honoring his craft with an unforgettable fierceness and dignity. Dinklage later went on to redefine the concept of a leading man with his starring role in the 2003 Sundance Audience Award winner “The Station Agent.”
For his work in “The Station Agent,” Dinklage was recognized with a “Best Actor” nomination in the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards, as well as being named one of the top 5 “Breakout Stars” of the year by Entertainment Weekly. Also in 2003, Dinklage received critical raves for his appearance in the Will Ferrell box office hit “Elf,” where he played scene-stealing children’s author Miles Finch.
His recent films include Sidney Lumet's “Find Me Guilty” starring opposite Vin Diesel, “Lassie” opposite Peter O’Toole and Michael Showalter’s “The Baxter.” Dinklage stars this fall in Frank Oz’s British comedy “Death at a Funeral” and the offbeat fable “Penelope” starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon.
Dinklage recently completed filming on “3/5 a Man,” about Nat Turner and the 1831 Slave Rebellion, and is currently shooting “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” Upcoming projects also include “Mendel’s Dwarf” for Barbara Streisand’s Barwood Films and the “Affair of the Sorcerers” franchise.
Other feature credits include Michel Gondry’s “Human Nature” written by Charlie Kaufman; John Hamburg’s “Safe Men”; Eric Shaeffer’s “Never Again”; Alexandre Rockwells’ “13 Moons” and Greg Pritikin’s “Surviving Eden.” On television, he has been seen in the CBS sci-fi series “Threshold” and in a recurring role on the popular “Nip/Tuck.”
On stage, Dinklage recently starred in a production of “Endgame” with Gary Oldman as part of the Samuel Century 100th Birthday of Beckett festival in Dublin, Ireland. In 2005, he was nominated for a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award for his portrayal of Richard III at New York’s Public Theater and he starred in the Charlie Kaufman New Ear radio play “Hope Leaves the Theater” opposite Meryl Streep and Hope Davis. Dinklage has also appeared Off-Broadway in such plays as Marc Spitz’s “I Wanna Be Adored,” Brandon Cole’s “Imperfect Love” and Jonathan Marc Sherman’s “Evolution.”
BRAD GARRETT (Voice of Riff Raff) played Ray Romano's big brother Robert on the hit series “Everybody Loves Raymond,” earning five Emmy Award nominations and Emmy wins in 2002, 2003 and 2005 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He currently stars in the FOX series “Til Death . . .”
Garrett, raised in Woodland Hills, CA, was born on April 14, 1960. After high school graduation, Garrett began performing his stand-up act at various Los Angeles comedy clubs, getting his start at the Ice House in Pasadena and The Improv in Hollywood. His first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" at age 23 made him one of the youngest comedians ever to perform on the program. Garrett's stand-up career then took off, garnering him headlining gigs at national venues as well as opening spots for legends, including Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr. In 1989, the Las Vegas Review Journal named Garrett the "Best Comedian" working on the Strip.
Garrett next made his foray into the world of television. His television guest roles range from stints on “Roseanne” and "Mad About You” to his trademark role of the obsessive mechanic on “Seinfeld.” In its nine seasons, “Everybody Loves Raymond” was a critical and ratings success. Garrett portrayed Ray Barone's (Ray Romano) brother “Robert,” the NYPD policeman whose existence was constantly overshadowed by his sports-writer sibling. Their rivalry helped coin the title line, “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Garrett's voiceover work includes giving life to “Fatso,” the ghost in the 1995 feature “Casper.” He can also be heard as “Dim,” the rhinoceros beetle, in the feature “A Bug's Life,” “Bloat” the blowfish in “Finding Nemo” and most recently the chef “Gusteau” in “Ratatouille.”
Garrett has since been seen on cable TV’s “Don King: Only in America.” His feature film credits include “George B” with David Morse, which was a finalist at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival; “Suicide Kings” with Christopher Walken; Showtime's “Clubland” with Alan Alda; and director Woody Allen's “Sweet & Lowdown,” with Sean Penn and Uma Thurman. Garrett has also guest-hosted “The Late Show” for a sidelined David Letterman.
In 2002, Garrett played Jackie Gleason in the critically acclaimed network television film “Gleason,” for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. He starred in the hit comedy “The Pacifier,” and on Broadway in Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” Garrett was most recently seen in the feature “Music and Lyrics By” with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.
BRONCO (Riff Raff) joins the ranks of great canine villains in the role of Riff Raff – but couldn’t be a sweeter dog. Things were looking down for Bronco, who was languishing without a home in a city shelter, when Boone Narr’s team rescued him and turned his story from rags to riches, discovering his star potential. Like most Rottweilers, Bronco is large, intelligent and powerful with a handsome black-and-tan face. But he also proved quick to learn new tricks, allowing him to play a part quite different from himself!
PATRICK WARBURTON (Cad) is well known for his role on the hit comedy “Seinfeld” as Puddy, Elaine’s enigmatic, on-again, off-again boyfriend who broke up with her at least 12 times in one episode. His television credits also include such series as “Dave’s World” and “NewsRadio” as well as playing the title character of the cult superhero comedy “The Tick.” He has been the long-running voice of Joe on the popular FOX animated series “Family Guy,” was also the voice of the Savior of the Universe on the Disney Saturday morning TV series “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” and can be heard as Mr. Barkin on the Disney Channel’s “Kim Possible.” Warburton currently stars in the hit CBS show “Rules of Engagement” opposite David Spade and Oliver Hudson, which returns for its second season in September 2007.
On the big screen, Warburton has been seen in a wide variety of films. His comic ease has made him popular with comedy directors and his recent voice roles include “Kronk” in “The Emperor’s New Groove” and a new version of the Big Bad Wolf in “Hoodwinked.” Warburton also lends his voice to the big screen in the highly anticipated film “Bee Movie” (November 2007), where he plays Renee Zellweger’s boyfriend as she tries to win the heart of Jerry Seinfeld. In live-action movies, he has traversed from blockbusters to indie comedies and dramas with credits that include “Men in Black II,” “The Dish,” “Joe Somebody,” “Angels in the Infield,” “Big Trouble” and “The Woman Chaser.” Warburton also stars in a mystery/comedy about a hunt for an alleged alien living in a small town in the movie “I’ll Believe You” hitting theaters September 2007.
JOHN SLATTERY (The Mayor) most recently appeared in Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers” and will be seen in the upcoming features, “Charlie Wilson’s War” directed by Mike Nichols, and “Reservation Road” from Terry George. His other films include “Mona Lisa Smile,” “Bad Company,” “Traffic,” “The Station Agent” and “Sleepers.” His extensive TV roles include a recurring role in the hit series “Desperate Housewives,” the TV film “The Brooke Ellison Story,” series regular on “Jack and Bobby,” “K Street,” and “Ed” and memorable guest appearances on “Sex and the City” and “Will & Grace.”
SUSIE CASTILLO (Diana Flores) is quickly emerging as one of television’s most recognizable faces. Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, Castillo is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent and speaks Spanish fluently. Castillo is most known for being the host of MTV’s most popular show, “TRL” (Total Request Live.) She has also hosted various MTV specials such as “Hits,” “TRL New Year’s Eve” and the Video Music Awards. Castillo was recently named the new “Face” of Neutrogena. As the new spokesperson for the brand, Castillo is featured in a national television campaign that launched this spring.
An up-and-coming actor, Hollywood spotted Castillo early in her career. She has guest-starred on such notable shows as “My Wife and Kids” and “Half & Half.” Castillo’s poise in front of the camera has also led to various high-profile hosting gigs, including the live telecast of the 2005 “Miss Teen USA Pageant,” “The I Do Diaries: Instant Wedding” on Lifetime and The TV Guide Channel’s special on the Miss USA pageant. Castillo was also a guest commentator for the 2004 “Miss USA Pageant” and shared the stage with Regis Philbin when she co-hosted “Live! With Regis and Kelly.”
In 2003, Castillo became the third Latina ever to become Miss USA, prompting People en Espanol to name her one of the “25 Most Beautiful People.”
SAMANTHA BEE (The Principal) is the female correspondent on The Emmy Award-winning series “Comedy Central’s The Daily Show “starring Jon Stewart. Born in Toronto, Samantha began her career appearing in various theatrical productions on stages throughout Ontario. In addition to her theatre work, Samantha became very involved in sketch comedy. Samantha is a member of the popular Toronto based sketch troupe The Atomic Fireballs – whose reputation attracted the attention of New York’s Broadway Video (producers of “Saturday Night Live) who offered the girls a development deal in 2002. Samantha’s popularity as a “Fireball” lead to interest from many of Toronto’s casting directors and Sam quickly began starring in ad campaigns.
Samantha appeared in the Showtime movie “Jasper Texas” starring Jon Voight, in the short film “Fat Kid” and made her Canadian feature film debut in the critically acclaimed “Ham and Cheese,” for which she was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award.