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Casting the All-Female ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

Jason Reitman’s looking to put a twist on the clubhouse classic

Adam Chandler
February 15, 2013
Alec Baldwin in 'Glengary Glen Ross'(Screengrab)
Alec Baldwin in 'Glengary Glen Ross'(Screengrab)

If you don’t remember the classic early 90s flick Glengarry Glen Ross then you probably didn’t see it.

Everyone who saw it remembers its cruel and weary characters and exacting dialogue–born from the mind of the Pulitzer-Prize winner and Nextbook author David Mamet–and for scenes like this ridiculous one with Alec Baldwin, which is neither safe for work or home.

It’s more than just a guys’ movie, its celluloid testosterone, which is why Jason Reitman is hosting a reading of it using an all-female cast. Wait, what?

Reitman says the idea came from film critic Elvis Mitchell, who helps orchestrate the monthly events with Film Independent. Every performance re-imagines the script with a new actor in each role, but after the success of their Reservoir Dogs last year they wanted to have another live-read where the entire cast shared a trait that was new to the story.

“We toyed with the idea of doing a gender swap on a film like Top Gun, but instead decided on a full reverse from men to women,” Reitman says. “Glengarry was Elvis’s idea. It’s the perfect candidate as there is no reason this script needs to be read by men outside of our own social stereotypes.”

Here’s who they have so far:

Robin Wright – hotshot sales agent Ricky Roma, originated by Al Pacino
Catherine O’Hara — desperate Shelley Levene, originated by Jack Lemmon
Maria Bello — Dave Moss, the tough-talking underperformer played by Ed Harris
Allison Janney — aging, weak-willed George Aaronow, originated by Alan Arkin
Mae Whitman — office manager John Williamson, played by Kevin Spacey

The only role not filled yet is that of Alec Baldwin’s character Blake. Meryl Streep seems like far too obvious a choice, so if I had to pick and I wanted to pick a Jewish actress, I’d have think Ellen Barkin might do the trick.

Who would be your pick?

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.