When Nick Stahl wrapped on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in Los Angeles, he left behind a luxurious heated trailer only to find himself keeping warm in a parked car on the Toronto set of his next movie, the Canadian indie Twist (a contempo-
rary retelling of Oliver Twist set in the world of male street hustlers). But that’s what you do for a juicy rolenot to mention for your best friend.
Stahl and the film’s writer/director, Jacob Tierney, both 24, have been buddies since they were 17 and living in what Stahl calls “an actors’ frat house” in Los Angeles. “It was kind of insane,” he says, “five actors in a house together, going for the same auditions. I’m not a competitive person and never functioned well in that, so Jacob and I moved out.”
Montreal-born, Toronto-based Tierney started the Twist screenplay while they were living together and always envisioned Stahl, a Dallas native, in the role of Dodge-a runaway prostitute/drug addict who entices Oliver (newcomer Joshua Close) into a life of hustling. By the time Tierney was ready to make the film, Stahl’s Hollywood status had skyrocketed with starring turns in Bully, In the Bedroom and T3. The friends could have capitalized on the novelty of a bright young director and his movie star pal. “People were trying to budget it at $10 million,” says Tierney, “and I was like, ‘Are we going to eat gold?”’ Instead they made it for “much less than $500,000” and Stahl worked for free. “To come to our rinky-dink set right after 73,” says Tierney, “and sleep on my couch for two months-that’s pretty awesome.”
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