It’s been a long and strange trip for Wes Bentley since his breakout performance in “American Beauty” over a decade ago. He’s made two studio movies since then, “The Four Feathers” and “Ghost Rider,” and a slew of forgettable indies that barely made it on the festival circuit. Basically, Bentley’s odd behavior (insinuate what you will) put him in a career purgatory better known as “movie jail.” Now, the 31-year-old actor appears to be getting his career back on track with his first real chance to prove he’s a true professional with a role in the new HBO pilot “Tilda.”
Created by Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”) and Cynthia Mort (“Tell Me You Love Me”), “Tilda” finds Diane Keaton playing on an old school entertainment reporter trying to reinvent herself as a cutting edge blogger. It’s unofficially (or is that officially now?) inspired by the notorious Nikki Finke and her influential climb in the industry over the past five years. Ellen Page is already on board as a industry assistant who comes under Tilda’s influence, but Bentley will play Tilda’s IT guy — someone has to check out the servers — who also happens to be sleeping with his much older client.
Also joining the cast are David Harbour (“Revolutionary Road”) as an entertainment columnist working for a Los Angeles newspaper who just can’t quite seem to get this internet stuff down (aka the LA Times’ Patrick Goldstein) and Leland Orser (“E.R.”) as a studio executive who becomes one of Tilda’s main adversaries.
HBO has not officially greenlit the half-hour series for a full season, but it’s expected unless something disastrous occurs with the pilot. Condon will direct the first episode which will shoot this month in Los Angeles.