Gillian to star in "Helen"
Posted at 1:30 PM (PDT) on Friday, April 13, 2007

Anderson joins Nettelbeck's 'Helen'
Director makes English-language debut

By Ed Meza
Variety International

BERLIN Gillian Anderson is set to star in "Helen," the first English-language film from German writer-director Sandra Nettelbeck.

Anderson, fresh from her starring roles in "The Last King of Scotland" and the upcoming U.K. thriller "Straightheads," portrays a talented professor forced to come to terms with her clinical depression.

Produced by Berlin-based Egoli Tossell in collaboration with Doug Mankoff's Echo Lake Prods., pic will start shooting in the U.S. in September with support from German regional subsidy Filmstiftung NRW.

"It's the story of a successful woman who has it all but whose life falls apart as a result of this disease," said Egoli Tossell's Jens Meurer. "It's also about her overcoming the illness against all the odds."

The gut-wrenching drama is a change of pace for Nettelbeck, who wrote and directed the 2001 hit romantic comedy "Mostly Martha," which served as the basis for Scott Hicks' upcoming remake "No Reservations" starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart, as well as the 2004 comedy "Sergeant Pepper," about a dog who inherits a fortune and befriends a lonely boy.