Warwick Wilson is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30 p.m. John Taylor is a career criminal. He's just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick's doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who's been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we become deeply intertwined in the lives of these two men and discover just how deceiving appearances can be. With outstanding performances by David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford, cowriter/director Nick Tomnay takes us on a suspense-filled ride where nothing is as it seems. THE PERFECT HOST is a slippery psychological thriller that exposes true human nature and reveals just how far we're willing to go to satisfy our needs.DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
THE PERFECT HOST began as a short film called The Host. Originally it was set in rural district Byron Bay, Australia, and was much more like an atmospheric thriller, but due to my state of mind at that time and my urban address, the tone and location changed. After writing a first draft of the script, I enlisted a friend of mine, Krishna Jones, and together we wrote THE HOST in 1999. In 2000 I shot the film, posted it in 2001, and in 2002 sent it off on a festival tour.ABOUT THE ACTORS
During this time I continued to edit commercials. THE HOST won a few awards including Australia's AFI award for Best Short Film. During this time, I got a manager Stacey Testro and set to work on the script for THE PERFECT HOST. Again I enlisted my friend Krishna Jones to help me flesh out a first draft. After this my wife and I left Australia and moved to New York.
For the next 5 years, I continued to work on the script in New York. The film had two different production companies attached during this time, but nothing materialized.
I continued to edit commercials and toil away on the script. One night my manager called me up and said she was sick of waiting and suggested that she and her partner Martin Zoland produce and finance the film. I agreed, and with the addition of another producer, Mark Victor, we were all set to take the next step: to find an actor to play Warwick.
With little money to offer an actor, and a character that does some pretty extreme things, the role of Warwick was not an easy one to cast. Especially considering a truly great actor was needed to pull it off.
Luckily David Hyde Pierce was ready and willing to take a risk with Warwick and with me. In the fall of 2008, I said goodbye to my family and flew to LA to make my first feature.
We shot the film in 3 weeks, which was very challenging. I think had I not played the film over and over in my mind during the writing process THE PERFECT HOST would be a very different film. I spent 2009 back in New York, in the edit room.
I am so thrilled to be at Sundance. I have never been to the festival and cannot wait to experience all of it and in particular watch THE PERFECT HOST with an audience. All films are made for an audience, but our film needs one to work. It is a tale, a yarn that asks the audience to take a ride with the filmmakers and the characters and hopefully have a bit of a laugh along the way.
NICK TOMNAY (Writer & Director)
A native of Sydney Australia, Nick Tomnay attended art school in the early 90s. After graduating he worked as an assistant editor and then editor, cutting commercials, documentaries, and music videos pursuing his goal to become a filmmaker.
In 2001, Tomnay wrote and directed the short film THE HOST, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won several awards including Seattle's Golden Space Needle Award, AFI (Australia) Best Short Film Award, and IF Best Short Film Award in 2002.
Continuing to pursue his passion of filmmaking, Nick moved to New York City and worked as a commercial editor at Wildchild editorial. In 2006, Tomnay was handpicked out of a number of Australian high-profile directors to direct an episode of Bryan Brown's series TWO TWISTED entitled "Jailbreak".
THE PERFECT HOST, written and directed by Tomnay, is his feature film debut; it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, screened in competition at the Sitges Film Festival, and was selected for the Fantasia Film Festival.
DAVID HYDE PIERCE (Warwick Wilson)
Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's "Beyond Therapy." He went on to create roles in the off-Broadway productions of Mark O'Donnell's "That's it Folks!," Richard Greenberg's "The Author's Voice" and "The Maderati," Harry Kondoleon's "Zero Positive" and Jules Feiffer's "Elliot Loves" before returning to Broadway in Wendy Wasserstein's "The Heidi Chronicles."
In 2005 he originated the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of "Monty Python's Spamalot," written by Eric Idle, with music by Idle and John Du Prez. For his performance, Pierce was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.
In 2007 he won the Tony Award and earned another Drama Desk Award nomination for his role as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in the Musical Comedy, "Curtains," before going on to appear in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of the 1930's comedy "Accent on Youth," and most recently, in the acclaimed London and Broadway production of David Hirson's "La Bete" with Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley, directed by Matthew Warchus.
In addition to his work in new plays, Mr. Pierce also appeared in "Hamlet" and "Much Ado" at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, "Holiday" and "Camille" at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, "Candida" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, "The Seagull," "Tartuffe," "Cyrano," and "Midsummer's Night's Dream" at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and Peter Brook's production of "The Cherry Orchard" in New York, Moscow, Leningrad, and Tokyo. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Terrence McNally's "It's Only a Play" at the Doolittle Theatre and in the Geffen Playhouse production of "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" with Uta Hagen.
Mr. Pierce's film credits include BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, CROSSING DELANCEY, LITTLE MAN TATE, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, WOLF, NIXON, ISN'T SHE GREAT, WET, HOT, AMERICAN SUMMER, FULL FRONTAL, DOWN WITH LOVE, A BUG'S LIFE, OSOMSIS JONES, TREASURE PLANET, and the Sundance Film Festival Selection THE PERFECT HOST, which will be released by Magnolia Pictures in 2011.
His television credits include a short but happy stint on Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be," and a long but happy stint on "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He most recently joined the New York Philharmonic and an array of Broadway stars including Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone, as host of "Sondheim! The Birthday Concert," which premiered as part of PBS' Great Performances series.
He teamed with Victoria Clark and Rob Fisher in "Night and Day, a Cole Porter Evening," for Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Ravinia Festival, and with Michael Feinstein in his Holiday Celebration at Mr. Feinstein's club at the Regency.
Mr. Pierce has been an Alzheimer's Association National Board Member since 1999. As a board member and national spokesperson, he works with the Association in its mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. In 2010 he was awarded the Tony Awards' Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work with the Association.
CLAYNE CRAWFORD (John Taylor)
Clayne is an Alabama native who initially moved to Los Angeles with just his truck and a dream. To date Clayne has appeared in over thirty feature films and television shows. Beginning with a role in the feature ONE BLOOD PLANET before scoring roles in cult hits like A WALK TO REMEMBER and SWIMFAN. Clayne then built a fan base in television with roles in ROSWELL and JERICHO.
2010 looks to be an exciting year as Clayne is coming off Guest Appearances on hit shows like LEVERAGE, CRIMINAL MINDS and BURN NOTICE. In the feature world, Clayne started the year in a lead role in THE PERFECT HOST, an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival and in SMOKIN ACES: BLOWBACK for Producer Joe Carnahan. Clayne will also be a regular in living rooms across the nation with recurring roles on SUGARLOAF for A&E and in the FOX powerhouse 24 with Kiefer Sutherland.
THE ART OF ORIGINAL FILMMAKING