the cast

THOMAS JAY RYAN (Henry Fool) makes his feature film debut in the title role of Hal Hartley's new movie "Henry Fool." Though a fresh face to feature films, "Henry Fool" is the latest addition to this actor's scope of intriguing performances. His extensive theatre career has encompassed off-Broadway, regional and international productions.

Raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Mr. Ryan studied acting at Carnegie- Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After moving to New York in 1985, he started down a rather traditional classical theatre road, appearing in productions of Moliere and Shakespeare at America's foremost regional theatres (including the Guthrie in Minneapolis and the Yale Repertory in New Haven).

His career took an unexpected turn toward the avant-garde in 1991, when he began an association with the legendary grand-daddy of experimental theatre, director/playwright Richard Foreman. Mr. Ryan originated roles in two Foreman plays ("Samuel's Major Problems" and "My Head Was a Sledgehammer"), and also appeared in his production of Suzan-Lori Parks' "Venus" at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Critic Mel Gussow cited "Sledgehammer" and Mac Wellman's "Dracula" (in which Mr. Ryan played the title role) as the two best productions of the 1994 off-off-Broadway theatre season.

He has been fortunate to work with many preeminent contemporary theatre artists, including Travis Preston, Garland Wright, Charles Ludlum, David Herskovitz, Mark Brokaw and Karin Coonrod. Last year, he played junk bond king Michael Milkin in "The Predator's Ball," a multi-media theatre/dance production that was acclaimed at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music and during a run in Florence, Italy. It was directed by punk ballet diva Karole Armitage and designed by painter David Salle.

Ryan recently appeared (as Satan) in Hartley's upcoming short film "The Book of Life," and will soon be seen in "Soon" an original musical play written and directed by Hal Hartley, to be performed at next year's Salzburg Opera Festival.

The details of my exploits are only a pretext for a far more expansive consideration of general truths.  What is this?

Born and raised in New Jersey, JAMES URBANIAK (Simon Grim) graduated from Marlboro High School in 1981, briefly attended a local community college and then "bummed around" New Jersey for several years, "working dead-end jobs and doing a lot of community theater." In 1987 he met theatre director Karin Coonrod, with whom he co-founded Arden Party, a theatre company that made its debut on the Jersey Shore in 1987. Arden Party started performing in New York City the following year, and today is something of an institution in New York's downtown theatre world, known for its arresting productions of such classic plays as "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Romeo and Juliet," Pirandello's "The Giants of the Mountain," and Aphra Behn's Restoration comedy "The Emperor of the Moon."

After working almost exclusively with Arden Party for several years, Urbaniak began performing with many other off-off-Broadway theatre companies, including Cucaracha, Tiny Mythic, Target Margin, Spunky Productions, Hangdog Theatre, and Clubbed Thumb. In 1996 he won a Village Voice OBIE award and an Encore Magazine "Taking Off" Award for his performance in avante-garde writer/director Richard Foreman's "The Universe" at the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre.

While performing in Cucaracha Theatre's legendary late-night serial "Underground Soap" in the early 90's, Urbaniak met Hal Hartley who cast him in "Opera No. 1," a short film made for Comedy Central and Urbaniak's film debut. Hartley also used Urbaniak in the videos "NYC 3/94" and (in voice only) "The Other Also." In 1996 Urbaniak made his feature film debut as Fred, the odd deli assistant in Madeline Schwartzman's "Aphrodisiac," a caper comedy about sex and religion. That same year he was cast as Isaac, a time-traveling 1950's science editor in Hilary Brougher's feature film "The Sticky Fingers of Time," which was also featured in last year's Toronto Film Festival.

It's a philosophy of poetics.  A politics if you will.  A literature of protest.  A novel of ideas.  A pornographic magazine of truly comicbook proportions.

Crowned "Queen of the Indies" by Time, PARKER POSEY (Fay) has taken the film world by storm in the five years that have passed since her burst onto the scene in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused." By virtue of her acclaimed, prolific presence at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, where three of the hottest films all featured Posey, she was awarded the festival's Special Recognition for Acting Award.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Laurel, Mississippi, Parker Posey studied drama at SUNY Purchase in New York. Near the end of her senior year, she landed the role of Tess, a conniving teenager in the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns." Posey segued from soap opera actress to film star as part of the ensemble cast in the widely acclaimed "Dazed and Confused."

Posey has continued to be seen in a steady stream of independent movies including Gregg Araki's "The Doom Generation," Rory Kelly's "Sleep With Me," Noah Baumbach's "Kicking and Screaming," and Hal Hartley's "Amatuer", and "Flirt." She received critical acclaim for the starring role in "Party Girl", which caught the film world's attention at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Posey has also been seen in the American Playhouse production, "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City."

Posey's recent work includes a stunning performance in the Miramax release "The House of Yes", directed by Mark Water (winner of Special Jury Prize 1997 Sundance Film Festival), a starring role opposite Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber and Campbell Scott in "The Daytrippers," produced by Steven Soderbergh and directed by Greg Mottola, Christopher Guest's improvisational film, "Waiting for Guffman" Julian Schnabel's portrait of the New York art world, "Basquiat," and "subUrbia," written by Eric Bogosian, for which she re-teamed with director Richard Linklater. She also starred on stage in "Four Dogs and a Bone," the debut production of the David Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Posey's upcoming films include "Clockwatchers," in which she stars with Lisa Kudrow and Toni Collette, "Dinner at Fred's," "Edwards and Hunt," "What Rats Won't Do," and "The Misadventures of Margaret" shown at the recent Sundance Film Festival .

Posey will star next with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Nora Ephron's "You Have Mail."

It is, in the end, whatever the hell I want it to be.  And when I'm through with it, it's gonna blow a hole this wide straight through the world's own idea of itself.

Twenty-seven year old KEVIN CORRIGAN (Warren) has recently starred in both critically acclaimed and sucessful independent films, such as "Trees Lounge," "Living in Oblivion," "Drunks" and "Walking and Talking," as well as Hollywood movies like "Bad Boys," "Kiss of Death" and "GoodFellas." He recently (with director Matthew Harrison) starred in Martin Scorcese's production "Kicked in the Head," along with James Woods, Linda Fiorentino and Michael Rappaport. His other films include "Drunks," "illtown," "bandwagen," "The Slums of Beverly Hills," and Vincent Gallo's "Buffalo 66," shown at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

MIHO NIKAIDO (Gnoc Deng) starred in the film "Tokyo Decadence" directed by Ryu Murakami and has performed on the stage in numerous dance and opera productions. She met Hal Hartley in 1995 when the director cast her in the lead of the Tokyo segment of "Flirt." She also appears in his recently completed short film "The Book of Life," with P.J. Harvey, Martin Donovan and Thomas Jay Ryan and will be seen in his play "Soon" at the Salzburg Opera Festival.

Ms. Nikaido recently completed working on the film "Side Streets" and is currently shooting "Rendez-Vous in Samarkand" on location in Morocco.

click for a fool cast listing

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