After giving up on Lindsay Lohan for "Inferno," the director of the Linda Lovelace biopic says he has found his new leading lady: Malin Akerman.
Matthew Wilder had been hoping to break the news Monday, but after reports surfaced over the weekend about the new casting choice, the filmmaker told us Sunday that the 32-year-old actress had landed the part.
Wilder said that the film's casting director, Shannon Makhanian, helped bring Akerman in during the last couple of weeks at "lightning speed."
While saying that he'd "rather not pick the scab" of Lohan's firing, Wilder said that finding someone to provide insurance for the troubled actress "was proving a really tough obstacle."
"I really, devoutly wanted that to work out so badly, I really did," he said. "I hung in for a long time -- longer than most people would, I think. My respect for Lindsay's talent is huge. But it ultimately was just not a doable thing."
Though only last month the director said he had been in frequent contact with the 24-year-old during her stay at the Betty Ford Center, he said he had "no idea" how she had reacted to the news that she had been let go from the movie.
When asked whether Akerman had to audition to play the late porn star, Wilder replied, "Oh Lord no." He added that he believed many moviegoers would be surprised by the "Couples Retreat" star and what he called her "strength and groundedness."
"There are so many people out there who get some success doing a certain thing, looking a certain way, playing a certain kind of character, and they just want to polish that and stay in that forever," he said. "She is doing the 180-degree opposite."
Production on "Inferno" is slated to begin in February in Los Angeles.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Malin Akerman arrives for the Museum of Contemporary Art's annual gala on Nov. 13. Credit: Paul Buck / EPA.
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