Hollywood is back in town, this time casting extras and even some speaking roles for Love Ranch, an upcoming film, loosely based on events that took place at the Mustang Ranch in 1976.
Love Ranch stars Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci as wife and husband, Joe and Sally Conforte, former owners of the brothel who turned it into a huge cash cow, generating more annual income than every other Nevada brothel combined.
The story focuses on “a husband and wife, and their rise and fall during that time,” says casting director Toni Suttie of Integrity Casting, the company in charge of recruiting for the film.
Mustang Ranch, once Nevada’s largest and most prominent brothel, was put to rest in 1999, when Conforte was convicted of tax fraud, racketeering and various other illegal activities before fleeing to extradition-free Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Although based on true events, this film is fictional and not a solid account of what happened during that chaotic period of mayhem at the Mustang Ranch, which included the death of the brothel madam’s alleged lover. The story will be told from the eyes of Mirren’s character, detailing this and other intense experiences she was faced with during her time at the ranch.
Also working alongside Oscar winners Mirren and Pesci is Oscar-winning director, Taylor Hackford, who just so happens to be the husband of Mirren.
Pesci actually came out of retirement to accept this role, which speaks well of the script.
During the filming of the movie, parts of the Biggest Little City will be turned into a mini version of the mid ‘70s, according to Suttie. Dozens of vintage automobiles will be needed. If you have an old automobile that fits into this period of time, you can bring a picture of it to Integrity Casting, and they’ll let you know whether they’d like to use it in the film. An anticipated fight scene that will be filmed in downtown Reno near Fitzgerald’s is also scheduled to be part of the action.
It should be interesting to see how everything plays out, as the bulk of the movie is going to be filmed in New Mexico and in various parts of Lyon and Storey counties.
Suttie says she has very high hopes for this movie, one of them being an Academy Award win or, at the very least, a nomination.
Auditions for speaking roles opposite Mirren were recently held at the Reno Integrity Casting office, one of them being for the part of a clerk whose job it is to point out where the heck “Indio Castillo” is located.
“We cast only A-list for these parts,” says Suttie, confident that the supporting actors featured in the film will be a nice, successful touch to the screenplay.
“Honestly, I think this might very well be the best screenplay I’ve ever read,” she says.
Integrity Casting currently is holding auditions for extras and supporting actors for Love Ranch, and will undoubtedly be casting some local talent for those roles.
Auditions are being held at the Reno office, 305 W. Moana Lane, Suite B, on Mondays and Thursdays, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. until the parts are filled.