J.K. Simmons Joined by Polly Draper, Natsuko Ohama on Cast of ‘Little Brother’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Polly Draper and Natsuko Ohama are co-starring alongside Philip Ettinger, Daniel Diemer and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons in upcoming indie film “Little Brother,” written and directed by Sheridan O’Donnell.

The film follows Jake (Diemer) as he drives his older brother Pete (Ettinger) home for a family intervention after his most recent suicide attempt. While on the drive, the two brothers struggle to come to terms with the past, while trying to survive and cope with the present.

Draper plays Gail Duffy, mother of Jake and Pete and wife to the brothers’ demanding father Warren Duffy, played by J.K. Simmons. Ohama plays Mary, a farm owner who Pete and Jake meet in Idaho along their journey.

“Little Brother” is inspired by a close friend of O’Donnell’s, who took his own life — with the film aiming to destigmatize and push conversations surrounding mental health and suicide.

Draper is known for her Emmy-nominated role in series”Thirtysomething” and recently starred in “Shiva Baby.”

Draper said: “I have always wanted to work with J.K. Simmons so I jumped at the chance to be in this movie.”

Ohama is a professor of theater practice in voice at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She is a senior artist at Pan Asian Rep New York and was the director of training at the National Arts Center of Canada. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in “Sound of a Voice” at the Public Theater, where she most recently appeared in the world premiere of “Out of Time.”

While writing Ohama’s role, O’Donnell, who is Korean-American, was inspired by his heritage as well as Ohama’s, a third-generation Canadian-Japanese woman whose family were potato farmers.

Ohama said: “From the moment I read the script, I felt a deep connection to Sheridan’s writing. I’m very excited to have taken such a unique role, one that is both deeply meaningful and so familiar to my familial experience.”

Chris Dodds’ Made By Limbo and Keagan Karnes’ Inspirado are producing alongside J.P. Ouellette and Dylan Matlock’s Circa 1888. The film is currently eyeing a high profile festival premiere in early 2023.

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