Variety is reporting that Irish actor Chris O’Dowd has signed on to co-star in Nicole Holofcener’s Can You Ever Forgive Me.
The film is an adaptation of Lee Israel’s 2008 memoir of the same name, in which the author describes how she executed a remarkable forgery caper in which she used her talent as a researcher and celebrity biographer to forge more than three hundred letters by literary notables.
Julianne Moore stars as Israel, with Enough Said director Holofcener adapting the book for Fox Searchlight.
Roscommon native O’Dowd will next be seen in The Program, playing an investigative reporter in Stephen Frears’s biopic of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. He also has a role in Tim Burton’s forthcoming fantasy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which is due out early next year.
Before turning to the criminal life, running a one-woman forgery scam out of an Upper West Side studio shared with her tortoiseshell cat, and dodging the FBI, Lee Israel enjoyed a celebrated reputation as an author. When her writing career suddenly took a turn for the worse, she conceived of the astonishing literary scheme that fooled even many of the experts. Forging hundreds of letters from such collectible luminaries as Dorothy Parker, Noël Coward, and Lillian Hellman — and recreating their autographs with a flourish — Israel sold her “memorabilia” to dealers across the country, producing a collection of pitch-perfect imitations virtually indistinguishable from the voices of their real-life counterparts.