Michael B. Jordan is considered to be one of Hollywood's brightest young actors. In 2012, he starred in 20th Century Fox’s box office hit CHRONICLE (directed by Josh Trank), a supernatural thriller that follows three Portland teens as they develop incredible powers after exposure to a mysterious substance. He also had a supporting role in George Lucas’ film REDTAILS (directed by Anthony Hemmingway), the story of the first African American pilots, called The Tuskegee Airmen, to fly in a combat squadron during WWII.
Michael recently completed shooting Tom Gormican’s ARE WE OFFICIALLY DATING? starring opposite Zac Efron, Imogen Poots and Miles Teller.
Before beginning his feature film career, Michael was best known for starring in two of the most significant television dramas of the past decade. First, Michael received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the hard-shelled, soft-hearted young urbanite Wallace in HBO’s dramatic hit series THE WIRE. He then went on to star as the quarterback Vince Howard on the critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning NBC series FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. He also portrayed recovering alcoholic Alex on the third season of NBC’s fan favorite series PARENTHOOD.
Graced with the opportunity to begin a professional acting career early in his life, Michael caught the eye of Dr. Bill Cosby and was cast in the recurring role of Michael for the CBS sitcom series COSBY in 1999. Almost simultaneously, he appeared on the HBO series THE SOPRANOS. The following year, he was selected from hundreds of hopefuls to play Jamal in the Paramount Pictures feature film HARDBALL starring Keanu Reeves.
In 2003, Michael became the youngest African American actor to be contracted with the ABC network daytime drama series ALL MY CHILDREN in the role of Reggie, Susan Lucci’s adopted son. Michael later moved to Los Angeles where he soon landed a lead role in the independent film BLACKOUT, starring Melvin Van Peebles, Jeffrey Wright, and Zoe Saldana. In the fall of 2007, Michael was cast in his first feature film, Rockmund Dunbar’s ensemble PASTOR BROWN. Hehas had guest appearances on CSI, COLD CASE, LIE TO ME, WITHOUT A TRACE, and LAW & ORDER.
Michael received NAACP Image Award Nominations for “Outstanding Male Actor in a Television Daytime Drama Series” in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
He resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys supporting the non-profit organization Lupus LA.
A veteran character actress and one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture on both television and the silver screen. Her critically-acclaimed performance as Minny in DreamWork’s feature film THE HELP won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, and Broadcast Critic’s Choice Award among numerous other honors.
Octavia was most recently seen in SMASHED, an independent film which also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul and Megan Mullally. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. This year, she will star in Diablo Cody’s PARADISE alongside Russell Brand and Julianne Hough and the action-adventure SNOWPIERCER with Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans.
Octavia’s acting career began with her big screen debut in 1995 in Joel Schumacher’s A TIME TO KILL, opposite Sandra Bullock. Since that time, she has built a diverse and impressive resume and in 2009 was lauded by Entertainment Weekly for her comedic timing when she was named to their esteemed “25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood” list.
Octavia’s extensive feature film credits include FLY PAPER, PEEP WORLD, DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS, SMALL TOWN SATURDAY NIGHT, HERPES BOY, HALLOWEEN II, THE SOLOIST, DRAG ME TO HELL, SEVEN POUNDS, PRETTY UGLY PEOPLE, COACH CARTER, CHARM SCHOOL, WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON, BAD SANTA, SPIDERMAN, BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and NEVER BEEN KISSED. In 2009, Octavia directed and produced a short film entitled THE CAPTAIN, which was a finalist for the coveted Poetry Foundation Prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
On television, Octavia starred in the Comedy Central series HALFWAY HOME and completed a five-episode arc as the character Constance Grady on the hit series UGLY BETTY. Additionally, Octavia has been seen in guest-starring roles on shows including THE BIG BANG THEORY, E.R., CSI, CSI: NY, RAISING THE BAR, MEDIUM, AND NYPD BLUE.
Among her many other professional achievements, Octavia has co-authored an interactive mystery series for children called Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. The first title in the series, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit will be published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in Fall 2013.
Octavia is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
Melonie Diaz was raised in New York's Lower East Side. She was bitten by the acting bug while she attended the Henry Street Settlement. Melonie also attended the Professional Performing Arts High School. Her mother and father are both of Puerto Rican descent.
She started her film career with a supporting role in Tom DiCillo's DOUBLE WHAMMY and later landed her breakthrough role in Peter Sollett's RAISING VICTOR VARGAS. She then was cast in Catherine Hardwicke's LORDS OF DOGTOWN and Dito Montiel's A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female. She was also cast by Jamie Babbit in the lead role of Anna in ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE, as well as roles in HAMLET 2 and BE KIND REWIND.
She recently appeared in the indie features SAVE THE DATE opposite Lizzy Kaplan and Geoffrey Arend and SHE WANTS ME, opposite Hillary Duff, Aaron Yooand Charlie Sheen.
With numerous film and television credits to her name, Ahna O’Reilly is a fresh face and she has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after young actors.
O’Reilly was last seen in the Oscar nominated Disney/DreamWorks’ film THE HELP starring alongside Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Sissy Spacek.
2012 was a productive year for Ahna, as she completed work on the films THE TIME BEING with Wes Bentley and Frank Langella, jOBS opposite Ashton Kutcher, CBGB with Alan Rickman, the ensemble TEDDY BEARS and the James Franco-directed AS I LAY DYING.
O’Reilly’s previous film credits include the comedy FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL alongside Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand as well as NANCY DREW with Emma Roberts, Amy Bruckner and Kay Panabaker. O’Reilly’s television credits include a recent appearance on NBC’s PRIME SUSPECT and The CW’s VAMPIRE DIARIES as well as CSI: NY and UNHITCHED.
O’Reilly currently resides in Los Angeles and enjoys volunteering her time and talent to children with serious medical conditions at Art of Elysium, as well as contributing towards building a sustainable future for Los Angeles with the environmental nonprofit Tree People.
Actor and author, Chad Michael Murray, has showcased his brooding good looks and talents on television sets and silver screens for over a decade. He has been a teen heartthrob on pop culture classics with roles on DAWSON’S CREEK, GILMORE GIRLS, and ONE TREE HILL, and his film credits include FREAKY FRIDAY, A CINDERELLA STORY, and HOUSE OF WAX. Chad also recently starred in Lionsgate’s THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA, the second film based on the popular three-part horror book series. Coming up, he will appear in the comedy CAVEMEN and Tyler Perry’s newest, A MADEA CHRISTMAS. Recently delving into the comic con convention world for his first graphic novel, Everlast, Chad is quickly conquering the art of hyphening: television actor-film actor-director-graphic novelist-author. Chad can also be seen in an arc on the TNT series SOUTHLAND, as Officer Dave Mendoza.
Ryan Coogler is a 26 year-old filmmaker from the East Bay Area, California who has been making movies for five years. His feature length screenplay FRUITVALE, based on the 2009 BART police shooting of Oscar Grant, was selected for the 2012 Sundance January Screenwriter’s Lab. In 2011 his student short film FIG, which followed a young street prostitute’s fight to keep her daughter safe, won the Director’s Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award, as well as the 2011 HBO Short Filmmaker Award. FIG was broadcast on HBO. Coogler still lives in the Bay Area where in addition to making films, he works as a counselor at Juvenile Hall in San Francisco. He earned his MFA in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California in May 2011.
Forest Whitaker is a distinguished artist and humanist. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. Whitaker is also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood’s most accomplished figures. He has received prestigious artistic distinctions including the 2007 Academy Award® for Best Actor for his performance in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He has also received the BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe® for Best Actor. In addition, Mr. Whitaker received the Best Actor for BIRD at the Cannes Film Festival.
Forest has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work over the past decade. Mr. Whitaker’s social awareness has compelled him to seek ways of using the film medium as a means to raise peoples’ consciousness. He produced the award-winning documentary KASSIM THE DREAM, which tells the poignant story of a Ugandan child soldier turned world championship boxer, RISING FROM ASHES, which profiles Genocide survivors of the Rwandan war who have risen from wooden bicycles to competing in the Olympics, SERVING LIFE, which focuses on hospice care for prisoners at Louisiana’s Angola Prison, and the Emmy nominated and Peabody Award-winning BRICK CITY, which takes a look at inner-city life in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2007, Whitaker received the Cinema for Peace Award for his selfless and ongoing advocacy for child soldiers, as well as his work with inner-city youth. He was also awarded the Humanitas Prize in 2001. In 2008, he served as a member of the Urban Policy Committee and currently sits on the board ofthe President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). Whitaker serves as a Senior Research Scholar at Rutgers University, and a Visiting Professor at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2011, Whitaker was sworn in as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. In this role, he works towards global peace building through anti-violent education, research, training and community building.