Four More Join Francesca Gregorini

Indie drama begins to round out its supporting cast.

Alfred Molina (‘The Tempest,’ ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’) , Frances O’Connor (‘Piccadilly Jim,’ ‘Timeline’), Jimmi Simpson (‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,’ ‘Knights of Badassdom’) and rising British actor Aneurin Barnard (‘Ironclad’) are all joining Kaya Scodelario (‘Skins,’ ‘Clash of the Titans’) and Jessica Biel in Francesca Gregorini’s ‘Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes.’

The indie drama sees Scodelario playing the title character, a troubled 17-year-old girl who babysits her new neighbor Linda’s “baby,” which is actually a very life-like doll. She goes along with the delusion while befriending Linda (Biel), who happens to be the spitting image of Emanuel’s late mother.

Molina will play Emanuel’s father, while O’Connor will play the girl’s stepmother. Simpson will play one of Emanuel’s co-workers at a medical supply store and Barnard will play her love interest.

Gregorini described the tone of the story to Variety, “‘Lars and the Real Girl’ is an easy comparison, but it veers away from that tonally. I consider it a psychological drama-thriller, with comedic elements. … It deals with death, salvation and redemption, as well as the lengths we’ll go to to deny our own mortality. It’s about the secrets we tell ourselves and keep from each other, and how intricate those lies are.”

On the casting of Biel, the director said, “She came to me, and I was cautiously open to it, but then she blew me away with her audition. Jessica hasn’t really been given the opportunity to do something like this, but she was a revelation. I’m excited for people to discover this side of her.”