NEW YORK—During a film premiere for “Persecuted” in Manhattan on Friday, July 18, 2014, director of the political thriller Daniel Lusko explained why he chose Dexter actor James Remar to lead his film.
“He read the script and he felt a deep sense of conviction about the story as it related to the characters, and the conflict, and the structure,” Lusko said.
It was the first lead role in a wide theatrical release for Remar, who is best know for the 70s title “The Warriors.”
In “Persecuted,” Remar plays minister, and founder of a large Christian network named “Truth.” After refusing to support a major religious reform bill, he gets framed for murder by a Senator, and is on the run.
Co-stars Gretchen Carlson (The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson) as well as James R. Higgins said Remar was an invaluable part of the cast.
Higgins, who plays an unnamed president, said he saw the entire film 37 times before it premiered in New York. He said he marveled at Remar’s performance, and the film’s cinematography, given the limited budget they worked with.
“I literally get a kick of watching James [Remar] get better every time I see it… I get a better appreciation for how hard a work that [Remar] gave,” Higgins said. When he first met his co-star, he found the actor “very intense.”
Gretchen Carlson, who plays a news anchor in the film, and who is also professionally a reporter on FOX news, has an important opening scene with Remar.
The actor made her feel comfortable as he kept forgetting lines.
“He was forgetting some of his lines with me, rightfully so because he had had this big scene the night before,” Carlson said.
Persecuted is playing in select theaters across U.S.