It’s about Hanging Out, Hanging In, Hanging On.

My movie project tells a story about the private world of actors, a world that’s funny, and bittersweet, and rich with creativity. It’s a world where incredible bonds form. –Lee Wilkof

DNAInfo New York provided the news that Gabriel Byrne has joined the cast of this new film!

Don’t be surprised if you see Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane and Frances Conroy  strolling through the neighborhood Thursday.

The actors are starring in independent film “No Pay, Nudity,” which is shooting on Kent Avenue near S. 2nd Street Thursday, according to a flyer.

Despite the name of the film, there will be no nudity, said Rafael Rivera, a location manager for the film.

“No Pay, Nudity” refers to an actor’s joke about work that doesn’t pay and requires nudity.

It’s the directorial debut of Lee Wilkof, a frequent Broadway and TV actor who starred in the original “Little Shop of Horrors.”

gb-jsmithcameron-twitterJ. Smith-Cameron, who generously provided this picture,
and Gabriel Byrne filming No Pay, Nudity in New York City

NY Castings has a synopsis of the film that I have not seen anywhere else [The link to this article is no longer available]:

Lawrence Rose, aka Lester Rosenthal, has spent a life as an actor, with some success. But his last job was some years past, and he now hangs around the Actor’s Equity lounge with his colorful best friends, Herschel, Andrea and Stephen, who manage to keep their emotional equilibrium despite long-term unemployment. However, Lester’s stalled career is fraying his very last nerve, and when his beloved dog, Barry, has to be put down, he goes into an even deeper depressive slump. But a job playing the Fool in a production of King Lear in his home town may teach Lester that there are still small pleasures and modest successes to be derived from life.

“A story of rediscovery and friendship. An examination of what it is to fail or succeed in your art and in your life.”

Filming on location in New York City is always fun!

Bedford and Bowery announced that shooting in the neighborhood was set for July 8 and that is great information to share, but we disagree with them regarding the cast! wink

The indie film No Pay, Nudity is shooting today on East Fourth Street at the New York Theater Workshop. Despite the below flyer’s promise of “Nudity,” we spotted none of it on set — but based on the cast we’re OK with that.

The Kickstarter Campaign was partially successful and filming began at the end of June in New York City.

Here is the campaign video (it is hilarious, so be sure to watch it!):


Gabriel Byrne: Lawrence Rose
Frances Conroy: Andrea
Donna Murphy: Pearl
Nathan Lane: Herschel
J. Smith-Cameron: Debra
Boyd Gaines: Stephan

nopaynudity-actors-collageTop row: Boyd Gaines, Frances Conroy, Nathan Lane
Second row: Donna Murphy, Gabriel Byrne, J. Smith-Cameron

Nathan Lane does his bit to help raise the funds necessary to get this independent film project off the ground:


Director: Lee Wilkof
Writer: Ethan Sandler
Producer: Tani Cohen
Composer: Loudon Wainwright III
Cinematographer: Brian Lannin

An assortment of actors tell us about No Pay, Nudity:

Director Lee Wilkof has provided more videos about his new film at his YouTube Channel, so be sure to check them out!


This early interview at Broadway World explains the origin of the film’s title:

NO PAY, NUDITY isn’t the most obvious choice for a film title, but it sounds as if it means something; surely it has an origin. We asked Wilkof to explain. “When I was a young actor, every Thursday I would pick up “Backstage” and Leo Shull‘s “Show Business”. Agentless young actors would go circle the ads we thought we were right for. Back then, in the Seventies, there would be ads for experimental plays, and not so experimental ones, reading, ‘no pay, nudity’ or ‘nudity, low pay’ as requirements. Those who were Equity members would be reading the ads at the Equity lounge, and we nearly titled this movie ‘Lounge Act,’ but that’s not really provocative or an attention-getter. People hear this title and they get excited. But there’s no nudity. It’s metaphorical, for actors – they don’t always make a lot of money but they wind up baring their souls if nothing else.”

And, from the same interview, here is a synopsis of the story:

NO PAY, NUDITY covers working out of love versus working purely for money, and jealousy or non-jealousy at other actors’ roles. “There are so many brilliant actors in New York, but you’re not considered a success unless you’re famous. A lot of us work regularly but aren’t well-known – everyone defines ‘star’ differently. For some people, it’s fame, and for others, it’s how steadily you work. But to the public it’s all about visibility. I’ve had successes myself, and I get to work with great people, but it’s taken years to acknowledge that I’ve been successful. But this film truly isn’t about my career.”

In fact, NO PAY, NUDITY centers on one actor among a group of friends and frenemies, who meet regularly at the Equity lounge. He’s been, like his friends, in the business for years and, unlike Wilkof, is looking for work – but he’s not sure if his heart’s in it at the moment. Life changes while he’s auditioning for a Shakespeare role in the hinterlands and another actor in his circle strikes gold with a film part at the same time.

Film School Rejects had a lot of fun being intrigued by the Kickstarter campaign and they pay Mr. Wilkof quite a compliment!

The campaign for No Pay, Nudity, though, is different. If not parody, then it’s at least having a lot of fun with the crowdfunding idea while also doing it rather well. Not necessarily successfully — more than halfway through the campaign it’s found less than 30% of its $450k goal — but well in that it knows what it’s doing.

I don’t understand what No Pay, Nudity is really about or what it will look like or much else as far as what you’ll be paying for. But the campaign has already entertained me and I’m now curious. I want to see whatever it turns out to be.

Playbill: you will see that the cast has changed considerably over the past months, due to everyone’s schedule. Some original cast members are still on board while other roles have new actors–including Gabriel Byrne.

IMDB page for No Pay, Nudity

Stay tuned for more information about this film! And thank you, Mr. Byrne, for taking this lovely working vacation in New York City during a heat wave!



  1. I have to admit that I find the title of this movie strange. But when I get it explained then it is ok. But I think I would have chosen another title for this movie if it was my choiche. When this is said I must hurry to say that I love the story that this movie is about. I know that there are many good actors and few jobs so it is interesting to learn a little about how it can feel to be an actor or an actress without jobs. GB has said that that can be a difficult situation, I remember.

    I love movies like this, without a lot of action scenes and car crashes but with stories about human conditions instead.

    (Nora from Norway)

  2. This sounds more and more like my kind of movie. Never mind the title. It’s a big “What beep beep is that????”
    Marie Christine, Belgium

  3. megustagabriel

    I think I will like a lot this film.
    I’m sure Gabriel will do a very good rol in it and I think he never did something like this before, of course I can be wrong.
    This film sounds “human”.
    Thanks Stella, once again, for let us know about what is Mr.Byrne doing in this days.

    Verónica- from Argentina

  4. Sounds like a sweet, comedic role for Mr. Byrne. It’s been a long time coming. Thanks for the update Stella.


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