Amy Acker
Beatrice

Equally versatile on stage and screen, Amy Acker will soon be seen as Beatrice in the independent feature, Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joss Whedon. A modern-day telling of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing is set to premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

On screen, Acker most recently appeared in the horror thriller, Cabin in the Woods, directed by Drew Goddard, and co-written by Whedon and Goddard.  Prior to its theatrical release, the film was selected as the Opening Night feature at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.  Amy also starred in the independent drama, Sironia, the Audience Award Winner at the 2011 Austin Film Festival, about a singer-songwriter who moves with his wife from Los Angeles to the small town of Sironia, Texas.  Among Amy's other film credits include the war drama, 21 and a Wake-Up, The Novice, with Alan Arkin and Frank Langella, Steven Speilberg's Catch Me if You Can, Groom Lake, and The Accident.

Amy first gained notoriety as the fan-favorite character, Winifred "Fred" Burkle, in the WB television series, Angel, created by Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David Greenwalt, and starring David Boreanaz.  For her role in the hugely popular show, Acker won a Saturn Award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series," in addition to receiving nominations from the Cinescape and Golden Satellite Awards. Subsequently, Acker landed series regular roles in J.J. Abrams' Alias, with Jennifer Garner, Whedon's Dollhouse, opposite Eliza Dushku, and ABC's mystery drama, Happy Town. Amy can currently be seen in a recurring role on the hit CBS drama, Person of Interest, alongside Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson.  Among Amy's other television credits include guest-starring roles in Grimm, Once Upon a Time, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, No Ordinary Family, The Good Wife, Private Practice, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and How I Met Your Mother, as well as notable roles in the mini-series/made-for-television movies, Dear Santa, Voices, Fire & Ice, and Drive, among many others.

A Texas native and graduate of Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Acting, Acker studied dance for thirteen years before turning her attention to acting, where she received tremendous acclaim in the regional stage productions of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Ibsen's Master Builder, Zola's Therese Raquin, and Beast on the Moon by Richard Kalinoski, among others. 

Acker currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York, with her husband, actor James Carpinello, and their two children.

Alexis Denisof
Benedick

Alexis Denisof is one of pop culture's most versatile and beloved actors. He will next be seen in Joss Whedon's highly anticipated adaptation of Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Denisof stars as Benedick in the film, which will premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, done in the original text, also stars Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, and Sean Maher.

Most recently Denisof appeared in the Whedon's blockbuster The Avengers as the mysterious villain 'The Other.' Currently he can be seen in Bryan Singer's groundbreaking online series H+ on YouTube and in his recurring role as the hilarious news anchor Sandy Rivers on CBS's How I Met Your Mother.

Denisof is perhaps best known to audiences as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce on the series Angel. A character he created for season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For over 100 episodes, Denisof played one of the most beloved characters of what has become known as the "Whedonverse".

He began acting at a young age at Seattle's distinguished ACT and Bathhouse Theater, before being accepted to the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Upon graduating he was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in their acclaimed production of Hamlet starring Mark Rylance.

Denisof made his film debut in the British film Murder Story opposite Christopher Lee. Denisof has appeared in First Knight, Rogue Trader, True Blue, Innocent Lies, and the Sundance Film festival hit, The Misadventures of Margeret.

While in London, Denisof enjoyed an equally prolific stage career in the West End productions of Cyrano de Bergerac, A Tale of Two Cities, Tovarich, and Bent with Sir Ian McKellen. Denisof also enjoyed success in other theater productions, including Rope, Cain, Pointe Valaine, and All My Sons.

Aside from his extensive theater and film experience, Denisof is also a veteran of television including NBC's Noah's Ark, Private Practice, Dollhouse and the popular British series, Sharpe, Faith, and Romeo and Juliet.

Denisof is married to actress Alyson Hannigan, with whom he has two daughters.

Reed Diamond
Don Pedro

Reed will next be seen in Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joss Whedon. He has just completed shooting the 3rd season of TNT's Franklin and Bash, where he co-stars as Damien Karp. He also currently recurs on the t.v. shows Bones, as Agent Hayes Flynn, and The Mentalist, as Ray Haffner.

In recent years he has co-starred on the final season of 24, Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, and the time travel drama Journeyman. Reed has also been seen in the Academy Award nominated films Moneyball, and Goodnight And Good Luck.

Reed grew up in New York City and graduated from the Juilliard School. He made his Broadway debut in the revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.

His first big break came when he played Detective Mike Kellerman for 3 years on NBC's critically acclaimed drama Homicide: Life On The Street.

He has many bills to pay, and enjoys eating, so he stays pretty busy. Some of his television credits include: The West Wing, The Shield, Revolution, Desperate Housewives, White Collar, Cold Case, Castle, Monk, Criminal Minds, Without A Trace, Medium, Judging Amy, and Law And Order.

A few movies, as well: SWAT, Spiderman 2, Clear And Present Danger, and Memphis Belle.

He lives on a vineyard with his wife and daughter.

Nathan Fillion
Dogberry

In addition to his starring role on Castle, Nathan Fillion was a recurring star on Desperate Housewives, playing Dr. Adam Mayfair, the new neighbor on Wisteria Lane and much younger husband of Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany). On the big screen, he recently finished shooting Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which will be released on August 16, 2013; as well as starring in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, which will be premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Fillion's other film credits include Trucker, starring opposite Michelle Monoghan; Waitress, a romantic comedy with Keri Russell; the Universal film Slither, co-starring Elizabeth Banks; White Noise 2; Serenity, which reunited him with director Joss Whedon; Saving Private Ryan; the independent film Water's Edge; Blast from the Past; Dracula 2000 and Doubting Reilly. On television he earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the daytime drama One Life to Live. Other TV credits include the series Drive, Two Guys and a Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pasadena and Miss Match.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Fillion wanted to be a high school teacher and studied at the University of Alberta. He later starred in productions at the Edmonton Fringe Festival and performed with comedy groups in town before moving on to pursue an acting career in New York and Los Angeles.

Clark Gregg
Leonato

Clark began his acting career as a founding member and former artistic director of the Atlantic Theater Company in New York.  He has acted in numerous productions with the company including Boys' Life at Lincoln Center, Mojo, The Night Heron, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and most recently Happy Hour, written by Ethan Coen. Other New York stage credits include Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men on Broadway, Unidentified Human Remains, and A. R. Gurney's, The Old Boy.

Gregg moved to Los Angeles in the mid-nineties to pursue film and television work landing roles in films including Mr. Popper's Penguins, Thor, Iron Man 2, 500 Days of Summer, ChokeIron Man, In Good Company, Spartan, State and Main, Lovely and Amazing, The Human Stain, We Were Soldiers, One Hour Photo, and Magnolia. He played the role of Hank/Henrietta in Tod Williams' debut feature The Adventures of Sebastian Cole for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.  In 2012, he reprised his role as SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson in Marvel's The Avengers, which broke many box office records including the biggest domestic opening weekend of all time.

This year, Gregg will be seen in several new films including CBS Films' The To Do List, Very Good Girls with Dakota Fanning, and Jason Reitman's Labor Day, alongside Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.  

On television, Gregg is known for his recurring roles on The West Wing, Sports Night, Will and Grace, Sex and the City and The Shield, among others and for co-starring with Julia Louis Dreyfus on the long-running CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine. Gregg recently completed filming the ABC pilot for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which would represent the resurrection of Agent Coulson.  

An experienced screenwriter and director as well, Gregg's screenwriting debut, What Lies Beneath (Dreamworks) starred Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer and was directed by Robert Zemeckis.  His feature film directing debut, Choke, which he adapted from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble, and was released by Fox Searchlight in 2008.  Clark has written or re-written scripts for Universal, Disney, Paramount, Warner Brothers and Fox 2000.

Gregg's second film as writer-director, and this time, star, the dark indie comedy, Trust Me, premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.  In the film, which also stars Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, and Amanda Peet, Gregg portrays a loser agent for child actors and former child star, Howard Holloway whose life is turned upside down when he suddenly finds himself representing the hottest young star in town. 

Also a theater director, Gregg directed Kevin Heelan's Distant Fires, which was nominated for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards in NY and moved to the Circle-in-the-Square downtown for an extended run.  The Los Angeles production, starring Samuel L. Jackson, won three L.A. Weekly awards including Best Direction, Best Ensemble and Best Play and was nominated for four Ovation Awards including Best Director. He also directed the acclaimed 1998 Atlantic revival of David Mamet's Edmond, and created, co-wrote and directed the Los Angeles serialized play, The Big Empty.

Fran Kranz
Claudio

Fran Kranz has been working consistently as a professional actor since he was in high school.  Most recently, he was seen on Broadway alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield in Death of a Salesman, which was directed by Mike Nichols.  He also starred in the Lionsgate feature Cabin in the Woods produced and co-written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard, and will next be seen as Claudio in Whedon's upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

From the time he landed a leading role in his 9th grade play, Fran was hooked on acting.  He continued his theater work at Harvard-Westlake School and also attended the Oxford Tradition program where he won a Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.  Fran went on to Yale University where he performed in such plays as Angels in America, Bright Room Called Day, Henry IV, Anthony & Cleopatra, and Twelfth Night.  After graduation, Fran continued to build on the list of credits he began while still at Harvard-Westlake.  More recently, Fran starred in the critically-acclaimed play Bachelorette at Second Stage Uptown in New York.  The play was written by Leslye Headland and directed by Trip Cullman.  His film credits include Training Day, Orange County, Matchstick Men, The Village, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Part 2, and The TV Set.

Kranz has also starred in a number of television shows.  Kranz starred as Topher, the sarcastic, tech wunderkind on Joss Whedon's FOX sci-fi series, Dollhouse, alongside Eliza Dushku.  He was the lead in "Welcome to the Captain", a CBS comedy series written and directed by John Hamburg.  Fran also made a memorable turn in "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and guest starred on "Private Practice" as well as "Frasier".  He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Sean Maher
Don John

Sean Maher most recently co-starred in NBC's provocative drama series The Playboy Club which Brian Grazer produced. Maher is well known to television and film audiences for his role as Dr. Simon Tam in Joss Whedon's Universal feature Serenity. The multi-million dollar sci-fi feature was based on the critically acclaimed FOX series Firefly. Maher originated the role of Dr. Tam on the show, which has gained an almost cult-like fan following since it ended. His other film credits include the independent film Living 'Til the End, the story of a man who is told by a psychic of his imminent death on his next birthday. He then lives out the year as a hopeless agoraphobic, until he meets a young woman who slowly coaxes him out of his self-imposed bondage.

Maher was born and raised in New York where he attended the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. During his dramatic studies, he trained at the Experimental Theatre Wing and Playwright's Horizons, as well as abroad in London. He moved to Los Angeles after landing the coveted title role in the FOX drama Ryan Caufield: Year One. Caufield led to not only critical acclaim but a holding deal from the FOX network. Darren Star (Sex & the City) then cast Maher as Chris McConnell in the FOX series The Street. Maher also appeared in the final season of the Emmy & Golden Globe award winning series Party of Five as Neve Campbell's love interest Adam Matthews. In 2001, Maher starred opposite Mekhi Phifer in the remake of Brian's Song. The telefilm focused on real-life athlete Brian Piccolo's career with the NFL Chicago Bears and his battle and eventual death from cancer. Brian's Song was produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago).

Maher reunited with Zadan and Meron in the 2006 telefilm Wedding Wars which also starred John Stamos and Eric Dane and again in 2009 when he appeared in the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva. Maher's other television credits include roles on Human Target, The Mentalist, Warehouse 13, Make It or Break It, and The Dive From Clausen's Pier. Maher is a yoga enthusiast and LGBT advocate. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner and their two children.

Jillian Morgese
Hero

Jillian Morgese was born and raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. She spent many years as a competitive gymnast before moving to New York City after high school. She enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology, from which she recently graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Jillian was working as an extra on the set of Joss Whedon's The Avengers when Joss asked Jillian to consider auditioning for the role of Hero in Much Ado About Nothing. It is her first major role in a feature film.

Kai Cole
Executive Producer

Executive producer Kai Cole started "Bellwether Productions" with Joss Whedon in 2011 to produce independent, smaller works. Her first feature as producer, In Your Eyes, was in development when she convinced Whedon that he should film Much Ado About Nothing -- within the month. Cole built the project from the ground up; in addition to engendering the film, putting together the crew, and overseeing the production, Cole, a graduate of Sci-Arc, designed the house in which it was filmed.

Joss Whedon
Adapted for the Screen and Directed by Produced by

Joss Whedon is one of Hollywood's top creators, scripting several hit films including Marvel's The Avengers and creating one of television's most critically praised shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Originally hailing from New York, Whedon is a third-generation television writer. His grandfather and father were both successful sitcom writers on shows such as The Donna Reed Show, Leave It to Beaver and The Golden Girls.

After receiving a degree in film studies from Wesleyan University, Whedon landed his first writing job on the staff of the top-rated series Roseanne. He later pulled double duty on the series Parenthood, co-producing and writing a number of episodes.

After creating Buffy as a feature film script, Whedon brought it to television in 1996, where it became a cult phenomenon. In 2000, Whedon garnered his first Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for his groundbreaking episode entitled Hush. In 2002, he wrote, composed and directed a Broadway-style musical episode entitled Once More, With Feeling which received worldwide recognition and spawned an "Original Cast Recording" soundtrack, which sold more than 400,000 CD's worldwide.

In 1998, Whedon developed and produced Angel through 20th Century Fox Television and his production company, Mutant Enemy. The Buffy spin-off gained a loyal following of its own and ran for five seasons on the WB. In 2002, he followed up with the critically acclaimed sci-fi drama Firefly for the Fox network. In addition to serving as creator and executive producer on Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Firefly, Whedon also wrote and directed multiple episodes of each series.

He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay with Disney's box-office smash Toy Story. His other feature writing credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Speed, Alien Resurrection. In the fall of 2005, Whedon made his feature directorial debut with Serenity, based on the Firefly series.

Whedon's musical Internet series titled Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog made its debut online in 2008 and became a smash success, winning numerous awards including an Emmy. Concurrently, Joss finished his second season, working as the creator, writer, and director of his Fox television series Dollhouse.

Most Recently, Whedon co-wrote and produced Lionsgate's horror/thriller feature film Cabin in the Woods, which received enormous critical praise. Whedon then went on to write and direct Marvel's signature superhero ensemble, The Avengers, which was a breakout success and has become one of the highest grossing films of all time.

Jay Hunter
Director of Photography

Jay Hunter began as a student of film theory and criticism at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied avant-garde and experimental film with (among others) filmmaker Stan Brakhage. Upon graduation he relocated to Los Angeles and worked on numerous independent films, commercials and documentaries as a Camera Operator and eventually as a Director of Photography. After many years in the trenches he photographed the critically acclaimed film Paper Heart (dir. Nicholas Jasenovec). Soon afterward, Jay was lucky enough to work alongside Joss Whedon as the 2nd Unit Director of Photography of Whedon's television show Dollhouse which eventually led to their collaboration on Much Ado About Nothing. Jay Hunter currently resides in Los Angeles and continues to work on feature films and commercials.

Shawna Trpcic
Costume Designer

My high school art teacher told me to go into fashion, because I loved drawing the figure. He knew I would make a good living while I practiced my fine art. I had never seen a Vogue magazine and was far behind the class in every respect to fashion. I would stay after school and practice and by my senior year caught up to the best in class. I was chosen to be on Bob Mackie's team for the senior design project and fell in love with creating fine art for the figure. I had worked at fashion design houses while in school and realized that it was too much a 9-5 job for me. I wanted to go into costume. Where Otis was located they would often shoot Simon and Simon and Moonlighting. I would sit on the set for hours watching and learning. When I would go to Universal Studios I would hop off the tram and wonder around the studio in child like awe. Everything about the movies fascinated me. I even had the opportunity to model for Theodora Van Runkle's drawing "club" that she holds at her home on the weekends. Finding out from David Levy that I also drew, Theodora invited me to join the amazing group of artist and illustrators. Her drawings are so alive and inspirational I learned a great deal just from being a part of that group. May Routh would later recognize me on the Executive Board of the CDG (Costume Designers Guild) as the model she drew so long ago.

In my senior year I went to the American Film Institute and asked the student directors if I could design their student films. They hired me and after doing a first year project I did a second year project - always working for free. But when they graduated, I got real movies and worked steadily until I worked on the pilot and first 40 episodes of Power Rangers and decided that I had worked enough for non-union wages and hours.

I joined 892 around 1991. My first union film was Toys with Albert Wolsky as designer, which was nominated for an Academy Award - that thrilled me and let me know that I had made a wise decision to join the Guild. Working with Albert fulfilled every child hood dream of the glamour of the movies.

I went back to school in 1995 to get a two-year diploma in Theology, which included religious and language studies. I constantly update my artistic skills as well. I am a watercolor and acrylic painter as well as a potter and a ceramic tile muralist -the latest class I've taken was figure and portrait sculpture, which I enjoyed immensely. But my greatest joy is touching those in need, which constantly stretches and challenges me to reach to greater heights.

I was married February 2001 to a man I met during a stint of no work. I took a job as an accounts payable assistant and ended up meeting my husband. As soon as we became a couple I got work as a Costume Design Assistant on State of Grace with Ann Majors. God had me there just long enough to meet Joe and fall in love. As well as my new family obligations I also volunteer at a Juvenile Hall encouraging young woman of their worth to our society. Being in the film business opens allot of windows of opportunities to witness to them and encourage them. I also teach art at a men's maximum-security state prison in Northern California.

In 2003 I had my first child after completing 13 episodes of Firefly – my water broke on the set of Angel – in 2005 I had my second child just after finishing Point Pleasant. With my second child I took two years off to raise the kids. I started back to work on Maddness Of Jane, a pilot for Lifetime, then onto K-Ville which moved us to New Orleans for 5 ½ months, then back to California after the writers strike to start new Joss Whedon adventures – Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse for Fox TV.

Those lead to Cabin In The Woods and then I worked on another sci fi great Torchwood – Miracle Day. When Joss had a couple days off from Avengers he called me to design Much Ado About Nothing – a thrilling two week, sleep deprived, joyous, very beautiful film.

Story

Leonato (Clark Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John (Sean Maher). Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Amy Acker), the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage.

In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade (Riki Lindhome) and Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins.

A series of comic and tragic events may continue to keep the two couples from truly finding happiness, but then again perhaps love may prevail.