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Marshawn Lynch featured in Nicholas Gyeney’s new film, "Matt’s Chance"

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So there’s this freaked-out guy running around in a rabbit suit, see? The guy is Matt (played by Edward Furlong), lead character in the upcoming film titled, oddly enough, Matt’s Chance, premiering Friday, December 27, 7:00:pm at the Cinebarre Theatre (6009 244th Street, Mountlake Terrace). Matt was hired by a demented mobster for a very un-mobsterlike gig; namely, dress up as a bunny and entertain the kiddies at his daughter’s birthday party. Having discovered his fiancé in bed with his best friend, Matt is feeling decidedly un-cuddly. More like wildly vengeful. Not terribly hoppy, you might say.

Which is what Seattle filmmaker Nicholas Gyeney’s new film is all about: “I wanted to create a thematic motif of people getting a second chance,” Gyeney explains. Matt’s Chance tells the story of “a guy who’s trying to climb back up. It’s not an easy subject matter. It’s a pretty dark story.” Darkly funny, that is, in a crazed rabbit kind of way.

At the wise old age of 27 (yes, 27), Gyeney has already put together three films and is currently leaping into his fourth project. Matt’s Chance features an eclectic cast of veteran actors hamming it up in uniquely eccentric roles, including Lee Majors, Margot Kidder, and Gary Busey. Was relative youngster Gyeney intimidated by working with such storied old hands? Not so much. Oh, Gyeney had his “freak-out moments,” but mostly he approached his experienced cast members “like co-workers.”

Why so calm? Might have something to do with the fact that Gyeney studied at the USC Film School. What was the name of that one teacher he frequently got to chat with? Oh yeah, Steven Spielberg. Gyeney kind of got over feeling intimidated after that.

Oh and there’s one notable newcomer in the film’s cast that Seattleites might be a tad bit interested in. Some football player named Marshawn Lynch. What was “The Beast” like to work with? Somewhat surprisingly, Gyeney describes Lynch as “a quiet guy, low-key…very game, very easy-going.” Gyeney muses, “we had a lot of fun together.” Which is more than most defensive backs in the NFL can say.

It was Nicholas’ Hungarian father who stoked his son’s rabid fascination with film. Every weekend, the two had a father/son “movie day.” It was a grand way to learn about America. Tragically, Nicholas’ dad passed away all too soon. And now? “Movies are my way to feel like my dad is still around.”

What’s next for Gyeney? He’s been hired to direct a project led by rising star filmmaker George Parra, who was assistant director of Gyeney’s all-time favorite film, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” A comedic drama with the working title The Oldfellas, it follows the antics of a cadre of aging mobsters who “live in a retirement community and organize to make it their own neighborhood.”

Plenty of opportunities for hare-brained schemes in that one. But a guy in a bunny suit? Maybe just a rabbit’s head, left by the Hopfather?

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