Mary Brennan just sent out a press release announcing that “How I Met Your Mother” star Cobie Smulders, “Six Feet Under” actress Lauren Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer and Tom Arnold will co-star with Jason Biggs (“American Pie”) and Joel David Moore (“Avatar”) in Stephen Gyllenhaal’s quirky political comedy “Grassroots.”
TheWrap has additionally learned that three more actors have joined the cast: Rising comedy star DC Pierson (of Derrick Comedy and “Mystery Team” fame), Christopher McDonald (“SLC Punk”) and “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Emily Bergl.
Pierson’s agent at CAA, McDonald’s manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Bergl’s agent at Innovative Artists confirmed their respective castings to TheWrap.
Oscar winner Peggy Rajski produces through Matthew Brady’s MRB Productions. Brady will exec produce, while Peggy Case and Robin Gurland will co-produce.
Co-written by Gyllenhaal and Justin Rhodes, the film is based on Phil Campbell’s book “Zioncheck for President,” a memoir of the 2001 Seattle City Council election.
Biggs will play Campbell, a recently fired reporter who reluctantly signs on to run the campaign of his eccentric friend, former pedicab driver and fervent Monorail believer Grant Cogswell (Moore).
Ambrose will play Emily, Phil’s girlfriend who is a fellow journalist and Cogswell supporter.
Smulders will play Clair, a Monorail supporter skeptical of the blundering Cogswell campaign.
Cedric the Entertainer will play incumbent Councilman Richard McIver, Cogswell’s powerful political opponent.
Arnold will play Tommy, a sympathetic bartender whose club becomes the cash-strapped campaign’s headquarters on election night.
Gyllenhaal has been working primarily in TV for the past decade but his previous big-screen efforts include “Losing Isaiah” and “Homegrown.”
Rajski recently produced Alan Ball’s “Towelhead” and won an Oscar in 1995 for producing the live action short film “Trevor.”
Earlier this year, Pierson released his first novel, “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To.” He recently appeared on NBC’s “Community,” which stars fellow Derrick Comedy member Donald Glover.
“Grassroots” is currently in production in Seattle.