Stone helms AIDS-awareness commercial and doc
Sharon Stone--who has worked for years to raise funds and visibility for AIDS research, HIV service organizations, and gay rights groups--will make her directing debut this fall with a public service television commercial and a "making-of" documentary created to raise AIDS awareness. Working with veteran Hollywood casting director Lynn Stalmaster, Stone will audition "regular people" who are openly HIV-positive for roles in the 30-second PSA, according to her agent, Karen Sellars of International Creative Management; those who appear in the commercial will also be interviewed for an accompanying "making-of" film. "We have big plans for the PSA and the documentary," Sellars told Advocate.com, "and we hope it will also help the people with AIDS or HIV who get involved in the project." The commercial, which is being underwritten by HBO and AOL-Time Warner, will be done under Screen Actors Guild rules, so performers may be able to earn SAG membership and health benefits by participating. Previous acting experience is not required, Sellars emphasized. There will be five principal roles and a dozen extras; those interested should come to the open call at Hope Lutheran Church at 6720 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday, September 20, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The call is for "men, women, children, and babies who are HIV-positive," according to the casting announcement. "Only people who are HIV-positive with medical proof and a willingness to openly say [so] in print and film will be considered."