After seeing Lubna Azabal (Gadarine Najarian) in the film PARADISE NOW, director Braden King invited her to work with him for three weeks at the 2007 Sundance Directors Lab, where it was immediately evident that there was no more perfect actor for the role of Gadarine.
Based in Brussels and Paris, Azabal has appeared in over fifteen feature films, including Ridley Scott’s BODY OF LIES, André Techine’s FAR and CHANGING TIMES, Tony Gatlif’s EXILS*, Hany Abu-Assad’s Academy Award Nominated PARADISE NOW and Robert Kechichian’s ARAM. In 2007, Azabal won the Jerusalem Film Festival’s Most Promising Actress award for her performance in Guy Nattiv’s STRANGERS. She is a graduate of the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles.
*Winner, Best Director, 2004 Cannes Film Festival; Nominated for the Palme D’Or.
Ben Foster (Will Shepard) has established himself as one of the most exciting and versatile actors of his generation, with characters ranging from “Jake Murzersky”, the crystal meth addict / skinhead in Nick Cassavetes’ ALPHA DOG and outlaw “Charlie Prince” in James Mangold’s critically acclaimed 3:10 TO YUMA to the international blockbuster X-MEN 3 as “Angel” and the vampire worshiping “Stranger” in 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. In the independent world, he played the mute spirit “Cod” in the Polish Brother’s film NORTH FORK and the lead in Barry Levinson’s LIBERTY HEIGHTS, which marked his film debut.
On television, Foster portrayed Russell Corwin on HBO’s drama Six Feet Under, garnering two SAG nominations and sharing the 2003 SAG Award win for Best Ensemble Cast. His other television work includes the cult hit FREAKS AND GEEKS as mentally handicapped student “Eli” and the Emmy-nominated HBO film THE LARAMIE PROJECT. Notably, his performance in Showtime’s BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD, a meditation on school shootings, garnered him a Daytime Emmy.
Foster stars in Oren Moverman’s upcoming directorial debut THE MESSENGER, an astonishing portrait of a wounded solider confronting his own grief when assigned the brutal duties of a casualty notification officer, playing alongside Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, and Jena Malone. The film premiered at both the 2009 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Ben has been a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation since the age of four. He lives in New York, and is the older brother of actor Jon Foster.