W, meet Laura. Laura, meet W.

W. kicks off AFF at the Paramount

The woman who introduced Laura and the W.
The woman who introduced Laura and the W.

If you saw the premiere of W as the Austin Film Festival got under way on Thursday--or even if you've just seen the film's trailer on television--you probably remember Jonna Juul-Hansen, who portrays Jan O'Neil, a real-life friend of Laura Bush who introduced Laura to George W. Bush back in the day. Juul-Hansen is--tell me if I'm wrong on this!--the only Austin actress with a speaking part in the film, which, naturally in this time of filming incentives, shot primarily in Louisiana.

Her husband Lars offers the story of how she got the part:

"Jonna drove from Austin to Shreveport in April for the audition and drove back two days later for the call back (with Oliver Stone). The casting director later told her that as soon as she had left the audition/interview Oliver Stone turned to the casting director and said 'I don't want to see anyone else for Jan O'Neil.' Of course it took almost 30 days after that call back to find out that she has booked the part. During that time she was on pins and needles.

"Jonna started acting 20 years ago in San Francisco and moved to LA later. About 7 years ago we moved to Austin to raise our kids and she just got back into acting 2 years ago in Ben Taylor's Workshop. Her agent is Collier Talent and she's also going to be seen in Geoff Marsden's Mars playing the first lady opposite Kinky Friedman."

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Austin Film Festival, W., Jonna Juul-Hansen

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