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."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin Film Festival
Austin Film Festival Announces Second Wave of Programming
AFF Announces Second Wave
Local voices are spotlighted in the new round of eight fest films

Katherine McNevins, Sept. 9, 2021

Gary Hart Biopic <i>The Front Runner</i> to Close Austin Film Festival
AFF Announces Second Wave
New films by Yorgos Lanthimos, Asghar Farhadi added to fest

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 12, 2018

More by Joe O'Connell
This Job Will Change Your Life
This Job Will Change Your Life
Former staff reflect on the zigs and zags of life post-Chronicle

Sept. 3, 2021

Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
In a COVID-strained year, tales of families repairing their lives and the caste system's effect of Black Americans made an impact

Dec. 18, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin Film Festival, W., Jonna Juul-Hansen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle