EXCLUSIVE: Martin Donovan (Special Ops: Lioness) will star alongside Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong and Maria Bakalova in The Apprentice, Ali Abbasi’s indie that has Stan playing a young Donald Trump.
Donovan will play Trump’s father, Fred Trump Sr., who built a real estate fortune that was instrumental in his son’s rise. As we were first to report, Strong will portray infamous attorney Roy Cohn, with Bakalova as the younger Trump’s first wife, Ivana.
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An exploration of power and ambition, set in a world of corruption and deceit, The Apprentice hinges on Donald Trump’s efforts to build his real estate business in New York in the ’70s and ’80s, also digging into his relationship with the aforementioned Cohn. A mentor-protege story filled with larger-than-life characters, the film charts the origins of a major American dynasty and reveals the moral and human cost of a culture defined by winners and losers.
Donald Trump’s father Fred Sr. launched his career in real estate development in 1927, at the age of 22, following in the footsteps of his own father. He focused to start on building single-family homes in Queens, but as his business grew, he expanded into the construction of apartment buildings, shopping centers, and other commercial properties throughout Queens and Brooklyn. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Fred Trump’s business flourished as he capitalized on the post-war economic boom and the expansion of NYC’s suburbs. Ultimately, he ventured into Manhattan, where he would develop luxury apartment buildings and hotels, including the famous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Donald Trump was named president of his father’s real estate business in 1971. Investigated on multiple occasions for profiteering, Fred Trump Sr. also in the ’70s wound up in a housing discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Justice Department, alongside his son.
Scripted by The Loudest Voice‘s Gabriel Sherman, The Apprentice‘s producers are Daniel Bekerman of Scythia Films, Jacob Jarek of Profile Pictures, and Ruth Treacy of Taylored Films. Exec producers are Grant S. Johnson, Gabriel Sherman and Amy Baer, in association with Kinematics as the financier; Mark Rapaport Founder/CEO and Emanuel Nuñez/President.
Recently seen playing husband to Nicole Kidman on the Paramount+ series Special Ops: Lioness, Donovan will soon appear in an IMAX re-release of Tenet, timed to coincide with filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s final Oscars push for his Uni historical drama Oppenheimer. Other recent credits for the actor include the acclaimed dramedy BlackBerry, chronicling the rise and demise of the world’s first smartphone, as well as Netflix’s Firefly Lane and Archive 81. He is represented by Buchwald and the Gary Goddard Agency in Canada.
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