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Julia Stiles to Star in Hallmark Hall of Fame's THE MAKEOVER on ABC, 1/27

Related: THE MAKEOVER, ABC

The all-star cast for Hallmark Hall of Fame's THE MAKEOVER, which premieres SUNDAY, ?JANUARY 27 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, will be led by Julia Stiles ("Silver Linings Playbook," "The Bourne Ultimatum"), David Walton ("New Girl," "Happy Endings"), Frances Fisher ("Titanic," "Unforgiven"), Camryn Manheim ("Ghost Whisperer," "The Practice") and Georgia Lyman ("Brotherhood," "The Town").

In the film, Hannah Higgins (Julia Stiles) is a smart, driven education consultant. She's so driven, in fact, that she runs for Congress to advance the cause of education reform. But Hannah is not a likable candidate, as her elitism turns off Boston voters big-time. However she and her business partner, Colleen Pickering (Camryn Manheim), don't give up easily, and in the next election they recruit a candidate who definitely is a man of the people, beer vendor Elliot Doolittle (David Walton).

Elliot - whose thick South Boston accent masks considerable intelligence - is the polar opposite of prim and proper Hannah. His mother, Allie (Frances Fisher), is the very definition of "a piece of work," as is his sister Bonnie (Georgia Lyman). Nevertheless Hannah takes Elliot on as a modern-day "Pygmalion" project. If she can just teach him to speak like gentleman, dress like a gentleman, comport himself like a gentleman... why, he might become a gentleman, one who can run for Congress and win.

Though these two are about as oil-and-water as any two people can be, oddly as Elliot becomes more "presentable," Hannah becomes less "proper." Could this be a match made in electoral heaven?

Interviewed on the film's set in Boston, Stiles said of the romance between Hannah and Elliot that it is the heart of the movie: "They're an unlikely pair... Yet almost from the start, there's this subtle attraction between them. That's the key word -- subtle. And that's what makes the relationship so much fun."

For Walton "The Makeover" is about "dreaming big, and fulfilling your potential." He describes Elliot as "schlepping barrels of beer to watering holes all over the Boston area. He loves his work, but we see a glimmer of ambition in him. Then along come Hannah and Colleen. They see potential in Elliot, and thanks to them, he sees potential in himself."

For director John Gray ("Ghost Whisperer," "Empire"), the movie is all about transformation: ?"It's not just Elliot's transformation from regular working-class guy to someone who's a little more lettered and cultured. It's also about Hannah's transformation. She discovers her humanity during this movie." About Stiles he says, "Julia has this great ability to bring humanity and vulnerability and warmth to everything she does. She's certainly doing that with Hannah. I'm thrilled we got her for this movie." And of Walton Gray says: "David's able to capture and project Elliot's natural intelligence. He also brings great warmth to the character, as well as vulnerability and likeability. You just like this guy."

The teleplay for "The Makeover" is by C. Jay Cox ('Sweet Home Alabama," "Latter Days"). The film is produced by Christopher Morgan ("Common Law," "Memphis Beat"). Brent Shields ("A Smile as Big as the Moon," "November Christmas") is executive producer, for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Inc.

"The Makeover" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format with a 5.1 channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to the airdate.


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