It’s a little bit It’s a Wonderful Life… without the virtuous protagonist. Welcome to The Resentful Angel, the promising pilot executive produced by Cheryl Graeff & Shelley Daniels, crafted with an all-Chicago collective of critically acclaimed artists from the city’s renowned theatre community. The pilot has just launched on Amazon Prime and is now looking ahead to prospects for filming the full series. SCREEN brings you an exclusive chat with co-director and writer Shelley Daniels, co-director and lead actor Cheryl Graeff, co-director Carmen Roman, and actor Lawrence Grimm.
In The Resentful Angel, a tough, bitter Chicago actress (played by Graeff) dies suddenly, and as an angel, is desperate to rescue her suicidal hook-up buddy on earth, and chase her manic ambitions. You can click right here to purchase the film for a buck (yes, that’s right, ninety-nine cents) on Amazon Prime.
Here is your first look at the Chicago-made pilot…
Time to Add the Angel to Your Streaming Queue
“The afterlife in this pilot is a profound, loopy, and thrilling landscape, which I hope people will find uplifting and novel,” creator and co-director Shelley Daniels declared to SCREEN. “On the darker side, I think the audience knows what it feels like to have a dream … and not get it. There’s something secretly satisfying about watching a character who is unabashedly angry and bitter at their failures.”
Actor Lawrence Grimm concurs with Shelley and added, “Many of us, in the face of premature death, might feel the same indignance and defiance which The Resentful Angel uniquely and playfully examines. There are wonderful inside jabs for the Chicago Theatrical community to enjoy, but the questions about universal themes – like what life’s biggest trial might hold for all of us – is what people could connect with the most.”
Co-director Carmen Roman personally connected with the story. “It poses the existential question many of us face at some point on this journey of LIFE: Is this all there is? I find that very relatable!”
Finally, the project hits all the notes for co-director and lead actor Cheryl Graeff. “This pilot delves into realms that I love to explore: death, the afterlife, the Chicago theatre world… and rocky romances!,” Graeff declared to SCREEN. “On top of that, I get to play a kick-ass woman with a complex and edgy personality not often created for female actresses.”
A Top Notch Chicago Cast and Crew
Speaking of actors, this pilot boasted an all-star roster of Chicago theatre greats. Joining the aforementioned Lawrence Grimm were Echaka Agba, Jennifer Engstrom, Cruz Gonzalez Cadel, Cheryl Hamada, Keith Kupferer, Henry Greenberg, John Mohrlein and Johnard Washington.
This pilot was created, written, directed, edited, and executive produced all by women. And not just directed by one woman. Directed by four women. In the true spirit of Chicago collaboration, Shelley Daniels, Cheryl Graeff, Carmen Roman and Emily Railsback teamed up to bring this pilot to the screen. Jill DiBiase edited the piece, with sound editor Philip VonDuring and BAM Studios, and Director of Photography Tommy Garrett rounding out the team.
Kudos to the funding support for this effort, provided by Columbia College Part-Time Development Grant, DCASE, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency Grant.
What’s Next for The Resentful Angel
With the pilot launched on Amazon Prime, Cheryl and Shelley are looking ahead to the first season. “Shelley’s created a 5-season series bible that my heart aches to watch in its entirety,” Cheryl declared to SCREEN. “I yearn to see a hardened-as-f*ck heroine soften and slowly open her heart. There’s nothing like it on any streaming platform right now.”
Graeff and Daniels shopping around, are in talks with industry people, and pursuing every avenue that feels right, in leading them to making the entire series a reality. To get in touch, click here to head to theresentfulangel.com
Once again, you can click right here to purchase the film for a buck (yes, that’s right, ninety-nine cents) on Amazon Prime. When you click through, scroll down to Episode 10: The Resentful Angel, and you’re good to go.
Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine as this pilot forges ahead in pursuit of that series order. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.