Mia Kaplan, Rainn Wilson, and More Added to Cast of ‘Empire Waist’

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Body-positive, coming-of-age dramedy Empire Waist has announced its core cast, Deadline reports. SMILF star Mia Kaplan, Rainn Wilson of The Office fame, Y: The Last Man‘s Missi Pyle, The White Lotus‘ Jolene Purdy, and newcomer Jemima Yevu have all signed on to writer/director Clare Ayob’s project.

Currently in production in New York through Wayfarer Studios, Ayoub’s first feature centers on a group of teens who overcome societal bias and celebrate self-acceptance through inclusive fashion design and friendship. Kaplan will lead the film as Lenore, a teen with deep weight insecurity but a passion for fashion design. Day-to-day Lenore tries to make herself invisible in an effort to avoid being bullied — by both her classmates and her image-focused mother (Pyle). However, her best friend Kayla (Yevu), a confident, outgoing, and proudly plus-sized teen, alongside Lenore’s father Mark (Wilson) and her teacher Ms. Hall (Purdy) act as cheerleaders.

Ayoub found the inspiration for Empire Waist in the response to her 2014 personal essay, “Notes to My Twelve Year Old Self.” It is the film that she wishes she’d has as a teen dealing with body positivity issues, and one that Wayfarer has said that they are excited to produce.

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By LeeAnn
LeeAnn is children's librarian who joined Nerds and Beyond in 2020 as a way to stretch her writing skills and connect with others who have the same pop culture passions as she does. She loves music, reading (obviously), and any TV show that can grab and hold her attention. Currently some of her favorite things to nerd out over include Supernatural, Prodigal Son, Louden Swain and Percy Jackson (books, theater, or upcoming show - lets leave the movies out of it).
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