Social media and the age of Internet will either make or break you. For Casey Killoran’s character in David Lam’s featured film “Viral Beauty,” set to showcase at RCM’s Staten Island Filmmakers Showcase this Sunday, Instafame might be too much to handle.
Here’s the synopsis: Marsha Day, played by Killoran, is a brash overweight millennial who posts a controversial dating ad online. She seeks a rich, handsome, Ivy League-educated guy. Perez Hilton, playing himself, introduces her video to a mass audience and Marsha skyrockets to online fame as a target of vicious cyber bullying over her appearance. She is lampooned for her unrealistic expectations. As she defends herself against numerous haters, she gains a fanbase launching her into cult hero status.
This film was a family affair: The screenplay of ‘Viral Beauty’ was written by David’s sister Elizabeth Lam.
Lam found Killoran through a friend of a friend and the two bonded over their ties with the NYU Acting Program. They said the months of filming went by quickly because the cast and crew soon became a family routed in mutual respect.
The South Shore bound actress says getting into character was equally emotionally and physically challenging. She said the role required her to gain about thirty pounds.
“I was heavier before but I had just lost all the weight,” said Killoran. “Gaining it all back actually required a lot of effort and I felt the shift in how I was treated as time went on.”
The actress wants viewers to know Marsha is not as naive and absurd as people might take her for.
WORKING WITH A HILTON
Getting celebrity gossip hot-shot Perez Hilton into his film was only a direct message away, according to Lam.
“We had reached out to him and he seemed to really like the script,” said Lam. “I’m so happy it worked out as well as it did.”
The entire production took two years to come to life but the rewards are coming in tenfold. “Viral Beauty” has been shown at multiple showcases in New York City and was showcased at the 2nd annual Staten island Filmmaker's Showcase on February 26th.