'Book Club' director, Chicago-area native Bill Holderman calls ensemble a 'dream cast'

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The story of this weekend's big flick, "Book Club," all started with a Mother's Day gift. (WLS)

The story of this weekend's big flick, "Book Club," all started with a Mother's Day gift. Writer-director Bill Holderman gave the book "Fifty Shades of Gray" as a gift and then got together with co-writer Erin Simms to start writing for the stars they wanted.

"You don't think you're going to get those people or you're even going to get a chance to send it to them and then we did," Holderman said, referencing the film's stars, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. "I'm still waiting to wake up because it was one of those situations I don't think will ever happen again. It's a dream cast for sure."

Long before directing his dream cast, Holderman was born in Chicago, graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange and attended Northwestern University.

"I have the city canvassed from all directions and I come back here as often as I can," he said.

As a first-time director, Holderman said guiding these legends of the silver screen was daunting.

"It was one of those experiences that could have gone a very different directing but they are all the sweetest thing," he said.

Some of the male actors in the film were basically cast by the leading ladies.

"Jane and Don have been friends for 40 years. I talked to the women about who they wanted to be paired up with and Jane was like, 'Don Johnson, I've never worked with him and it would be great,'" Holderman said. "Diane and Andy have been friends since 'The Godfather 3' and they're super close and that dynamic, that made those scenes so much fun."

Holderman said his female stars are already searching out a new book to be the hook for "Book Club 2."
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