RAHWAY, NJ — A screening of the new movie “My Last Best Friend” will be held at the Union County Performing Arts Center and will feature its stars in a question and answer session afterwards.
Set in New York City, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, “My Last Best Friend” is a gripping drama featuring two men, both named Walter Stoyanov, and both played by Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts, known for his roles in “Runaway Train,” “King of the Gypsies” and “Star 80,” among others.
The film also stars Carol Alt and Rico Simonini and was directed by Filippo M. Prandi.
The screening for “My Last Best Friend” and a cast question-and-answer session will be held on Friday, July 28, at 8 p.m. at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway. Roberts and Simonini will be present for the Q&A.
Simonini is an actor from Los Angeles who also has a practice as a cardiologist.
As a “nerdy kid who wore glasses,” he didn’t think he was stageworthy, but he did audition for school plays. When he began his cardiology practice after studying at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, one of his patients, who was in the business, asked him if he did any acting.
He began getting parts in movies and television shows, as well as working in theater. In 2014, playwright Willard Manus chose Simonini to originate the role of Frank Sinatra in “Frank and Ava,” which was released in early 2019; and which he also worked on with his “My Last Best Friend” co-star, Roberts.
Having a cardiology practice, Simonini is far from the cliché “starving actor.” However, he said his career is not without challenges. For example, there were times when he was offered a big role, but couldn’t take three months off to film a movie. He added that the auditioning process could have its disappointments and heartbreaks.
In “My Last Best Friend,” Simonini plays an FBI agent. “It’s a great little movie, shot in New York,” he said.
Alt plays a talk show host in the film and it was Simonini who helped get her the role.
“She’s great,” he said. “Because of my practice, I meet show biz people. I met her through a patient years ago. Filippo said, ‘I need an actress.’ I said, ‘What about Carol Alt?’”
“I’ve known Rico quite a long time, through a mutual friend,” Alt added.Alt, who is a supermodel, actress, entrepreneur and raw food enthusiast, is also a proud cat mama who has two black cats, Jo Jo and Sammy.
Looking back on the filming of “My Last Best Friend,” Alt said she remembers it being “very restrictive,” as it was done during the pandemic, though also “well-orchestrated” and “very aware of the pro tocols.” She added, “Rico sitting across the room from me, they made it work. It feels close-up.”
Alt said she was “very grateful to have something to wake up to during that time.”
Currently, Alt is starring in the television drama, “Paper Empire.” She also recently participated in Sports Illustrated’s Swim Week fashion show.
The seven-time Sports Illustrated swimsuit model said her cover was 43 years ago.
“We’re [Sports Illustrated] growing old together, changing and adapting. It was a unique experience.”
As busy as Alt is, she also makes time to support her friend, Denise Lauffer, who takes care of cats in her Washington Heights apartment.
“Denise does an amazing job,” Alt said. “Everything she has goes to the animals.”
To purchase tickets for “My Last Best Friend,” visit: https://ucpac.org/ event/my-last-best-friend/.