Neil Patrick Harris books two films

To star in 'Brightest,' take supporting role in 'Beastly'

Neil Patrick Harris has snagged two feature film roles: a starring gig in the indie farce "The Best and the Brightest" and a supporting role in CBS Films' "Beastly."

Co-written and directed by Josh Shelov, "Best" revolves around a couple from Delaware who move to New York's Upper East Side and enter the world of the city's private kindergartens.

Harris is playing the husband, who is not worried about his social status. Bonnie Somerville is on board as the class-aware wife. Also cast are Amy Sedaris, John Hodgman, Peter Serafinowicz, Bridget Regan, Kate Mulgrew and Christopher McDonald. Robert and Patricia Weiser are reteaming with Richard Schiffrin -- with whom they collaborated on the steroid documentary "Bigger Stronger Faster" -- to produce along with Nicholas Simon.

Shelov, who penned "Green Street Hooligans" and created the ESPN series "Mayne Street," wrote the script with Michael Jaeger. Shooting recently began in Philadelphia.

In "Beastly," a modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast," Harris is playing a blind tutor who helps and bonds with a teen (Alex Pettyfer) who is shellshocked from being turned into a hideous young man. Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen also star in the adaptation of the Alex Finn novel, being directed by Daniel Barnz. The movie is in preproduction in Montreal.

Paradigm-repped Harris, who hosted Sunday's Tony Awards, has been twice nominated for an Emmy for his work in the TV series "How I Met Your Mother." Both movies will done on Harris' summer hiatus from the show.
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