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Dexter Actress Julie Benz to Star in Lifetime Movie Network’s Held Hostage


True-Life Drama Premieres July 2009

Los Angeles, CA-April 16, 2009- Acclaimed actress Julie Benz (Showtime’s wildly popular serial-killer drama Dexter, Saw V, Rambo, Buffy) will star in a Lifetime Movie Network original movie, Held Hostage. Held Hostage is an incredible true mother/daughter story of terror, courage, resiliency and self-discovery premiering on Lifetime Movie Network in July 2009. Bruce McGill (W., Cinderella Man) and Canadian actress Natasha Calis (Impact, Christmas Caper) also joins the cast.


Ripped from the headlines, the film is based on the true story and book of the same title by Michelle Renee ( Benz plays an abused teenage runaway that escapes the streets and becomes a single mom and bank executive (Michelle Renee/Estey) who is then stalked, kidnapped by three masked gunmen, held hostage for 14 hours and forced to rob a bank to save her only child’s life while they are both wired to explode.

In the midst of the traumatic aftermath the criminal defense team reveals a tactical twist and damaging information about her characters haunting past that could devastate the prosecution’s case against her attackers. Completely dismantled, Michelle realizes that to recover in a positive way and be her daughter’s hero she must embrace her past and heal her life…all of it.

Alongside Benz is Canadian actress Natasha Calis(Impact, Christmas Caper); the young star who celebrated her 10th birthday on the set of Held Hostage. Calis is playing the role of Michelle’s only child and hostage survivor, Breea. This bright, young yet old-soul kind of natural talent is hard to find and Calis certainly brought to life the reality of what youth suffer after violent trauma and how the incredible bond between mother and daughter can heal anything.

Held Hostage also co-stars Bruce McGill. Known for his work on over 100 feature films, most recently the award winning film W. with Josh Brolin, McGill plays the hard hitting cop with a heart in Held Hostage who discovers more about himself as he witnesses Michelle and Breea’s relationship, tenacious courage, strength and resiliency. McGill will soon be filming opposite Sean Penn in another true and high profile story and working on an upcoming feature release with Jamie Foxx.

Held Hostage will be produced by Johnson Production Group and Held Hostage Productions, Inc. (Canada) for Lifetime Movie Network. Timothy Johnson (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Cold Case, Lovesick) will Executive Produce. Grant Harvey (Whistler, Confessions of a Go-Go Girl, Lovesick) will Direct the teleplay by Jim Kearns (John Q) and Maria Nation (The Two Mr. Kissels, Little Girl Lost) based on the book by Michelle Renee.

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 Held Hostage
 Michelle Renee

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