A screening of "Mister Sleep" on March 25 brought cast and crew together. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
A screening of "Mister Sleep" on March 25 brought cast and crew together. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Filmed in Augusta, ‘Mister Sleep’ set for April 2 release

Claire Marie Lubeck is no stranger to acting, making her stage debut before she could walk.

But her most recent role took her in a completely different direction from her musical theater roots.

 “This is the first role that I got to create,” said Lubeck, who plays Felicia Payne in a film called “Mister Sleep,” which was screened March 25 at Augusta’s Regal Exchange.

Cast members gather for photo opportunity at the March 25th screening of “Mister Sleep.” Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Lubeck’s first role was as a babe in the arms during “The Nutcracker,” and she’s performed iconic musical theater roles including Peter Pan and Wednesday Addams.

The character of Felicia has agoraphobia and suffers from insomnia. She becomes the target of a crazed killer in the film that was shot completely in Augusta and features a large Augusta cast. It’s her second feature-length movie.

Joining Lubeck in “Mister Sleep” is another actor she worked with on stage – radio talk show host Austin Rhodes, who plays her father, Judge Christopher Payne.

 It’s Rhodes’ first feature length film, and he said he enjoyed taking on the role and playing Lubeck’s dad a second time. He was also one of three possible fathers to Lubeck’s character in the Augusta Players’ production of “Mamma Mia” in February 2020.

Rhodes said director Robert Hollocks worked around his radio show schedule during the filming in January 2023 to make Rhodes’ big screen appearance possible.

“He’s really good,” said Hollocks. “I’m so impressed with him.”

Hollocks likened “Mister Sleep” to films such as “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”  but with a twist.

 “We’re really trying to do something different, trying to add some interesting characters,” said Hollocks, who has spent 30 years in the film industry, working for Paramount Pictures from 1994 to 2007 as vice president of international marketing and creative. He’s made several films in Augusta including “Encounter” with Luke Hemsworth in 2017, “Applewood” in 2022 and “Mister Sleep.”

And it won’t be his last Augusta film. While in town for Monday’s premiere, Hollocks said he planned to scout sites for his next feature that will be shot here in a couple of months.

“It’s a really lovely atmosphere in Augusta,” he said. “Every time I come down, it’s a great experience. There’s a great crew and great people.”

The March 25 showing of “Mister Sleep” was the only time it will appear on the big screen. It will be released on platforms such as Apple TV  and Amazon April 2 with a wider release a few months later, he said.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at charmain@augustagoodnews.com. Sign up for the newsletter here.

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