Film Producer PJ Leonard Rolls out Red Carpet for Little Curly Top at NYC Premier of “The Fallen Faithful”
By Sally Deering
Film producer PJ Leonard grew up in Jersey City at a time when mothers taught sons to do the right thing with a smack in the back of the head. He’s one of those tough-talking types with the heart of a marshmallow, like when Bogart says bye-bye to Bergman in “Casablanca.” Bogey, too, had to do the right thing and maybe his mama cracked him good because he ended up sacrificing his only crack at freedom for the woman he loved.
“The Fallen Faithful” is Leonard’s second crack at filmmaking as Executive Producer doing what producers do best – making a movie from script-reading to film screening. As Executive Producer of Other Side of the River Productions Leonard raises money, puts creative teams together, hires actors, negotiates contracts and scouts locations – the bim, bam, boom of movie-making. It’s also his job to get his new film seen, which is exactly what Leonard put in place for Monday, October 25th at the Director’s Guild Theater in New York City where “The Fallen Faithful” makes it’s NYC premiere. It promises to be a glitzy night with the film’s stars Sonny Marinelli and Obba Babatunde attending and one special name on the guest list that isn’t in the credits.
Meghan “Maggie” Elizabeth Russo, a curly-topped two year-old from Staten Island was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer that forms in the eye. Currently in treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, little Meghan has a tough road ahead as she prepares for a bone-marrow transplant and a series of chemo. Her dad, Mike is a NYC Firefighter and mom, Mary Beth, left her full-time job to care for Maggie, her older brother Michael and baby sister Mary Kate. Keeping the family healthy and happy are Mike and Mary Beth’s number one priority, and according to Leonard, “they look like the happiest people in the world, always doing things together,” but they can use a helping hand paying for necessities like Pampers and babysitters. That’s where Leonard plays a part.