Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Holdovers’ Dominic Sessa: ‘Everyone’s like, don’t become a celebrity – stay who you are’

A chance audition – and a broken femur – led to a role in Alexander Payne’s boarding school drama The Holdovers, and the debut of a lifetime. Its star’s next ambition? To be in movies without becoming famous

Dominic Sessa wasn’t thinking about the movies when he entered his senior year of high school at Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts. The original plan was hockey – Sessa, a scholarship student from southern New Jersey, knew that New England prep schools are a launchpad for college careers. But a broken femur and the school’s winter activity requirement landed him in theatre, which he took to like a fish to water. So, new plan: maybe drama school. But in autumn 2021, when Sessa was starring in a student production of Neil Simon’s Rumors, his drama teacher asked him to audition for a Hollywood casting director who was scouting Deerfield as a potential filming location.

The film was The Holdovers, a bittersweet 70s-set dramedy about an unlikely trio stranded at boarding school over Christmas. The director was Alexander Payne, known for such bleakly comic, emotionally rich films as Election, Sideways and The Descendants. Sessa got a call from Payne two weeks later. “I was like: ‘Wow, this super-accomplished guy is coming to meet me, in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts,’” he recalled recently. “If it had ended with that, I would’ve been as happy as I am now.”

Continue reading…

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply