Irish screen legend and BAFTA-award winner Patrick Bergin (“Sleeping With the Enemy,” “Patriot Games”) and Francis Magee (“Kin”) have joined true-crime thriller, “Kiss of the Con Queen,” being directed by Tom Waller (“The Last Executioner,” “The Cave”).
The pair join real-life victim Eoin O’Brien (“The Last Full Measure”) who plays an actor duped by an impersonator into traveling to Indonesia on the promise of auditions for a leading role in a DC origins series. There he discovers that he had been scammed by the infamous Con Queen of Hollywood. Ravi Patel (“Transformers,” “Meet the Patels”) plays the fraudster.
In the real world, the alleged perpetrator, 41-year-old Indonesian food blogger Hargobind Tahilramani, is accused of pretending to be both male and female Hollywood executives and having swindled hundreds of victims of millions of dollars. He was arrested in 2020 after an FBI manhunt and is currently in prison in the U.K. where he is fighting against possible extradition to the U.S. The U.K. court hearings have been dramatic and disturbing.
The alleged scams saw victims lured to Jakarta by an imposter posing as Hollywood executives, such as Kathleen Kennedy, Deborah Snyder and Amy Pascal, to screen test for roles in upcoming movie projects. Once they were in the city, Tahilramani is said to have used local accomplices to help persuade victims into paying for fake filming permits and other expenses, on the promise of reimbursement by the Hollywood studios.
Production of “Kiss of the Con Queen” in Ireland was completed in recent days. Other segments were filmed in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and the U.S.
Patel can be seen in the film’s recreation of a joyful food blogging scene, an image of which was posted to international media and was one of the missteps that led to Tahilramani’s capture by police.
“That picture comes up whenever you Google search ‘Con Queen Hollywood,’ as the photographer sold the usage of those pics to Vanity Fair after [Tahilramani] hadn’t paid him. So, I was keen to try and get our own version out there,” Waller told Variety.
Other cast include retired UFC and MMA fighter Mike “Quick” Swick, Myles Clohessy (The Redeemer). veteran Indonesian actor Yayu Unru (“Jamojaya” “The Last of Us”) and rap artist Nay Myo “Day” Thant (“Elephant White,” “The Lady”).
The movie is financed by Film Bangkok (Thailand), Yaman Films (Japan), Westec Media (Cambodia), J Hawkins Consulting (U.S.) and De Warrenne Pictures (Ireland). Producers on the film are Michael Pritchett (“The Last Executioner,” “Mindfulness and Murder”) and Takahiro Yamashita (“Gensan Punch,” “December”).