Dennis Quaid Annaleigh Ashford to headline ‘Happy Face’


The entertainment landscape is set to be enriched by the introduction of ‘Happy Face,’ a new series announced by Variety that will feature American actor Dennis Quaid in a leading role. His counterpart, actor Annaleigh Ashford, is slated to co-star as Melissa in this series, rooted in the chilling real-life events reflected in the namesake iHeartMedia podcast and the book ‘Shattered Silence,’ penned by Melissa Moore with co-author M. Bridget Cook.

The story delves into the profound life revelations of Melissa Moore, who at the tender age of fifteen was faced with the harrowing truth that her father, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was in fact the notorious serial killer dubbed the ‘Happy Face’ Killer. This moniker derived from the eerie smiling faces he drew on notes adjoining evidence of his heinous crimes. Moore’s life henceforth was marred by this macabre legacy; grappling with her identity, she opted for anonymity and distanced herself while her father languished in life imprisonment.

According to official sources, ‘Happy Face’ will begin with a focus on Moore’s actual experiences. The narrative is set to unfurl the unsettling tale of an incarcerated serial killer, portrayed by Quaid, who inexplicably reinserts himself into the life of his estranged daughter, Melissa, embodied by Ashford. Their bizarre reunion kicks off a twisted journey as Melissa is thrust into a situation where she must race against time. An innocent man’s life hangs in the balance, falsely convicted of a crime perpetrated by her father, and it’s up to Melissa to confront and potentially avert this miscarriage of justice. Throughout the series, the audience can expect to witness the ripple effects of the serial killer’s actions on the lives of his victims’ families, while Melissa faces her internal demons and seeks clarity about her own identity.

This performance will mark Quaid’s sophomore appearance in a Paramount+ series, following his role in the streamer’s ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ series. Quaid is no stranger to television, having previously showcased his acting prowess in series such as ‘Merry Happy Whatever,’ ‘The Art of More,’ and ‘Vegas.’ However, his expansive career is perhaps best defined by his numerous celebrated film roles which include notable titles like ‘The Rookie,’ ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ ‘Traffic,’ ‘Frequency,’ ‘The Parent Trap,’ ‘The Right Stuff,’ ‘Breaking Away,’ and ‘Midway.’

Quaid and Ashford’s foray into this narrative venture is poised to capture intense familial drama against a backdrop of criminal intrigue. The creative process for ‘Happy Face’ is gearing up as pre-production is in motion and cameras are set to roll in Vancouver for the eight-episode inaugural season this spring.

The forthcoming series is primed to delve into the depths of a fractured father-daughter relationship, exploring themes of deception, identity, and the quest for truth. With a cast headlined by Quaid and Ashford, ‘Happy Face’ is firmly positioned as a suspenseful addition to Paramount+’s growing catalog of original content. Audiences should brace themselves for a profound viewing experience that promises to keep them riveted through its psychological complexities and dramatic twists. As the countdown to its filming begins, the anticipation for ‘Happy Face’ continues to rise, heralding the arrival of what could be television’s next big hit.

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